AUGUST 10, 2015
HARARE, Zimbabwe—Jehovah’s Witnesses in Zimbabwe launched the 2015 “Imitate Jesus!” Regional Conventions on Friday, July 31. These three-day events are scheduled over 12 consecutive weeks through mid-October.
“Expectations are high for this year’s convention,” states John Hunguka, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Zimbabwe, “largely due to the resounding success of our 2014 international convention in Harare, which was a milestone in the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in this country.” NewsDay, one of the top newspapers in Zimbabwe, reported that the international convention was “the biggest ever religious gathering” in the country and placed Jehovah’s Witnesses among “the leading newsmakers who kept the nation talking” in 2014.
Over 82,000 filled the National Sports Stadium in Harare for the final day of the 2014 event. In a post-convention interview, John Jubber, a representative of the Witnesses’ branch office in Zimbabwe, commented: “We had 3,500 delegates from Brazil, Germany, United States, Zambia, and Kenya.”
The convention made such an impact on the region that Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi, paid a special visit to the Witnesses’ world headquarters in New York to officially thank them for choosing Zimbabwe as an international convention site. In an exclusive video interview with the Witnesses, Mr. Mzembi stated: “The message I have from the ordinary people of Zimbabwe is, ‘Why can we not have a Jehovah’s Witness global convention in Harare every week?’ . . . My president sends his message of gratitude and would like to see you back again to carry on with your work in the development of faith in the country.”
This year, the Witnesses in Zimbabwe are hosting 39 “Imitate Jesus!” Regional Conventions in several locations, including the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Grounds. The program will be presented in whole or in part in Chinese (Mandarin), Chitonga (Zimbabwe), English, Ndebele (Zimbabwe), Shona, Swahili, and Zimbabwe Sign Language. The exact dates and locations for conventions in Zimbabwe can be found on the Witnesses’ official website, jw.org.
International: J. R. Brown, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5000
Zimbabwe: John Hunguka, tel. +263 4 2910591