The escalating animosity between the Church and the ruling Zanu PF party continues unabated with Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa breathing fire, accusing the religious establishment of siding with detractors to derail his so-called New Dispensation.

Addressing a politburo meeting Wednesday morning, the 77-year old strongman said it was not proper for the church to hide behind the pulpit and front the agendas of perceived enemies working on a sinister ploy to discredit the Harare administration.

He also said his long-ruling Zanu PF has had a healthy relationship with the churches since the attainment of independence from British colonial conquest in 1980.

“In the post-independence period, we continue to work well with the church to advance the national development agenda, as a united people,” said Mnangagwa who came to power following a military coup which ousted his longtime boss, the late Robert Mugabe.

“However, it is most unfortunate when men of the cloth begin to use the pulpit to advance a nefarious agenda for detractors of our country” he said.

There has been amplified acrimony between the Church- which voiced concern over economic decay- and Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF Government, perennially tagged the scapegoat to the socioeconomic problems in Zimbabwe.