News Release

Zimbabwe Mission to be Divided

Zimbabwe set for two missions

Starting in July, Zimbabwe will have two missions, it was recently announced by authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Zimbabwe Harare Mission will now have a companion, the Zimbabwe Bulawayo Mission, headquartered in the city of Bulawayo, a bustling city of 650,000 residents 435 kilometers away in the southwest quadrant of this southern African nation.

               Starting July 1, two new mission presidents will take the helm of missionary work in Zimbabwe: in Harare, Tasara Makasi, Zimbabwean-born and current resident of South Africa, will begin a three-year period of mission service; in Bulawayo, Jimmy Carter Okot, of Kampala, Uganda, will assume mission leadership. Each will be accompanied by his wife: Sister Shamiso Makasi and Sister Lindiwe Amanda Okot.


               Zimbabwe currently is home to over 30,000 Latter-day Saints in some 78 congregations, and the rate of growth has increased under the current President T. Jackson Mkhabela of South Africa, and his wife Sister Dorah Mkhabela. They have been in Zimbabwe for over two-and-a-half years and will complete their term of service in July of this year.

               The division of the two missions will follow roughly a north-south line. The cities of Harare, Chegutu, Kadoma, Bindura, and Mutare–with their surrounding communities—will remain in the Harare Mission. Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, and Masvingo, with other nearby communities, will become part of the new Bulawayo Mission.

               Both new mission presidents are seasoned men with many years of experience in Latter-day Saint church leadership. President Makasi is currently serving as an Area Seventy in the Africa Southeast Area and President Okot has been serving as a stake president in his home country of Uganda.

               The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always been known as a missionary church, with its young men and women going all over the world to serve voluntarily for two years or 18 months at their own expense. These young missionaries are supervised by their mission presidents who likewise serve as volunteers for three-year terms. The LDS Church has no paid ministry and their work in the cause of Jesus Christ is carried out by the rank-and-file membership.

Regarding the division of the mission, General Authority Seventy Elder Brent H. Nielson recently said, “We want missionaries to be in the best possible place and position to help people, whether through sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ or community service.” He continued, “The pattern established by the Savior is to make a difference in individual lives, one by one, all over the world, which requires continuous planning and organizing.”

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