Samuel Mutendi

Samuel Mutendi, Zion Christian Church, ZCC
Bishop Samuel Mutendi
ChurchZion Christian Church
Term ended1976
SuccessorNehemiah Mutendi
Personal details
BornBikita, Masvingo Province
ResidenceMasvingo, Zimbabwe
ChildrenNehemiah Mutendi, Ruben Mutendi
OccupationChurch Leader

Samuel Mutendi was a religious figure and the Zimbabwean branch founding leader of the Zion Christian Church in Rhodesia which had spread from South Africa where he had been baptised by ZCC founder Enginase Lekganyane.


Mutendi was born in Bikita in Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe and was from the Rozvi clan. He was born in 1880.[1] He was educated by the Dutch Reformed Church.[2]

Religious career

Mutendi received his Divine call in 1913 whilst he was working for the British South Africa Police in what is now called Chegutu.[1] Mutendi is said to have started having dreams and visions whilst he was still a young man. Whilst he was working as a migrant labourer in South Africa, Mutendi became a member of the Zion Apostolic Faith Mission. In 1925, he was part of a breakaway group led by Enginase Lekganyane who went to form ZCC.[2] He was baptized in 1923 in the Zionist Jordan by Enginase Lekhanyane a member of the ZAFM.

He then came back to the then Rhodesia to pursue his religious career in the ZCC. His first sermon was at Gumunyu where a number of people were possessed by the Holy Spirit and some became scared and ran away. He was ordained minister in 1925 as the Rhodesian Representative of the church. However, restricting measures on mobility by the Rhodesian government in the late 1940s made it difficult for the local Zion Church under Mutendi to report directly to South Africa. The church effectively became independent.


Education and Schools

Mutendi left behind a legacy of success in the education fraternity. He contributed immensely to education by building schools in rural areas. A primary and a secondary school were named after him in honour of his work. Mutendi Primary School which was officially opened in 1983 was in honor of his legacy.[3]

Religious career

After the break-away, Mutendi formed a branch of the new branch of the church which was headquartered in the Nyika area of Bikita in the Masvingo Province. The church grew to become one the biggest religious movements in Zimbabwe. By 1996, the church boasted of a following of about 500 000 people. As leader of the Zion Church, Mutendi had a dream of building a typical biblical Zion City.[2]

After his death in 1976, his son Samuel Mutendi took over.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 , About ZCC,Zambuko,retrieved:9 Jun 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 M.L Daneel, Samuel Mutendi 1890 to 1976 Zion Christian Church (ZCC)Zimbabwe,DACB, retrieved:9 Jun 2015"
  3. [Samuel Mutendi Biography],Zion Christian Church, retrieved:23 Jun 2015"