Self-styled ‘prophet’ Emmanuel Makandiwa has more money to his name than his rival Walter Magaya, a new report says.
The two ‘prophets’, who hail from the impoverished Chitungwiza township are featured on a list of the 50 richest Zimbabweans, with Makandiwa coming in at number eight and Magaya at 42. The rich list compiled by the little-known X Research and Intelligence also includes Zaoga church founder Ezekiel Guti in the top 50 but excludes flamboyant fugitive preacher Uebert Angel, who claims to be worth $60 million.
The X report did not say how much Makandiwa or Magaya were worth. However, Makandiwa is reputed to be a major shareholder in listed industrial firm Radar Holdings. Magaya’s investments are not publicly known, although he is reported to be involved in illegal deals in gemstones, including diamonds.
“Magaya buys and sells diamonds and other minerals; that’s where he really makes his money, not the church,” said a Prophetic Healing and Deliverance ministry member from Mberengwa, showing a Now Daily reporter a huge emerald he claimed he was going to sell to Magaya. The youth later confirmed meeting Magaya at one of the lodges where the illegal deals are said to be conducted.
The youth was seen carrying the emeralds in Bon Marche supermarket and showing them in full view of security cameras. Asked if he did not fear arrest, he said: “The police are corrupt. If they arrest you, you just pay them a few dollars and they go.”
Magaya is mixed up with the Chinese mafia involved in gemstones, gold, ivory, rhino horns and other illicit deals, it emerged. Magaya has interests in Yada television which is operated by Chinese technicians.
Makandiwa owns a satellite gospel television channel and attracts thousands of followers to his services every week.
Both men are closely associated with Zanu PF politicians who are often seen at their services. Magaya famously gave president Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe $1.5 million for her birthday in 2015, much to the chagrin of his poor followers.
Typically, tax records for the two clergymen are not available. Makandiwa was a poor pastor at AFMZ before founding his own church while Magaya was a thug in Chitungwiza before going to meet Nigerian preacher T B Joshua who, he claims, encouraged him to start a church.
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