* Smile, you’re on TV: Makandiwa and wife.
Multi-millionaire self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ Emmanuel Makandiwa has dumped the impoverished Chitungwiza congregation that brought him fame and fortune and relocated to the leafy northern suburbs, it emerged.
Makandiwa’s move came after a string of patently false ‘prophecies’ which caused many to doubt his powers as a ‘prophet’ who claimed to hear directly from God.
The prominent televangelist has riled followers by relocating his Zimbabwe headquarters from a dusty Chitungwiza ghetto to the upmarket Mt Hampden property development where he has raked in millions selling residential stands to members of his United Family International Church. Mt Hampden, just north of Harare, is being developed by government into the new Zimbabwean capital. Makandiwa’s massive Chitungwiza church building remains an uncompleted shell years after work started on it.
Sources said Makandiwa now lived in South Africa and sometimes flew to Zimbabwe on Sunday mornings for services but this was denied by his spokesman Prime Kufa. The sources said Makandiwa’s decision to leave Chitungwiza where his church started was taken after his takings from church offerings dropped due to the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy and the introduction of discredited bearer bonds by the government to replace the US dollar. At the peak of his movement, Makandiwa reportedly raked in at least $250 000 per week in offerings after instructing his tens of thousands of followers to each give him $20 at every service.
Makandiwa, a former pastor at AFM Zimbabwe, started UFIC on a humble note in Chitungwiza, asking his poor followers to donate their cellphones and personal effects to get things going. He lost credibility after some Ghanaian pastors accused him of committing human sacrifice, allegedly killing several people in the hope of boosting his ‘spiritual powers’. A fetish priest in the West African country claimed to have performed the sacrificial rituals for Makandiwa and several other pastors in Zimbabwe and southern Africa. The Ghanaian pastors wanted to visit Zimbabwe to ‘prove’ their claims but were denied visas by the Zanu PF government, which is accused of protecting the discredited clergyman.
Makandiwa also lost followers after making several ‘prophetic’ claims which did not materialize. He promised to ‘walk on water’ at Kariba dam, like the Biblical Jesus on the Sea of Galilee but backed down on the appointed date. He later claimed that the Zimbabwean economy would flourish and that diamonds and gold would “rain” on the country but this did not happen. Instead, the country’s economy has been on a downward slide since investors fled Zimbabwe with billions of dollars in the wake of the disputed 2013 election which many say was rigged by president Robert Mugabe and his party.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe has warned people to be wary of false prophets who take advantage of the desperate by making false promises. Apparently, many are turning to religion for answers as economic problems deepen.
© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.