Home » Arts & Culture » Of Magaya, Bev and Deliverance [opinion]

It’s a fresh week but the only problem is it’s April 1, the Fools Day but this is not prank. I assure you! Pranksters know what that means. However, yours truly, hates it “when bad things happen to good people” to quote Bruce Willis from his “Die Hard” movies.

I am sure by now you all know yours truly is a big fan of ZBCTV. There is no doubt about that and the reason being that if you want to know what’s happening in Zimbabwe then you have to tune in to ZBCTV because that’s where all the action is.

For some reason, Sundays are those days when ZBCTV goes over the top in screening church services from different denominations. So, on Sunday I decided to watch PHD Ministries and I’m told PHD is short for Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance, yet in the other world it is a sobriquet for Pull HimHer Down Syndrome. Whoever coined that must have known what the people are looking for these days.

So during the Sunday service, I noticed Prophet Walter Magaya who is the leader of the church is no different from all the other televangelists. He dresses well, walks and talks like most of these celeb preachers, your Angels, Passions and the Makandiwas of this world.

Ever since Prophet Magaya founded PHD Ministries not so long ago, I am told he now commands the biggest following of up to 50 000 congregates. Those who claim to know him better say he also has snapped followers from other churches such as the UFIC, Spirit Embassy, Kingdom Embassy, among others, who must be beginning to feel the heat.

For those who are into figures, they will tell you that the amount of cash received per each service is in excess of US$50 000. That is a lot of money whether its offering or tithes. In other words, there is so much cash that circulates within PHD that some indigenous banks .How Holy? Godly? However, the figures could be more, depending on how many people attend each service.

Veteran columnist Isdore Guvamombe of the village fame, once coined the phrase “Gospreneurship, the art of making money.” Given the business model, using the bible as a smokescreen behind which money is spun, you will certainly forgive the villager for challenging the men of cloth, for making more money than conventional companies, among them some listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

That said, there have been stories on social media with regard to Prophet Magaya’s “healing and deliverance”.

One of the stories concerned one Brenda Kadere, a former prostitute who spoke of how she “suffered at the hands of the devil”.

It is said Brenda was “cleared of strange male organs” which developed on her private parts. She then had an operation which was declared successful by doctors but somehow the problem started after she moved back to Zimbabwe just before her husband returned from Botswana where he worked. Worried about the problem the two sought medical intervention to no avail.

It was only after a concerned neighbour aised the couple to visit PHD Ministries that they got healed using anointing oil.

Then there was the issue of Tokwe-Mukosi where Prophet Magaya together with his wife donated food hampers, blankets, clothes, sanitary-ware among other basic necessities to the flood victims.

Apart from receiving physical relief, we were told the victims were “privileged to get spiritual intervention” when Prophet Magaya laid hands on them. According to the reports , “over 100 people were delivered while a man blind for seven years got a double portion by receiving both food aid and restoration of his eye sight”.

The “man of God” also pledged to assist a four- year-old child with a scholarship up to secondary education. It was said 40 people from Masvingo travelled all the way to Tokwe-Mukorsi to offer their assistance.

Oddly enough, if Prophet Magaya had done all this to his followers why then did he throw caution to the wind. How reckless?

Now Prophet Magaya is swimming in murky waters over Beverly “Bev” Sibanda, a former raunchy dancer who is now a member of his church. What was special about Bev such that the “man of God” felt obliged to assist?

The other time it was PHD through their spokesperson, Oscar Pambuka, who complained of abuse from Bev saying the church was not a bank and now it is her manager Hapaguti Mapimhidze whom we are told is demanding a car from Prophet Magaya.

Is this what Prophet Magaya preaches during his Sunday services? In fact, Prophet Magaya is not the first televangelist to use celebrities as a publicity stunt. Nigerian televangelist TB Joshua made the headlines when he claimed to have healed the likes of Jim Iyke and others who have been to SCOAN Church. You tend to ask whether there was any healing and deliverance that took place or just publicity stunts.

Back home, we had musicians in the likes of Mudiwa Mutandwa, Diva Mafunga, the Mahendere Brothers and of late, Leonard Zhakata who sought deliverance from the so-called man of God. While it has worked for others, the same cannot be said of Magaya and Bev.

Indications are that more is to come if we are to take Mapimhidze’s threats seriously and Prophet Magaya may be embarrassed.

Yours truly believes that there must be a limit to “gospreneurship”. By the way, why seek healing when you know the healer? Until the next episode remember this is television and its real.

Source : The Herald