Controversial and self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri is at loggerheads with the authorities in Botswana who shut down his Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church in the country.
The relations between Bushiri and Botswana continue to deteriorate as this is not the first time that the prophet has had troubles with the government in Botswana. Last year, he was banned from entering the country.
This time his church has been totally shut down for its continued violation of the law in terms of fake money. The root of the problem is the issue of “miracle money” which the authorities in Botswana say is a violation of the country’s laws. Botswana considers miracle money as illegal.
The church is said to have been under investigation since 2017 following alleged financial mismanagement among other issues.
Botswana minister Edwin Batshu has done an effective paralysis of the church in Botswana. The Minister says no ECG branch will operate in Botswana and has since ordered that even homecell meetings of the Church should cease and desist. Interestingly, the church has said that it will appeal against the ban.
Shepherd Bushiri has always had tongues wagging ever since he commenced his ministry. The Malawian is now based in South Africa where he has an enormous following there. His genuineness has constantly been under scrutiny, and to come with a clear-cut conclusion on that is quite arduous.
Bushiri now has over 2.3 million likes on Facebook and he filled one of South Africa’s largest stadiums, the FNB Stadium during New Year’s Eve. A video of him seemingly walking on air became hugely viral on social media.
Bushiri has also come under fire over the exorbitant fees that he charges his followers to see him. He charged R25 000 for a seat at his table at a gala dinner reportedly held on 23 December at the Pretoria Showgrounds.
Typical of the sprouting “prophets” in Africa, he lives an extremely extravagant, lavish lifestyle, often boasting about it on social media and during church services. He bought his six-year-old daughter a brand-new Maserati Levante for her birthday.
He has made some high-profile prophecies. He predicted that Zimbabwean politician Kembo Mohadi, who was then State Security minister, would get a promotion, specifically saying a “crown”. He is now Zimbabwe’s Vice-President. He claims to have cured people from HIV/AIDS and brought people back from the dead.
For as long as he is alive, and his ministry runs well, he will continue to be a subject of controversy and much debate, with some arguing he is fake and others saying he is genuine.