Zimbabwe’s leading prophets -Emmanuel Makandiwa, Uebert Angel and Walter Magaya – are under siege following several blackmailing reports and plans aimed at extorting money from them.
Last week, a Harare man reportedly wrote a letter demanding $500,000 from Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) leader Magaya, claiming that the prophet was having an affair with his wife.
The man is demanding a whopping $500 000 to stop him from pursuing the matter with the courts.
The amount alone raises suspicion as it is glaringly too high from an ordinary demand.
The three are well-known in Zimbabwe and the world over because of their prophecies that have seen foreigners flooding their churches for spiritual assistance.
The charismatic Angel’s church has not been spared either in the conspiracy theories, amid reports of sustained efforts to tarnish his personal image for financial benefits.
Reports indicated that Angel has actually relocated to London over allegations that he externalised about $60 million to the UK and other countries where he has business interests.
But church officials maintained that Angel was busy ministering in Europe and also West Africa and was also attending to personal issues in the UK which they said takes him out of the country for eight weeks three times a year.
They maintained that he will be back home in time for their yearly conference scheduled for September.
Like Magaya, Angel has also been the subject a rumour mill with allegations that a woman went into overdrive, claiming that she had an affair with the Spirit Embassy leader who had promised to marry her.
While there was no comment from Angel or his church, a senior pastor at the institution told the Daily News on Sunday that they were aware of the rumour but laughed it off as a hoax.
“Our focus is God but we understand that all men of God even if you go on YouTube you will see the likes of TB Joshua having women claiming one thing or the other against him. All men of God are faced with that so it’s a non issue but as for externalisation of money we have heard of it.
“We co-operate with the government of Zimbabwe and we very much respect the laws of the land.
“However, we can tell you there is no Government body that has raised that issue with us and it takes a foolish person to think $65 million can be externalised that easily and coming from where in this country. And as for the taxman, we are very open with Zimra and have a very good working record with them and Zimra has access to all our books,” said the pastor
Their “rich” tag has also caught the eye of the “taxman”, with reports that bogus Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officials were pursuing Makandiwa’s incomes.
There were reports that Zimra officials had in the past few weeks visited UFIC offices in Harare demanding books of accounts accusing the popular church of accumulating millions of dollars but failing to pay tax.
UFIC spokesperson Pastor Kufa also weighed in last week and said: “Everything we do at UFIC is above board and our books are okay and Zimra knows that.
They have all the information they want and we are available with our records 24 hours a day.
“Here and there, we get people claiming to be from different institutions claiming to be investigating this and that.
“It is shocking that for more than a year, different sets of people come to us demanding information.
“Different officials have been coming to us demanding the same information, saying they would have lost our documents. We furnish Zimra with up-to-date information,” said Kufa
Asked to comment on reports that rival churches were out to tarnish the church Kufa said: “At UFIC, we don’t have time for petty fights and jealousies. We concentrate on delivering the word of God which is our calling.
Zimra spokesperson Taungana Ndoro expressed ignorance on the developments.
Kufa insisted that UFIC had become a victim of conspiracy theories.
Every Sunday, the prophets’ churches draw several thousands of worshippers. The prophets are now being considered as some of the most influential people in the country.
While, their prophetic power has grown by the day, it also comes with a price, as the men are now falling prey to tricksters, who want to get rich overnight.
The tricksters know that the prophets, because of the large flocks that they lead, have a reputation to protect, thus by blackmailing them; they can easily back-down and meet their demands.