THERE was commotion at the 5-star rated Meikles Hotel yesterday when scores of people mobbed United Family International Church founder Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa as he drove off in his latest Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG that some motoring freaks claimed to be the first of its kind in Africa.
Clad in his favoured floral Angelo Galasso shirt and a matching faded jean, Prophet Makandiwa, who had just had lunch at the hotel, drove off in his latest black "beast" that reports say arrived in the country last week from South Africa.
The latest acquisition, which a quick check on the internet shows that it cost over US$300,000, turned heads at the hotel as some business executives who were at the hotel and scores of people who were passing by could be seen taking pictures of the imposing vehicle.
As he walked out of the hotel, Prophet Makandiwa, who has been quoted saying he has bought over 500 cars for pastors from several ministries, went straight behind the wheel and drove off in movie-style with some motorists in hot pursuit.
"This is the manifestation of blessings from God. I go to the Family of God Church, but I admire this man a lot. I just wanted to get close to him," said one lady who identified herself as Shupikai Muza from Greendale.
"I was having lunch seated next to Makandiwa and I didn't even realise it was him. It was only after I walked out and I saw people milling around his car that I became curious. I am not very sure but I am a car freak and I know for sure that this Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG was launched a few months ago in Germany.
"As I was busy admiring the car, Makandiwa walked out of the hotel and that's when I recognised him. I took a few pictures of the car and in no time the man drove off. Some people ran after his convoy showering him with all sorts of praise," said a Harare businessman who refused to be identified.
Information gathered by My Zimbabwe News alleges that Makandiwa's spiritual father, Ghanaian-based Prophet Victor Kusi Boateng is reportedly in the country and checked in at Meikles Hotel at the beginning of the weekend. The purpose of his visit could not be immediately ascertained.
My Zimbabwe News is also informed that it was at the Meikles Hotel, back in 2007 when Prophet Makandiwa first met Prophet Uebert Angel who was by then still known as Prophet Mudzanire. According to sources within Spirit Embassy, at first Prophet Makandiwa, who was by then known as Rev Makandiwa in AFM, Chitungwiza's Hebron Assembly, did not even believe that Angel was a true man of God.
Angel was based in UK then and had been invited as a guest speaker by Apostle Batsirai Java, founder of Tabernacle of Grace Ministries who is also a son-in-law for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. My Zimbabwe News also also learnt that while having a chat with some believers at Meikles Hotel, Prophet Angel prayed for a crippled man who was on a wheel chair and his bones could reportedly be heard making a cracking sound as the then UK-based prophet was praying.
Just after the prayer, the man got off the wheel chair and started walking, much to the amazement of then Rev Makandiwa who was allegedly present when the said miracle occurred at Meikles Hotel. The two men of God are said to have then exchanged contacts and that reportedly gave birth to their friendship which eventually saw Prophet Angel introducing Rev Makandiwa to Prophet Boateng in Ghana before Makandiwa became a prophet too.
Meanwhile, information gleaned on the internet shows that the Mercedes Benz 6.0 litre V12 Biturbo can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 4,3 seconds with a top speed of 250km/h. Before buying this latest vehicle, Prophet Makandiwa, who clearly has an expensive taste, was driving a S600 V12. Just last week, flamboyant businessman Phillip Chiyangwa took delivery of a 2014 GL63 AMG, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe. He boasted that he had paid US$400 000 for the vehicle and it looks like Prophet Makandiwa has joined this club of expensive drivers.