SCORES of small-scale gold miners in West Nicholson, just after Gwanda town, were pleasantly surprised to get a visit from a man they least expected to take an interest in their line of work – gold mining.
The visitor was non-other than the man of the cloth, Prophet Walter Magaya of the Prophetic Healing Deliverance (PHD) Ministries.
West Nicholson is a gold rich area with hundreds of small-scale gold miners working day and night in search of the precious metal.
According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe gold buying arm, Fidelity Printers, small scale miners contribute 60 percent of the gold produced by the country annually.
“We had no idea Prophet Magaya would have an interest in gold mining, especially when it comes to us omakorokoza (small scale miners) because people think we are just violent people who spend all our money on alcohol and women.
“He walked around, talking to us and asking about some of the challenges that we face and gave us advice to always work hard.
“One thing that he kept emphasising was for us to avoid violence and always work in harmony so that God can bless the fruits of our hard work and sweat,” said Sibongumusa Mlilo, a small-scale miner who has been working in the gold rich area of West Nicholson for seven years.
Prophet Magaya owns a football team Yadah FC.
He has no known business interests in gold mining.
Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus late last year, most communities around the world have been left scathed by it. The virus — which spreads like wildfire when people gather in close proximity — has disturbed normality, shaken up countries’ economies, put pressure on their health systems and forced churches to find creative ways to preach the gospel. But this has come at a financial cost for many churches.
Most church leaders have reminded their congregants to keep tithing, but they know many of them — the barber, the electrician, the musician — have also seen their finances rocked by the pandemic shutdown.