By Wonai Masvingise and Thelma Chikwanha
HARARE – Reports that Temitope Balogun Joshua, a Nigerian prophet using the name TB Joshua, has foretold the death of an African president soon have raised debate in many African countries including Zimbabwe where ageing presidents are still in power.
TB Joshua, whose prophecies have often come to pass, reportedly made the shocking prophecy during a Sunday service this week, according to several online reports.
A Zambian website Tumfweko.com claimed that TB Joshua prophesied this message during a Sunday live service broadcast on his Christian television channel Emmanuel TV on Sunday, which they monitored.
A Malawian website Nyasatimes.com also carried the story yesterday. TB Joshua is the leader of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan), based in Nigeria.
Joshua, who commands a large following in Nigeria and beyond, said an African leader would die within 60 days. He failed to hint on the location of the leader, leaving wild guesses to fly around.
“God loves us, you should pray for one African head of state, when I say President… again the sickness that is likely to take life; sudden death, it could be sickness being in the body for a long time but God showed me the country and the place but I’m not here to say anything like that.”
“When it’s too close and there is nothing I can do about it, I’ll mention it clear; the place, the country and the person so that they can see what they can do to rescue him. Okay, it is very close. Jesus loves us. Wave your hand, wave your hand,” TB Joshua was quoted as saying by the online publications.
His prophecy immediately attracted the attention of Zimbabweans who began posting their own conclusions on social networking sites such as Facebook.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, whose leader President Robert Mugabe was the subject of unsavoury facebook postings following the “prophesy”, refused to comment.
“I do not believe some of these prophecies of doom,” said Gumbo.
Mugabe, turning 88 this month, leads Africa’s league of aged leaders struggling with reported ill-health.
In the past, TB Joshua’s aides have been forced to deny some prophecies attributed to the “Man of God” although some of his prophecies have been proved to be true. The Daily News was yesterday inundated with callers who wanted to pass on the “prophecy”.
The Daily News tried to call Emmanuel TV, TB Joshua’s Television Channel yesterday evening but there was no response.
Other aged African leaders that come to mind are Senegal’s 85-year-old Abdoulaye Wade. Once respected as a democrat after spending more than two decades as an opposition leader, Wade is ignoring fatal protests by citizens opposed to his manoeuvres to run for another seven year term.
Kenya’s 81-year-old Mwai Kibaki, whose refusal to leave power in 2007 led to widespread violence that killed at least 1 200 people, has stated his intention not to contest in elections set for August this year.
Paul Biya of Cameroon is 79 and has ruled for more than three decades and has shown no intention of leaving. Sadc’s newest president on the block, Zambia’s Michael Sata is an elderly 75 year-old and has been reported to suffer several ailments.
One of Zimbabwe’s younger politicians, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (57) has in the past consulted TB Joshua, hoping for some charm.
TB Joshua is renowned for prophesising the death of pop king Michael Jackson, the resignation of Pakistan’s ex- president Pervez Musharraf anԁ the rise of the current president of Ghana John Atta Mills, a few weeks before the events took place.
TB Joshua also “predicted” the fall of Cote d’Ivoire dictator Laurent Gbagbo last year. Apart from Tsvangirai, prominent Zimbabweans known to have visited the prophet include Zanu PF politburo women’s affairs secretary Oppah Muchinguri, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and the late musician Tongai Moyo.
In 2008, Atta Mills also visited SCOAN to seek divine assistance during elections in his country. The Ghanaian president said in a thanksgiving service following his inauguration that TB Joshua had prophesied his victory in the Ghanaian polls, specifying there would be three elections and the results would be released in January.
In Zambia and Malawi, there were calls on social networks and some onlines to pray for their presidents after TB Joshua’s reported Sunday prophecy. Daily News