Prophet Walter Magaya has sensationally revealed he seriously considered relocating to South Africa last year in the wake of the battering he was receiving on a number of fronts in this country where he felt he was no longer wanted nor appreciated by his countrymen.
He said he only decided to stay because he felt such a move would have sent the wrong signal that he was fleeing from the legal woes that were stalking him, including accusations he raped a student, a charge which he strenuously denied.
The student later withdrew the charges.
In a candid and wide-ranging interview with our sister newspaper The Herald’s Senior Sports Editor, Robson Sharuko last week, the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader, who is set to hold a crusade in Cape Town this week, said:
– He toyed with the idea of turning his back on his motherland and going to settle in South Africa where he felt he was loved and appreciated.
– The battering from a cocktail of accusations took a huge toll on him and he ended up feeling the best way out of it was to leave the country and resettle elsewhere.
– He was held back from pursuing that line of thought by the realisation that it could have been misconstrued as an act of fleeing from his legal challenges which he felt he could conquer with the power of prayer.
– South Africa was a good possible base for him because he has always felt loved and respected by the people in that country who offer him more respect than the one he gets here at home.
– His ministry has more members in South Africa and Zambia than those back home even though he considers PHD to have the biggest membership here when compared to other ministries.
– He felt leaving Zimbabwe would be a betrayal of those who have stood by him, in good and bad times, and could effectively signal the end of the ambitious projects, including his beloved football club, which he had started.
“I wanted to relocate at some point, l think last year, l wanted to relocate last year to South Africa,” he said.
“What stopped me was that, maybe, people would think l was running away from something and so l didn’t relocate for that reason so that l clear the conscience of the people.
“But l really wanted to relocate.
“There were times that l felt neglected, there were some times that l felt unloved or just unwanted in my country and l felt like l had to relocate and those were serious thoughts and l actually planned over it but the few people that showed me love made me stay.”
He said to escape the battering of negativity that he usually receives, he finds a lot of refugee in a number of things, including prayer and sport, and they both came handy in his decision-making to stay here.
“One of them is sport (which he uses to find strength in the eye of the storms), you see, when you are sponsoring a young man who is played by football and is 16 and you see his talent and you are very certain that if you are not there for him this talent will be wasted, you see, l get a reason to wake up tomorrow to see that young man pursuing his dream,” he said.
“When l do sport, l am also creating my own encouragement, l am also encouraging myself to go on because, to be honest, a lot has happened and a lot has been said and a lot has been planned and a lot has been planted, a lot has been debated and l have been accused of doing a lot of things.
“But l have made myself remain strong because of the young man and the young girl who are doing well in their sport and l would wish them to pursue more and more and l can see, 100 percent, that if l am not there, they are doomed and so l would like to be there for them.
“In other words, l am here not because of me but because of people.”
He said he has always felt more wanted and loved in neighbouring countries and he has started some football clubs in South Africa, Zambia and Botswana.
“We have got some few clubs that are already running in Botswana and South Africa. I’m actually bigger outside Zimbabwe than in Zimbabwe in terms of ministry, in terms of numbers, we have more members outside Zimbabwe than in Zimbabwe.
“South Africa, Botswana and Zambia we have more people that follow me there than here and we keep our statistics through the social media sites that we have and the follow-ups that we have on our phone calls and when l go there for service there are more people there than here in Zimbabwe which has actually pushed me to create my own teams there and my prayer and my dream is also to compete in the ABSA Premiership Soccer League because l have the people.” H-Metro