By Thelma Chikwanha
HARARE – Zanu PF has dismissed renowned prophet TB Joshua, saying he is treading on the taboo by foretelling the imminent death of an African leader.
Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesperson, said TB Joshua’s “prophecy” was offside, particularly as it was unheard of in African tradition to predict the death of an elder member of the community.
The fact that TB Joshua was predicting the death of a head of state made the popular prophet’s claim even more unpalatable and absurd, Gumbo said. “It goes against tradition. You do not talk about such things. It is taboo. I do not believe in these prophecies, visions and dreams,” Gumbo said.
He refused to delve into nasty remarks flying on social networking sites and other Internet websites linking President Robert Mugabe to TB Joshua’s prophecy. Mugabe, who turns 88 in a fortnight, is the oldest president on the continent. The veteran leader has been in power since 1980 when the country gained independence from Britain.
His Zanu PF trashes TB Joshua’s prophecy health has been a subject of speculation due to his advanced age. TB Joshua, who is leader of the Synagogue Church of all Nations, predicted this week that an African president would fall sick and suffer a sudden death soon.
The prophet, some of whose prophecies have come to pass, did not name the head of state he was referring to. He also failed to give the location of the leader but promised to do so in the near future.
“God loves us, you should pray for one African head of state, when I say president…again the sickness is likely to take his life; sudden death, it could be sickness 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 will mention it clear, the place, the country and the person so that they can see what they can do to rescue him. Okay it’s very close, Jesus loves us. Wave your hand, wave your hand,” TB Joshua said.
The prophecy immediately attracted the attention of Zimbabweans who began posting their own conclusions on social network sites such as Facebook. Yesterday, the Daily News was inundated with calls from people who said the prophecy was too close to home.
Mugabe is not the only African leader battling old age and persistent reports of ill-health though. People in countries such as Zambia have also been calling for prayers for their leaders following TB Joshua’s statement.
Mugabe leads a league of old African heads of state which includes Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade, 85, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki, 81, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, 79, Zambia’s Michael Sata, 75, Angola’s Eduardo Dos Santos, 69 and Congo Brazzaville’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, 69.
A Daily News reader who identified himself as Sibanda said this was not the first time Joshua had prophesied about the death of a famous person.
He said Joshua’s prophecy was bound to come true if the example of his previous prophecies, such as the death of pop music icon Michael Jackson were anything to go by. Sibanda said TB Joshua had previously talked about Zimbabwe in his sermons.
“There is a prophecy that was made on the 8th of January (2012), Prophet TB Joshua said pray for Zimbabwe, pray for its leader because if something happens to the leader there I see a crisis,” Sibanda quoted TB Joshua as saying.
A hairdresser who preferred anonymity said she was convinced the prophecy by TB Joshua would come to pass.
“I know it will definitely happen because TB Joshua never misses. He shoots straight. I have already started counting the days to see which leader he is talking about,” she said.
A local human rights activist who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter said he took such prophecies with a pinch of salt.
“I do not like to speak ill of the men of God but the prophecy that we know is not only prophecy of doom. Why an African president? Why not say so and so is dying and give us a time and place. If it does not happen some people might be inspired to assassinate those people and that would leave us with a crisis in our hands,” he said. Daily News