By Wonai Masvingise and Bridget Mananavire
HARARE – Zanu PF has come out ripping at predictions by Nigerian prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua) that death of an ageing African leader is imminent, insisting that the famed prophet is not referring to President Robert Mugabe. The powerful TB Joshua has not named the leader he predicts could be nearing death.
Mugabe’s health has been subject of frenzied reporting by the media as a result of his frequent trips to the Far East where at one time his officials admitted he was receiving cataract attention. But he is not the only leader or former leader who is not well.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela had surgery recently while Zambian leader Michael Sata is receiving treatment in India although officials say he is on a private visit. Malawi’s Bingu wa Mutharika was also rumoured to be not well at some point. Minister of State in the President’s office Didymus Mutasa dismissed the prophecy.
“He (TB Joshua) certainly doesn’t mean our President because there are many African presidents who he can be referring to,” Mutasa said.
“It is not ethical for him to pronounce such a thing because he has got no reason to. I do not think that the Almighty would have shown him that for him to publicly announce. It would have been right for him to keep quiet and when the president passes, then he would say I had seen him die.”
“I do not think that he himself publicised this but his assistants,” said Mutasa. Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo declined to comment. “I do not comment on those issues. Those are things that are not practical. I comment on political and social issues,” Gumbo said.
Mugabe is currently away in Singapore where his officials say he is on a visit to help his daughter secure post-graduate studies although sources say he confided in top government officials on Monday that he was going for treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
The octogenarian leader was said to be suffering from prostate cancer according to whistleblower website — WikiLeaks. Senior politicians and church leaders also slammed TB Joshua accusing the influential prophet of having an “unbiblical” conduct. Bishop Noah Pashapa of Life and Liberty Churches International blasted the prophecy.
“It is unbiblical,” Pashapa said. “There is no biblical precedence to that prophecy. God’s character is not given to inciting or causing confusion, despondency, apprehension or fear in individuals or nations.
“In the Bible, when a prophet is given a message regarding an individual’s ill health, death or demise of a leader, whether it is a good leader or bad leader, the prophet is given specific instructions to approach the particular leader and speak directly in the presence of some witnesses.”
“TB Joshua has caused despondency, fear and apprehension. The prophecy is so general and open to anyone’s interpretation, it is not of God. He is very clever to make vague prophecies and has never been caught to be a false prophet.
“If he is given a prophecy from God it should be clear and it should be given directly to the leader. This guy is just a trouble causer who is causing despondency and fear.”
The outrage followed the prophet’s weekend prophecy at his Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) headquarters last Sunday where he again announced that the end is nigh for doomed African leader.
Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, Douglas Mwonzora said his party did not wish death to anyone. “We are very sorry for the person who is going to die but we do not wish anyone to die as a party,” Mwonzora said. “We are very sorry if someone is going to die.”
Spokesperson of Welshman Ncube’s MDC Nhlanhla Dube said: “As a party, we believe sincerely that the author of life is God Himself. We seek no way of knowing who’s going to die, when; it is the preserve of God. It is not a matter of importance but only creates anxiety which does not serve any purpose in our lives.”
Settlement Chikwinya, an MDC MP, however said the response generated by the prophecy reflected true sentiment of Zimbabweans.
Chikwinya said: “As Zimbabweans, it is generally against our culture to wish for death on any one of our own, however, the excitement generated by the prophecy of TB Joshua among Zimbabweans simply serves to demonstrate that the majority of the people of Zimbabwe want President Mugabe out of politics and pave way for a new order that can deliver real change.”
The Daily News website and social networks like Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with responses to the TB Joshua prophecy.
Commenting on the Daily News website, a reader only identified as Zodwa wrote; “Uh!!! Inga zvakaoma (this is hard to believe). I once read that no one knows when the Lord will come to take his own. How come the prophet is told about other people’s deaths? I hope when his turn comes, he will also tell the world.”
Mweni Tafara wrote: “When the true prophet of heaven by the name of Isaiah was informed of the impending death of King Hezekiah, the true prophet did not chant in the streets but he went straight to Hezekiah and said thus says Musikavanhu/Umkhumkhulu/Umvelinqangi (the Creator), my lord, thy time is nigh.
“But look at the tithe merchant trying to gain more converts to milk tithes from, he is not approaching the requisite head of state, but is simply rabble-rousing. I thought the months he talked about are complete.” Daily News