By Garikai Mazara
It started off as a joke on Wednesday morning when Oscar Pambuka kindly asked his Facebook family to refer to him as Prophet Oscar Pambuka henceforth.
Then as confirmation that it was not a joke after all, Zimbabweans networked through the same social media platform (Facebook) on Thursday woke up to the announcement by Pambuka that he would be conducting his first service today in Houghton Park.
The reactions to the two announcements were mixed; whilst others took the cautious and biblical approach, that we should judge not, others were forthright: Oscar is no prophet and should be no prophet.
Then on Friday morning, asserting his newly-found profession and kindly reminding the Facebook community not to judge him, rather to mind their own business, Pambuka posted yet again.
“Yesterday I revealed that I am a ‘prophet’ and all hell broke loose because I saw that most of you don’t even know what the term ‘prophet’ means. A simple definition of a ‘prophet’ is an inspired teacher or proclaimer of God’s will.
“I also saw that most of you are used to the theatrical and trance-making prophets who tell you that the undergarments you are wearing is black or white, ignoring those who proclaim God’s will.”
Expectedly, the reactions to the three Facebook postings were as unforgiving as they were exalting.
But how does one exactly become a pastor, prophet or bishop? Is it by anointment, appointment or ordainment?
Shingai Rukwata Ndoro, who has not made his views on religion, and especially Christianity, a secret, was quick to proffer an explanation: “Prophet, pastor, senior pastor, elder, bishop, etc, it is all the same in that part of the world. I would advise him to call himself pastor.”
But Pambuka is adamant that he is a “prophet” who heads the Oscar Pambuka Ministries.
Whilst it can be argued that anyone can receive such a calling, what has not escaped the attention of many, especially the thousands that follow Pambuka on Facebook, is that his postings and comments, even after revealing that he is now a “prophet”, have been littered with expletives, a behaviour which many see as unbecoming of a man-of-the-cloth.
Rising to national prominence as a news anchor on national broadcaster, ZTV, Pambuka was to cement his love with television audiences by hosting Melting Pot, an issues-based programme in which he invited different guests to the studio to discuss burning topics.
He then joined Prophet Walter Magaya’s Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministries, where at one time he was the church’s spokesperson. He left the church in unclear circumstances.
He was to join hands with another equally controversial man-of-the-cloth, Prophet Talent Madungwe, who claimed to have conversed with God over the phone and arrested Satan.
Some are arguing that Pambuka got his inspiration from his interactions with the two prophets.
But then came the allegations, and conviction, that he, together with former Highfield legislator Psychology Maziwisa, had swindled the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority of $12 000 through misrepresentation.
Last December, the pair was caged six-and-half years and they were only released on bail when they appealed both sentence and conviction.
In-between, he had flirtations with dancehall artistes, which saw him try his hand recording some songs, many which did not make it onto mainstream radio charts.
Given the shadowy and care-free lifestyles of dancehall artistes, many of his Facebook friends have been quick to condemn his sudden conversion into a “prophet”.
To which he had a ready answer: “Carry your own cross and let God the Creator of everything judge, not us beings fighting for our own salvation. That prophet, pastor or whatever you call it, you listen to at your church, did God speak from the Heavens and say this man or woman is from me?
“Who are you to say this person does not qualify or qualifies?
‘‘God is not a politician that he takes sides and favours numbers. Not at all. God loves that person who follows His will. Period. You can be one or two out of millions, it’s ok. Prophets are not voted into office like you think or need to be ordained on Facebook.”
It remains to be seen how Christians will react to Oscar Pambuka Ministries, or as he claimed during the week, that miracles galore await those who will make it to Prophet Pambuka’s service today. The Sunday Mail