Zimbabwe: Disaster strikes religious rally
Earlier this month it was reported that over 3,000 foreign visitors had arrived in Zimbabwe for a night of prayer organised by the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) headed by a flamboyant charlatan called Walter Magaya, above.
Today we learn that 11 people who attended the conman’s latest healing and deliverance service in the central town of Kwekwe died as the result of a stampede.
The BBC reports that four people died in the Kwekwe stadium, while seven others were declared dead on arrival in hospital.
The stampede occurred as thousands of worshippers rushed to leave after Magaya service.
PHD’s Facebook page prophesied this about those attending the Kwekwe stadium event:
No one will go back the same – all for the glory of God. We serve a Mighty God of wonders!
Some witnesses accused the police of blocking most of the stadium exits and then firing tear gas as people battled to get through the only one left open.
The police have denied firing tear gas.
Magaya told a local newspaper that when he learnt of the deaths, it was:
The saddest moment of my life.
Walter Magaya claims to use miracles to cure all kinds of ailments, help people achieve their desires, and cast out demonic spirits. Magaya counts the popular Nigerian pastor T B Joshua as his mentor. In September, Joshua blamed a “UFO” for the collapse of a church building that killed 17.
His popularity increased when he sought to convert a well-known pole dancer, Beverly Sibanda to Christianity. But her love affair with his ministry was pretty short-lived and she began bad-mouthing the fraud, something she later apologised for.
Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries was again in the news at the end of October when two of its “bouncers” were arrested along with some other thugs for assault and threatening behaviour.
On November 8, PHD official, Admire Mango, was reported here as saying that in addition to the 3,00o foreigners who had poured into Zimbabwe for the the all night prayer spectacular – oddly called “Turning Around Part 3” – had also attracted over 180 000 local visitors.
Ahead of the event, Mr Mango declared:
This is going to be Southern Africa’s biggest religious show.
He called upon all Zimbabweans with various problems to come and receive blessings.
After the entertainment, the crowd will have an opportunity to listen to the prophet’s healing and deliverance message. We are calling upon all people from different races who are suffering from any ailments such as HIV, BP and cancer among other diseases to come and be healed. At the all night prayer, some will receive prophetic words that will change their lives according to God’s plan.
Hat tip: Agent Cormac