The recent visit to Windhoek in Namibia by prophet Shepherd Bushiri has infuriated some members of the clergy in that country who are questioning his authenticity.
Bushiri’s Namibian critics—as quoted in the Namibian media—say the Malawian cleric’s methods contradict biblical teachings and the visit there was aimed at making a fortune from desperate people.
In Malawi, there has also been a debate with some critics querying his methods, arguing that they appear out of sync with biblical teachings.
According to Namibian major newspapers, Bushiri made history by attracting the biggest crowd ever witnessed in that country when more than 20 000 people braved heavy rains to attend his crusade at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on January 29.
The newspapers compared the number of people who attended the crusade only to those that attended that country’s independence celebrations in 1990.
In its online edition of February 2 2016, The Namibian stated that the social media was trending with comments on whether the self-styled prophet’s visit to Namibia was purely commercial.
A day before the crusade, the Malawian-born prophet was hosted to a gala dinner at the Ramatex Complex where more than 3 000 people paid 1 000 Namibian dollar (N$) about K47 700 to attend.
The paper further claimed that 16 people paid amounts ranging between N$10 000 (about K447 700) and N$110 000 (about K5.2 million) to just sit close to Bushiri during the gala dinner while he moved around with a police escort.
Deputy president of the Council of Churches in Namibia Clem Marais said they were concerned about the proliferation of churches in their country and what he called the “fly-by-night prophets”.
Leader of the Association of Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches of Namibia Pastor Fritz Gaweseb said people should stop running after prophets for miracles.
“I have serious reservations about Bushiri. He is deceiving people. Is it only foreign pastors that can perform miracles such that people run whenever they come while local churches are empty?” Gawaseb is quoted by the paper.
The paper also quotes Namibia’s Home Affairs permanent secretary Patrick Nandago as saying that Bushiri was in the country on a work permit while Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said what the prophet did in Namibia qualified him to pay tax.
However, The Namibian also quotes the crusade’s organisers saying that Bushiri never pocketed any money from the gala dinner where promotional materials such as hats and T-shirts, holy water and anointed oil were also being sold.
Efforts to talk to prophet Bushiri on Sunday proved futile as his representatives’ phones could not be reached.