When videos of controversial miracles went viral, his backers were quick to point out that “a prophet is not without honour except in his home”.
However, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri seems on course to shatter the well-known biblical saying.
On Wednesday, the youthful founder of Enlightened Church of God got unusual backing from his fellow young ministers, who only came short of defending him from a social media backlash to his hugely questioned videos.
“As young pastors, we want to welcome back major prophet Bushiri. It is an honour he is coming back to Mzuzu where the ministry began,” Young Pastors Coalition chairperson Patrick Banda told the press in Mzuzu on Wednesday.
Bushiri himself has said people should expect great things to happen in Mzuzu as he is there for a Crusade that he believes will transform people’s lives.
“This is important to me because Mzuzu is where I started from,” he said in an e-mail response from South Africa on Thursday.
“For the backslash on social media, I am not worried about that. I perform great things and not just capturing in the spirit or walking on air. That’s because I have Jesus Christ in me and the bible assures us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
“At the same time, people in Malawi will always believe that everything is fake. That’s the traditional mindset.I know the God I serve and He can do anything through his chosen servants,” he said.
The coalition summoned journalists amid mounting questions over audio-visual depictions of miracles in which the prophet claims used an iPad to photograph “in spirit” a baby, identified as Sphiwe by her father.
Critics might have zoomed onto the ‘miracle’ to show the image was actually preloaded in the gadget’s gallery, but that did not deter the prophet and his team from releasing another video in which he claims to walk in the air—subtly alluding to the biblical tale of Jesus Christ walking on water.
During the press briefing, the young pastors refused to take questions on the authenticity and importance of the miracles that have gone viral.
This is the first time the young pastors, who are well-known for backing ruling political parties, have held a ceremony to welcome a pastor venturing into the city.
Nation on Sunday contacted the prophet’s public relations consultant Kelvin Silungwe for comment on the controversy ahead of his Miracle Week happening from Saturday to Sunday at Mzuzu Stadium.
However, the majority of Mzuzu residents were doing business as usual in the countdown of the religious gathering marketed by a hot-pink billboard in the city.
But the prophet, who was slated to arrive through Lilongwe International Airport on Thursday, was set to make a no mean entry into the city.
Drivers at Mzuzu Main Market spoke of a triumphant entry, saying the prophet had hired nearly 40 taxis to shuttle a procession of delegates flying in to witness his miracle mission.
“Each taxi driver will pocket K80 000 for being part of the motorcade to and from Lilongwe. Most of us are happy to be part of the procession. It is good money,” said the driver who makes a daily income of about K10 000 carrying passengers between Katoto and Luwinga.
Recently, Bushiri become a social media sensation following claims that he would fly into Mzuzu in a personal claim that online tracking ironically traces to the United Nations.
Sources at Mzuzu Aiport said no plane booked in shortly before or during Bushiri’s miracle week.n