Miracle men, our country needs you

HARARE - Self proclaimed “men of God” have been in the news in this country for a while now.

Emmanuel Makandiwa and Uebert Angel are some of the high profile prophets who are currently hogging the spotlight.

A few months ago, the charismatic preachers had a photo with South Africa’s first black president joining the long list of Nelson Mandela’s cheerleaders who have been photographed with him.

Hundreds attend Makandiwa’s homilies every week after which they leave without thousands of dollars of their hard-earned cash after giving to Makandiwa’s United Family International Church (UFIC) following the preacher’s exhortation to give generously.

I have never been anywhere near Makandiwa’s church service but those who have been say big containers are filled with greenbacks and it seems the congregants try to outdo each other by giving more than their fellow worshippers.

Angel recently made the headlines by filling some of his congregants’ pockets with “miracle money” and having their mobile phone accounts credited miraculously. He also claims he can have money credited to his bank account by just praying.

His mate Makandiwa was also reportedly involved in some supernatural alchemy at a prayer meeting when some of his followers found themselves clasping gold and diamond nuggets.

Zimbabwe is not alone in witnessing the phenomenon of these charismatic preachers.

One of the best known in Africa is the redoubtable Nigerian prophet TB Joshua whose accurate prophesies have seen the moneyed and powerful beating a path to Lagos or wherever it is he is based to have their future told or to be prayed for.

Some political leaders dismiss him as a charlatan but that has not stopped their followers from going to be prayed for and maybe get their future foretold.

Only last year TB Joshua forecast the death of an elderly leader in southern Africa and that came to pass.

Malawi’s president Bingu wa Mutharika passed away but not before causing consternation and panic in countries led by elderly leaders some of whom are dismissive of TB Joshua but are superstitious enough to believe it was them the prophet was talking about.

So I guess there were huge sighs of relief when they realised it was wa Mutharika and not them.

TB Joshua also correctly predicted that Nigeria’s football team the Super Eagles would fail to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations held in Angola in 2012.

But I digress; I am supposed to be talking about our local prophets.

After Angel miraculously minted money Finance minister Tendai Biti suggested that maybe he could work his miracle to get our heavily indebted and under-producing country out of the hole it is in.

Angel’s response was that the money was not for those who had failed to run the national economy or for thieves in government.

My Sunday school level knowledge of the Bible tells us: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:13). And yet, by condemning those in government, Angel is being the judge and jury.

Maybe Biti’s was a tongue-in-cheek request but there might be a bit of self-interest in it.

The man has to be the most maligned minister in the coalition government. Some of his Cabinet colleagues and others further down the hierarchy blame him for not allocating enough money to their ministries conveniently forgetting that the country is broke and Biti is not responsible for our predicament nor is he Angel who can make “miracle money.”

But I see it as a very legitimate and valid request. When Jesus fed multitudes from a few loaves of bread and turned water into wine there is nowhere in the Bible that says all those who were fed and drank the wine were believers.

So if the Son of God did not discriminate I suppose “men of God” should follow suit.

The Bible talks about God’s charity; “He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”(Matthew 5:45)

If Angel believes the government is full of corrupt, good-for-nothing embezzlers then why doesn’t he oversee expenditure of the “miracle money” himself?

I can think of many sectors that could benefit from the cash, our health system needs a huge cash injection, education, the roads are in very bad shape — that’s an understatement — and how about donating some water purification chemicals to the various local government authorities.

But instead of giving money to the government he could pay it directly to whoever provides the service and every Zimbabwean, believers and non-believers, would benefit.

It’s true the government is responsible for the welfare of its people but it is no secret that our government has been struggling to do this even before Biti became minister.

So I really do not see anything wrong with some divine intervention. And, it would shame those skeptics who question Angel and Makandiwa’s miraculous feats.

And just imagine how big their congregations would get, after such philanthropic acts I would not be surprised if their followers swell to millions rather than the current thousands! - ish Mafundikwa

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