Magaya wins Religious Tourism Award

HARARE - Harare metropolitan province held inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Awards last week where Walter Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries was awarded the Religious Tourism Award.

The awards were running under the theme “Social Economic and Spiritual Transformation for Development” and Harare Provincial Affairs minister Mirriam Chikukwa said the awards were meant to recognise and appreciate efforts of different organisations and individuals in society.

“The nominations were followed by an adjudication process by business leaders and PHD Ministries was the ultimate winner,” she said in a statement read on her behalf by Rumbidzayi Kahari, Chikukwa’s personal assistant.

“Through Magaya’s work in this ministry, PHD has managed to internationally market Harare Metropolitan province, as visitors from across the globe are coming to their guest houses.

“In addition, this has resulted in infrastructure development in the province following the completion of Yadah Hotel and the massive housing projects that you are doing in the capital city. This demonstrates that religious organisations play a critical role in society.”

Some of the organisations that scooped Corporate Social Responsibility Awards include Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe, which won the Urban Community Share Ownership Scheme award and CBZ Holdings which walked away with Corporate Social Responsibility Lifetime award.

Prior to the award, Magaya had urged government and locals to support the growth of religious tourism in the country, saying the sector has the potential to turn around the country’s economy, which is currently on the precipice.

Magaya said West African countries such as Nigeria are developing due to booming religious tourism.

“Statistics show that for every six people who land at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Nigeria, four will be visiting popular men of God such as TB Joshua, Chris Oyakhilome and David Oyedepo.

“Religion has made their airport busy, I can tell you,” Magaya said while addressing thousands of congregants at his Waterfall base, in Harare in May.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the biggest mega church is Faith Tabernacle — a 50 000-seat church auditorium and outside over-floor capacity of 250 000 plus of Nigerian Christian author, Preacher David Oyedepo, who is also the Bishop of Living Faith Church World Wide also known as Winners Chapel.

In comparison, TB Joshua’s church — Synagogue Church of all Nations (Scoan) — accommodates 15 000 worshippers on Sundays and according to the United States entertainment conduit “MonteOz”, Joshua is the tenth richest pastor in the world.

Meanwhile, Magaya led about 20 000 members of his church in a clean-up of Harare’s central business district yesterday.

“The rainy season usually comes with diseases such as cholera and typhoid among others hence we are trying to minimise the risk. Apart from this, we are just doing a noble cause in cleaning our city.

“We started with a small number of about 20 000 people and towards Christmas will shall increase the figure to about 80 000 people,” Magaya said.

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