Speculation is rife in Zimbabwe that prominent Nigerian tele-vangelist Prophet Temitope Balogun (TB) Joshua is set to visit Zimbabwe as early as next week. The prophet reportedly told his congregation during last Sunday service broadcast on his Emmanuel Television that he was ‘headed for a troubled African country’.
Unconfirmed reports this week said TB Joshua was scheduled to meet with President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and that he was in the process of acquiring land in Ruwa, giving credence to suggestions that he was likely to open a church branch in Zimbabwe.
According to a notice published in the local Press recently the TB Joshua-led Synagogue, Church of All Nations (Scoan) sent proposals to Ruwa Town Board seeking to purchase land.
President Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba however said yesterday he was not aware of TB Joshua’s planned visit to Zimbabwe.
“I am not aware of that and I have no reason to be aware because I don’t speak for him,” Charamba said. “I don’t even know him. I know President Mugabe.”
He then suggested it was probably the MDC-T that was bringing TB Joshua to Zimbabwe. “It’s the MDC-T that’s bringing him. You think we don’t know? Check with them,” said Charamba.
MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, however, dismissed the claims saying he was in the dark about such plans.
On Sunday, TB Joshua said he would soon visit a “troubled country” on the continent and meet its President. Harare wasyesterday already abuzz with speculation on the prophet’s visit.
Zimbabwe is battling political and economic challenges ahead of looming elections which many fear could be bloody unless Sadc recommended reforms were implemented with speed.
In response to an enquiry from NewsDay via Emmanuel TV , Scoan said: “Presently the prophet has no plans of coming to Zimbabwe” and if there were such plans in future, they will be announced on Emmanuel Television channel.
Sources, however, said prior to the Sunday announcement, there was already word making the rounds about TB Joshua’s planned Zimbabwe visit. Another source said she understood the inclusive government was trying to bring TB Joshua to Zimbabwe for a prayer meeting.
“I am told that he was invited by the GNU. They were trying to invite him for a combined prayer meeting so if they are denying it, probably the negotiations failed because I don’t see (President) Mugabe agreeing to something like that,” she said.
Scores of well-to-do Zimbabweans have recently visited TB Joshua’s church in Nigeria. Tsvangirai was there two years ago reportedly to seek spiritual guidance. In the same year, former Marondera West Zanu PF MP Tracy
Mutinhiri and Zanu PF Politburo member and Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri also visited the church.
Zimbabwe Football Association president Cuthbert Dube, formerly wheel-chair bound, is now able to walk after attending one of Scoan’s healing sessions.
TB Joshua early this year foretold the imminent death of an ageing African leader, an oracle that apparently came true with the sudden death of Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika.
TB Joshua has also predicted the death of pop star Michael Jackson, the resignation of Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf and election of Ghanaian President John Atta-Mills.
He also prophesied the fall from grace of Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo and Ivory Coast football team’s defeat by Zambia in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon. NEWSDAY