Sunday, May 26, 2024

The booming holy shrubs of Bushiri

ECG faithfuls worshiping during one of the church's service

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, who also claims a fair share of business investments, has boomed with a wave that suggests he knows ‘the tricks of God’ (Mposa Tchali Kelvo).

Bushiri who, under mysterious circumstances, returned to Malawi from South Africa, erected his gospel ministry in Lilongwe where hundreds of religious tourists from South Africa and other countries across the globe are making their pilgrimages to Lilongwe.

The prophetic preacher who is described by his followers as a miracles circuit operates a non-denominational religious establishment called Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) which he founded largely in 2010 – according to information available on his church’s website.

Around 2012, the evangelist star relocated to South Africa where he established the headquarters of his church in Tshwane District in Pretoria.

While in Pretoria, his church pulled multitudes from within and across South Africa and his church continued to grow at a stunning rate until his service gatherings were described by Tshwane municipality authorities as ‘public events’ requiring state security and regulation.

Bushiri, who is the principle preacher at his church, attracted thousands of congregants at least three days a week on normal gatherings and fill up South Africa’s FNB stadium, said to be a largest stadium in Africa, with more than 95,000 attendees during annual crossover events held on every 31st December.

Known for his lavish lifestyle and preference for slick suits, Bushiri is often described as one of the wealthiest religious leaders in Africa.

His fortune is estimated at $150m and his possessions reportedly include private jets, luxury cars and various properties.

His glorious days in South Africa, however, came to an end when he and his wife became subjects of plethora of integrity-tarnishing scandals and criminal allegations including fraud, money laundering and theft.

He was eventually arrested together with his wife on these charges and the couple’s long-running case was characterized with twists and unpredictable turns.

Several unsuccessful attempts on his life were made by unknown assailants, a development that forced the preacher to put into practice the gospel recorded in Proverbs 22:3 which says “when a wise man sees trouble ahead, he runs away but the foolish see danger, go right ahead into it and perish.”

Upon his arrival in Malawi, he publicly announced his escape from South Africa and the South African government commenced extradition charges against Bushiri and his wife.

Meanwhile, his extradition case is yet to be concluded by the courts in Malawi.

The now fugitive preacher has planted his church headquarters in Malawi’s capital, where his faithfuls from South Africa and beyond are following him.


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