WALTER Magaya – leader of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries says he is not losing sleep over attacks by apostolic groups following the publication of his controversial book which has brewed a storm.
In his booklet titled Marine Spirits, Mweya Yemumvura: Teaching by Prophet W Magaya, excerpts of which are broadcast on his Yadah TV channel, he claims that the Vapositori, as they are popularly known, are derived from spirits that reside in the marine kingdom and that they do not believe in the Bible.
Magaya also claims that apostolic preachers have a propensity to threaten congregants with death.
“It is from these Orion and Leviathan spirits of the marine kingdom where false, non-Bible believing white garment churches (mapositori ekumasowe) are derived,” Magaya says in his booklet.
“It is also unfortunate that many people have been deceived to follow or visit these kinds of shrines (masowe) in an effort to go over their problems, yet to no avail.
“Many people who have visited these non-Bible believing churches have had their problems worsened while others have been permanently hooked to them after receiving various continuous serious threats including death (zviga zverufu netsaona) thereby becoming members,” he adds.
These controversial remarks have drawn a sharp rebuke from the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) and sympathetic groups who have questioned Magaya’s wisdom in attacking the church.
ACCZ represents at least 700 Apostolic Christian churches in the country and has in turn described Magaya as an agent of demons who is inspired by “his use of a vulture’s head”.
“He has gone out of bounds. That area is not in his constituency, so he must not provoke us. We have never said that he and TB Joshua are witch doctors who are also adulterous and are in the business of cheating people and making money in the process,” fumed ACCZ president Johannes Ndanga.
TB Joshua is Magaya’s spiritual father.
The angry Ndanga said if Magaya was “a real man of God”, he should have foreseen the stampede that killed at least 11 people and injured dozens others in a stadium in Kwekwe, 213km west of Harare, in November.
Parliament on Wednesday said it wants those deaths in Kwekwe investigated to determine the cause of the stampede.
But Magaya says he is unfazed by the stinging criticism by the Vapostori and other interest groups which have launched a series of attacks after the publication of his booklet.
“I do not say things from my head but God has instructed me to deliver that message hence I did so. God knows the reason why he sent me with that type of message hence I am not worried about what society might say,” said Magaya in his response to the attacks.
Zanu PF Harare youth league chairman Godfrey Gomwe has also waded into the saga issuing veiled threats against Magaya.
Gomwe’s threats came moments after President Robert Mugabe had issued a solidarity message with the Vapostori upon his return from the Far East where he had been holidaying with his family during his annual leave.
The Vapositori rank among Mugabe and Zanu PF fiercest followers.
They grace most Zanu PF occasions, including State burials, where their allegiance to Mugabe and his party in never in doubt.
This week they announced they were making overtures to have officials allow them to expose Magaya whom they claim is not a man of God.
And the United Kingdom-based Masowe eChishanu upped the ante by challenging Magaya to perform “his” miracles to solve the country’s instability if he is a real man of God.
“Magaya; grow up! Stop behaving sechinhanha; uri kuswerera kuropota nezve mbiya, gemenzi, kirawa netsanga munhu ane zimhumhu washaya zvekuita here? Horaiti kana uri extraordinary Mutumwa waMwari; miracle worker wechokwadi inga wani pane nhau huru yenyika yeZimbabwe uchaiita riini nhai ‘papa’? (Magaya stop behaving like a child, stop dwelling on the petty but instead if you are a real man of God why can you not fix the problems devilling the country?) – the group wrote on Facebook.
“Eheka tiitirei kuti nyika yeZimbabwe igadzikane ndokuti tione kuti muri vema instant miracles as you claim… Madiiko nhai prophet maita miracle yekuti munyika yeZimbabwe mudyiwe mugutwe? Prophet kana muri vema miracles bvisai dhimoni iri raita kuti Zimbabwe idzungaire. Nyika pachezvayo ndiyo iri kuda a miracle kwete vanhu… (We expect you to exorcise demons which causes instability in Zimbabwe not to concentrate on individuals)
Uri kusandudzira vanhu vapedzwa simba nenzara, pavano donha uri kubva wati vane mademon iyo iri nzara. Stop dwelling on the petty. Magaya hona mhere mhere iri mupolitics dzenyika yauri kuti uri kuita mamiracles uri mairi; hona kupandukirana kuzere muZimbabwe; vakuru vakuru vachinongedzana pasi rese rakateerera, wadii waita miracle nyika ibarirwe runyararo?
“People fall at your church because they are hungry. Solve all the political problems in Zimbabwe, your miracles should be the answer).
Part of what angered the apostolic groups include the reference: “First of all, the ‘prophet’ goes out to the rivers, lakes, coasts or beaches of oceans, mountains and caves to acquire the supernatural powers usually of the mermaid spirit (mweya wenjuzu) before they start their own church while others are groomed within an existing church (masowe) to become a prophet.
magayaMagaya says the marine kingdom is all about water and claims it is the reason why the environs of Vapositori’s shrines resembled a marine kingdom.
“In most cases, there are planted reeds, water lilies and other water-related plants on the ‘altar’ (kirawa).
“The plants are regularly watered to maintain a marine environment. On both sides of the ‘altar’ are large calabashes (makate) filled with some small ones by the sides…
“The members undergo regular visits to waterfalls for baptism to cleanse them of ‘bad spirits’ but unknown to them, they will be further dedicated and initiated into the marine kingdom,” Magaya says in his booklet.