PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya does not possess a personal mobile phone but communicates through third party phones whenever he conducts his business, a Harare court heard on Thursday.
The revelations were made by Admire Mango, a senior overseer at Magaya’s church, under cross examination by a Harare lawyer Tafadzwa Hungwe during a trial in which the latter is representing businessman Upenyu Mushangwe and three others who are accused of swindling Magaya of $116 000.
Mushangwe is jointly charged with Cosmas Mashaninga, Kudakwashe Larry Mapfumo and Clifford Tinashe Gonde in an alleged botched importation scam of a Land Rover Discovery 4 from South Africa.
Hungwe asked Mango what Magaya’s personal mobile number was during cross examination to which he replied: “Prophet Magaya does not have a personal number and if he wants to make calls he uses the general church lines.”
However, Hungwe told the court that Mushangwe had a personal relationship with Magaya and that they used to communicate over the phone.
The lawyer then suggested that on the importation of the vehicle in question his client dealt personally with Magaya but communicated with him through Mango’s phone.
“That is not correct, it is me who conducted the business with the accused over my phone and in the messages he addressed me as overseer,” Mango replied.
The State witness further told the court that in all instances that he dealt with Mushangwe or gave him money, it was in the presence of one Gilbert Mafusire, a member of the church’s security department.
However, in his defence Mushangwe insisted that he and Magaya had a personal relationship and that at one point he [Mushangwe] sold his Marlborough house to the church leader for $450 000 after some negotiations.
The defence further argued that Mushangwe bought the Discovery 4 as a seed for the coming to fruition of a prophecy Magaya had revealed about him, and that it was therefore Magaya’s obligation to pay duty for the vehicle after he had delivered it to him.
The trial continues next Thursday before Regional Magistrate Noel Mupeiwa. The State is represented by Liberty Gono.