…hundreds of Malawians made the journey to Lagos
…modern day prophets faking miracles
…Ubert Angel, Bushiri all face same accusations.
Morden day self-anointed Prophets T.B Joshua (deceased), Major Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and Zimbabwean Prophet Ubert Angel have one thing in common, -their meteoric rise to fame was closely tied to self-professed divine powers and miracles- the same that have led to their sudden downfall.
They have also been accused of rape and theft of money from unsuspecting followers- some of whom still believe that they are miracle performers and continue to defend them, accusing critics of being “devils’ agents” despite claims from their former close associates.
While Joshua might escape prosecution because he is dead, Bushiri is fighting against his extradition to South Africa where his colourful criminal case docket includes allegations of rape, fraud and theft.
Ubert Angel (his real name Mudzanire) was recently caught on camera by Al Jazeera investigative team which exposed his money laundering schemes and former Pastors at his Church in the UK have accused him of raping their wives. An Angolan woman also once claimed she was raped.
Their supporters strongly dispute the media and court versions, likening it to “persecution” of the religious leaders, whose lifestyle and demeanour have nothing to do with Biblical mission but prosperity on earth. Very few have actually prospered with the Prophets who own jets, helicopters and mansions in countries listed among the poorest in the world.
TB Joshua in Malawi
Hundreds, if not thousands of Malawians paid an average of US$1200 to visit TB Joshua while many more watched on his Emmanuel Television and the controversial Evangelist had his prominent backers, apart from his said to be Prophecy related to Malawi.
It is now known that his Prophecies were being redone to suit events and pretend that was announced previously, despite having no one to fact check.
His most famous Prophecy is related to the death of the third Republican President Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012, when after his demise he projected on Emmanuel TV that he had announced earlier that “Pray for Malawi something big was set to happen.”
However, his prophecies which were interpreted to have meant the death of Robert Mugabe years later proved to be fake, with Mugabe later laughing about it and his resurrection. The year Mugabe died there was no prophecy about him.
The fourth Republican President Joyce Banda was an ardent TB Joshua follower and is appearing amongst many African leaders who believed that the Prophet had miracle power. TB Joshua missed Banda’s 2014 re-election bid and also missed the World Cup and Secretary Hilary Clinton’s elections against Donald Trump. He had predicted Clinton would win.
Other followers included Bishop Samama of Glorious Light International and Former Gender Minister Patricia Kaliati. Hosts of other businessmen and women also travelled to Lagos in Nigeria to seek “miracles” spending thousands of dollars in the process.
The Investigator Magazine tried to speak to former coordinators of TB Joshua in Malawi, and they all claimed they left the Church a long time ago with one telling us off-record, “We had targets of people to go and we received a commission.”
BBC T.B Joshua’s expose
The BBC aired a three-part documentary speaking to over 30 former associates of TB Joshua who died in 2021 and they have created a horrifying picture of abuse and gross violations, while families of 116 people who died in 2014 after a building collapsed have claimed intimidation and bags of money were offered to buy their silence.
TB Joshua supporters claim it’s a smear campaign by white people against successful evangelists, despite the serious nature of the allegations.
His former associates claim he staged miracles by enlisting actors and paid poor people to act sick, mixing “blessed” fruit drinks which were infused with proper medication. Serious cases of sickness were never allowed.
Joshua who founded his Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos more than three decades ago, according to the BBC staged the theatrical healings – showing the physically disabled walking and on one occasion purporting to resurrect a dead person – were filmed. Along with testimonies of those he claimed to have cured, they were then sent on VHS tapes to churches across the world.
The BBC reported that In 2004, Nigeria’s broadcast regulator banned stations from airing the supposed miracles of pastors on live terrestrial TV, prompting Joshua to launch Emmanuel TV on satellite and then online. His global television and social media empire became one of the most successful Christian networks in the world. His purported miracles were broadcast to millions across Europe, the Americas, South-East Asia and Africa. His YouTube channel had hundreds of millions of views.
But Joshua, who died in 2021 aged 57, was a fraud. The BBC’s investigation, involving more than 25 church insiders from the UK, Nigeria, Ghana, the US, South Africa and Germany, said how he tricked worshippers with a specialised department.s
Agomoh Paul, who supervised the department for 10 years – receiving direct instructions from Joshua, told the BBC that the team was “trained by medical doctors”.
“Any cancerous situation, they send them away. Then people who had normal open wounds that can heal, they bring them in, to present as cancer,” he says.
Every foreign visitor who came to the church to be healed had to fill out a medical report, detailing their illness and the medication they were currently prescribed.
They would be told to stop taking them, but Joshua would order pharmacists to procure the same medicine.
Without their knowledge they would “put those drugs in their fruit drinks,” explains Mr Paul, who said people would be urged to drink the cocktail that had been blessed by Joshua.
This meant while visitors were residing at Scoan they would not become unwell and would believe in the divine healing powers of their pastor.
Tash Ford, now 49, who went to Lagos from the South African city of Johannesburg in 2001 in the hope of having her failing kidney healed, was told to stop taking her drugs.
“It was the promise that… you could supernaturally receive a new kidney,” she told the BBC.
At the time she had already had two kidney transplants. Ms Ford says the disciples said: “Stop taking your medication and just believe.”
She did believe she had been healed. But when she got home, after four weeks of not taking her medicine, she went into renal failure and was admitted to hospital.
The medics initially managed to save her kidney but eventually, it stopped working and she had to have kidney dialysis for more than six years before having a third transplant in 2011.
Ms Ford says when she was at Scoan she never had any doubts: “I honestly thought we were seeing miracles. I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I saw someone walk out of a wheelchair.”
The theatricality seemed to draw everyone in.
The former disciple told the BBC that after being screened, the chosen followers would be told to “exaggerate their problems so that God can heal you and exaggerate your healing”.
“The people, themselves, are clearly being manipulated,” she says.
The church had a ready supply of wheelchairs which followers were coaxed to use. They were warned they would not be healed unless they sat in one when they met Joshua.
“We are telling them: ‘If you come out there, and walk with your legs, Papa will not pray for you. You need to shout: “Man of God, help me, I cannot walk,”‘” says Mr Paul.
Another former disciple, Bisola, who spent 14 years living at Scoan, accompanied Joshua on his National Healing Campaign at the Church of Our Saviour in Singapore in 2006.
She says she saw people in wheelchairs try to stand up after the pastor told the congregation “he had released faith into the stadium”.
However, these people had not been screened and she saw them fall down. “I was crying. I was crying for them,” she says.
The emergency department workers themselves were also being manipulated. They were subjected to horrifying ordeals, including rape, physical violence and torture, and lived by a strict set of rules – forbidden to sleep for more than a few hours at a time.
Now they struggle to understand how and why they continued to follow the pastor’s orders.
“TB Joshua told me: ‘Don’t worry, we use this thing to build people’s faith in Christ.’ I wasn’t having in mind that I was actually doing something wrong. I thought I was doing something that would help to build the faith of people in the church,” says Mr Paul.
For Ms Ford, it has meant she has lost all faith in organised religion: “I wish we had known that it was all a farce, that it wasn’t true. I was manipulated into believing that what the prophet was doing was supernatural, miracles, wonders, signs.”
Some disciples allege they were charged with finding people who needed
When they performed healing crusades in countries outside Nigeria, they would go to the poorer areas of a city to search for people living in poverty.
“We would say: ‘We need you to just act out this particular scene and we will pay you,'” another former disciple told the BBC.
“We get them into hotels, we get them cleaned up. They come, they do what they do. We give them their money and the rest is history,” she says.
Before the service, they would tell Joshua which rows they had planted these people, and what clothes they were wearing, so he would know who to perform his supposed miracles on.
“People would be brought in just to pretend that they were healed,” she says.
The “healing miracles” broadcast to millions regularly included medical reports stating people had been cured of HIV/Aids and diseases like cancer.
Doctors were interviewed on camera confirming the cures.
In 2000 Nigerian journalist Adejuwon Soyinka reported that these medical certificates were fake, but Joshua quashed his investigation and it went nowhere.
To this day some people believe they were healed, but insiders say it was all a performance on the late preacher’s part.
“The whole thing is stage-managed and faked. It’s faked,” says Mr Paul, describing Joshua as an “evil genius”.
Bushiri facing rape Charges
A South African newspaper reported that Prophet Bushiri was facing 8 counts of rape charges in the country he had fled after he was accused of having raped women and girls as young as 16, including two sisters; drugged some, bribed them into silence, and threatened others with murder in six years of jaw-dropping sexual violence, prosecutors have alleged.
The Mail & Guardian reported to have exclusively sourced court records of the extradition request South Africa has sent to Malawi detailing crimes allegedly committed by Bushiri — leader of one of the most popular and richest churches on the continent, Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) — and his wife, Mary.
The paper reported that the Prophet faced eight counts of rape, dating back to 2016 adding to charges of fraud, money-laundering, jumping bail and contravention of the foreign currency act that Bushiri was already facing before he fled South Africa.
The paper reported that Bushiri has rejected past allegations of rape, accusing Hawks officers of “intimidating women” to make the accusations. He also accuses the Hawks officers of extortion.
Church as recruiter
Here is a full story from the Mail and Guardian as reported in November 2021.
All the new cases allegedly took place in and around Pretoria — particularly at the Sheraton Hotel — and involve women who allege the rich prophet enticed them into hotels after befriending them and their families at church with offers of special prayers and gifts of cash.
Some of the women later were involved in what could appear to be consensual sexual relations, after Bushiri promised to marry at least one of them. But the majority, particularly those who were very young, were threatened with death by Bushiri or his bodyguards, the victims claim. One of the victims allegedly fell pregnant by Bushiri but was forced to terminate the pregnancy.
The indictment paints a picture of how the ECG church was used as a recruitment service for Bushiri through his network of “sons” and “prophets”. They would eavesdrop, record and engage in subtle conversations with churchgoers to collect information later used by Bushiri to lure women into sexual relations.
According to the dozens of pages the M&G has seen, the targets included young girls between the ages of 16 and their mid-twenties.
“Many of them believe he received visions from God, not knowing that he obtained information beforehand. “
Because of these prophecies, the victims sought his advice or counselling. This counselling would escalate to communications between Mr Bushiri and the victims via social media,” the records say.
This week Bushiri agreed to meet the M&G, but did not pitch. His spokesperson, Ephraim Nyondo, who later apologised for the “mishap”, directed all questions relating to the rape allegations to the lawyer handling the extradition case, Wapona Kita.
“It’s sub judice,” Kita said.
Victims speak out
According to the records, Bushiri promised to marry one of the women he raped between May 2015 and June 2016. He allegedly paid her parents substantial sums of money.
Another woman alleges that between June and July 2015, she was raped by Bushiri in his hotel room after “the prophet” took pictures of her in her underwear and in naked poses. He allegedly handed her cash.
Another victim alleges she was invited into Bushiri’s hotel room and given a drink that made her dizzy. She fell to the floor and, she alleges, Bushiri then took her clothes off and raped her. Another victim was allegedly impregnated and given cash to register a construction company.
Luring women in
The youngest of the victims — who are sisters — allege the most harrowing incidents. The girls say they had sung in Bushiri’s church, and he befriended their parents before starting to text them on WhatsApp.
First Bushiri allegedly sent his “sons”, who took the sisters and their brother to meet him under the pretence that they were going for choir rehearsals and gave them money. During a second visit, Bushiri handed them huge amounts of cash and told them not to tell anyone.
Then it was the hotels. Then the rape.
“After two weeks, my family and I met prophet Bushiri in his church after the evening service that ended at 11pm,” the young woman says.
“My parents and I were very excited to meet with the prophet and his wife, prophetess Marie Bushiri. Prophet Bushiri told my parents he wanted to sponsor my sister and me to start recording at his studio in Sandton [Johannesburg] and that he was going to be our spiritual father.”
The young woman says her parents were happy to meet Bushiri and agreed to contact him because they trusted him. The Bushiris exchanged contact details with the two sisters and their brother. A week later, the sisters and brother began communicating with the Bushiris.
They claim to have met him in July 2016 at the Southern Sun Hotel in Arcadia, Pretoria.
Bushiri, it seems, had sent a man named “Aubrey” — who appears numerous times in the court papers as one of the people scouting women for Bushiri — to pick up the young women from their home where they were with their mother. On being informed by his daughters that Bushiri had sent for them, their father was unhappy, but Aubrey spoke to him on the phone and he consented to the arrangement.
At the hotel, Bushiri kept the sisters in separate rooms, where he later prayed for them and gave them cash. He allegedly gave one of the sisters and the brother R5 000 each. The other sister told prosecutors she was paid R10 000.
A second meeting took place at the Sheraton Hotel, where Bushiri allegedly gave the siblings R20 000 in January 2017. Bushiri invited one of the sisters to the Sheraton. She was taken to one of the upper floors by Aubrey, who left promptly.
“Usually, Aubrey and one or two bodyguards are always in the suite, but that day they were not there. Prophet Bushiri came from the bathroom. He greeted me and asked me how everything was. I told him everything was fine. He told me he would pray for me to get distinctions and open doors of blessings in my life,” she says.
“When praying for me … he started to touch my body and private parts. I started to push his hand away. He continued to touch me. I asked him to stop. I screamed. I was wearing a long dress. He used force to pull me to the bed. He pulled my underwear and threw it away.
“I was screaming all the time. He put his hand over my mouth and nose. I was fighting back. He overpowered me. He put his penis inside my vagina and … raped me. I kept screaming and crying because it was extremely painful because I was a virgin. He continued raping me, and I was screaming, fighting and crying. When he finished, he stopped. I noticed drops of blood coming from my vagina.”
After the rape, the victim, who was 18 at the time, alleges Bushiri threatened to kill her if she reported the incident or told anyone, and gave her R10 000. In June 2018, her sister told her Bushiri had raped her too, and that’s when the two sisters agreed to report the incident to their parents.
The Bushiris’ extradition trial is expected to start in earnest in Malawi courts next week after chief resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa refused to recuse himself. Bushiri’s lawyers had objected to his handling of the case, citing possible bias because of the magistrate’s involvement in issuing the warrant of arrest police used to arrest the Bushiris.
The couple fled South Africa in November while on bail for various crimes, including fraud and money laundering. Bushiri timed his escape to coincide with newly elected Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s visit to South Africa.
Did Ubert Angel flee the UK, a woman paid after she accused him of rape
In Zimbabwe, another Morden day Prophet had a petition of over 16 000 Zimbabweans who signed a petition calling on police to arrest Zimbabwe’s ambassador-at-large, Uebert Madzanire, alias Uebert Angel after he was implicated in an alleged money laundering and gold smuggling scam by an international news channel, Al Jazeera.
The petitioners also wanted the British government to freeze Angel’s assets.
The controversial Angel, Bushiris’s spiritual father
Uebert Angel (born Uebert Mudzanire;] 6 September 1978) is a British-Zimbabwean Businessman and a preacher. His name appears on a US Department of Justice list along with 9,612 other people who paid for fake degrees. He is an evangelical preacher and the founder of Spirit Embassy, a church ministry in the United Kingdom.
He is also the Presidential Envoy and Ambassador At Large for the country of Zimbabwe to Europe and the Americas. He is commonly referred to as Prophet Angeland formerly known as Uebert Angel Mudzanire. The church was founded in 2007 as “Spirit Embassy” and in October 2015 it rebranded its name to “Good News Church”, retaining “Spirit Embassy” as a term for Angel’s overall ministry.
Described as “a young charismatic prophet”, Angel travels by helicopter to preach the message that God wants his flock to be rich, as rich as he is.
He is also the founder of The Angel Organisation which is the parent company for his other business interests.
He has also had multiple controversies surrounding his ministry and charities and has had warrants issued against him. He has been accused of financial fraud and sexual misconduct. In 2023 he was found running a money laundering scheme by abusing his diplomatic privileges. Angel’s former congregants have accused him of rape and sexual assault. In 2013 his name was included on a list of people who bought fake degrees from an online degree mill.
Angel’s true identity has been the subject of debate. A Zimbabwean newspaper revealed that he uses two national identification cards with different birthdays. The same paper also revealed that his British Passport uses a different birthday than the one submitted when registering companies.
Angel has launched several businesses which have never taken off. Out of 20 companies that opened in two years, only two are active. He launched a bank in 2017 amid fanfare but the institution later folded despite church members putting deposits. He launched a television news channel, which was soon exposed as using models from Fiverr, a freelancer website. That news business also collapsed and was de-registered. Angel has also launched an energy drink, which folded in unclear circumstances.
Angel has been critiqued for advocating prosperity theology through his sermons, teachings and writings, or the prosperity gospel, a pseudo-theological belief that the reward of financial and material gain is the divine will of God for all pious Christians. Thus, his ministry appears to be indirectly promoting tithing and prosperity theology in a very persuading manner. This is similar to the doctrines of other mega-churches, televangelists, and several prominent figures associated with prosperity theology.
Angel has been at the centre of multiple scams and controversies throughout his ministry and various charities, leading to him being called a ‘fraudster’ or a ‘false prophet’.Despite attempts to brush the allegations aside, there have been various accusations nevertheless, which have been both financial and sexual.
It has also been alleged that Angel has committed sexual misconduct, has blackmailed or persuaded women into sexual acts, and has had multiple extra-marital relationships. Angel’s former congregants accused him of raping their wives.
Bentley Continental fraud case
The accusations also include defrauding a Bentley Continental from the owner, which was valued at over $300,000. It was assumed that Angel fled to the UK in 2015 to avoid arrest warrants in Zimbabwe over summons issued regarding these allegations.
Al-Jazeera investigation on gold smuggling
In March 2023 Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit revealed that Uebert was abusing his diplomatic privileges to run a global money laundering operation. The operation involves black money being funnelled to Zimbabwe through Angel and traded for gold from mines of Zimbabwe, the gold which could then be sold again for clean money. Al Jazeera’s reporters acting as customers recorded Angel stating, “You want gold, gold we can do it right now, we can make the call right now, and it’s done.”
Preacher Jerome Fernando who claims to be a prophet who Uebert appointed to head the Glorius Church in Sri Lanka denied allegations and threatened legal action against accusers. Uebert and Jerome also met with members of the Rajapaksa family during preaching sessions with Jerome and were given military protection under the Rajapaksa administration.