A ZANU PF plot to block a visit to Zimbabwe by popular Nigerian preacher Temitope Balogun (TB) Joshua gathered steam on Wednesday when a senior police officer labelled him a 'false prophet' that people needed to be aware of.
At the centre of the story is the fact that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai reportedly invited TB Joshua to be the guest speaker at the National Day of Prayer set for May 25, on Africa Day. Many in ZANU PF believe Tsvangirai will benefit politically from the visit and appear determined to block it at all costs.
Over a week ago pro-ZANU PF church leaders were wheeled out by the state media to make claims that TB Joshua was not welcome in the country and that his teachings were allegedly "judgmental, partisan and unorthodox." This week senior police officers most of whom are pro-ZANU PF joined in the attacks.
It's reported "senior police officers were shown a video that allegedly exposes TB Joshua as a womaniser and sorcerer." The video entitled "TB Joshua's evil doings finally revealed" was screened at the Police General Headquarters in Harare after being downloaded from video sharing website You Tube.
The involvement of the police coincides with reports this week that an investigation had been launched into a Harare church which was run by fraudsters who claimed to be affiliated to TB Joshua's church. Dozens of people were made to pay money in return for trips to see the prophet in Nigeria.
Next to attack TB Joshua was the excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga. The man who forcibly grabbed Anglican Church property and used police and ZANU PF militia to violently target parishioners not loyal to him claimed TB Joshua's prophecies were driven by Satanism and were "diabolic."
Referring to TB Joshua's prediction of the death of Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika, Kunonga claimed, "TB Joshua uses evil powers which are satanic and satanic powers can also work. TB Joshua's visit does not scare me because he is not God. What are people scared of? What is he coming for? Does he have power to take life?"
In February this year TB Joshua set tongues wagging in Zimbabwe after his prophecy that an African leader would die within 60 days. Although he did not specify the location, Zimbabwe was abuzz with speculation given Mugabe's ailing health and frequent trips to Singapore for treatment.
It eventually came to pass that the Malawian president died of a heart attack, not long after the prophecy. But TB Joshua has since made another prophecy that another old African president will fall critically ill and be hospitalised. These prophecies are not going down well with ZANU PF given Mugabe's health and surrounding speculation.
Last year, leaked US diplomatic cables quoted central bank Governor Gideon Gono telling the American Ambassador that doctors had told Mugabe he had prostrate cancer and could die in 2013. It's easy to see why ZANU PF is uncomfortable with a visit from TB Joshua, especially at Tsvangirai's invitation.