South Africa-based Malawian, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, has thrown his weight behind President Peter Mutharika to renews his five and final year mandate in 2019 Tripartite Elections and his governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Bushiri, who also has Shepherd Bushiri Investments, told special prayers organised by a grouping of Malawians living in South Africa under the banner Malawi Forum held at the Prophet's Sparkling Waters Hotel and Spa in Rustenburg in South Africa, that he does not harbour ambitions to vie for the country's presidency but is patriotic.
"If you asked me which party I would vote for if we were to go to the polls today, I would say DPP although it is a party that will not rest, but fight me," he said.
Among others, the propaganda and disinformation team of DPP has been attacking Bushiri, a move that people have described as a way of diverting people's attention from the main challenges Malawi is facing.
But Bushiri waxed lyrical about the DPP and its performance.
"I have seen a lot of improvement in Malawi under the DPP regime and that is why I would vote them back in power to continue with those developments," he said.
Bushiri recently visited Malawi and registered in the National Identity registration exercise and is set to put his name again for electoral roll to vote in 2019 polls.
The famous prophet, fondly addressed as Major 1 or Papa by his followers, is known not to favour leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, hence his support for DPP.
It is reportedly that Bushiri has been bankrolling former MCP secretary general Chris Daza with his party Depeco to fight MCP on the grassroots. This could not be independently verified.
Bushiri also clarified that his charity works in Malawi has no political strings attached.
"I think Malawi deserves love. I am very patriotic and I love my country; but, it is the same love that is being mistaken for bad intentions unite in the same way that Martin Luther King's intentions were, in the United States of America," he said.
Bushiri stressed that there is need for mindset change among Malawians for them to stop relying on the government if the economy is to improve.