5 April 2018

Kenya: Controversial 'Prophet' Shepherd Bushiri Coming to Kenya

Photo: Nyasa Times
Prophet Bushiri waves to worshippers.

A controversial televangelist who is currently under investigation by South African police over allegations of money laundering will be visiting Kenya on April 17 for a revival crusade.

Prophet "Dr" Shepherd Bushiri-- the flamboyant, youthful televangelist with an unusual sartorial preference to shimmering suits and a meticulous hair cut dyed jet-black, and prefers to be addressed simply as "Major One"-- is being investigated by South African police for allegedly sending 15 million South African Rand (Sh127 Million) a month to Malawi, his country of birth.

PROBE

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), also known as "The Hawks", was prompted to investigate the pastor following anonymous tip-offs from members of his church.

DPCI is the police unit in South Africa in charge of investigating organised, economic crime and corruption.

According to reports by Sowetan Live, a South African online media outlet, the detectives suspect that the controversial pastor ferries the cash out of South Africa through his private jet.

Upon arrival in Malawi, the police the money is not banked, rather distributed to various businesses owned by the televangelist.

The preacher is the founder of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG)-- a megachurch whose headquarters is in Pretoria.

ECG has a branch in Kenya, which will be hosting the preacher between April 17 and 19.

PRIVATE JET

Prophet Bushiri is also the President of Shepherd Bushiri Investments (SBI), whose headquarters is in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The prophet is no stranger to controversy.

He is a zealous social media user with an appetite for showing off his newly acquired properties to his legion of online fans, who are spilling into nearly a million.

His most memorable social media brag was the Gulf Stream III private jet, with white-leather and mahogany interior, which the preacher claimed set him back an estimated Sh3.7 Billion.

The 'man of God' now owns four private jets, according to reports by BBC.

Bushiri is also known to show off his young and equally trendy wife, with whom, in one of the photos in social media, he poses beside the jet alongside a crew donning starched uniforms.

Prophet Bushiri, who, interestingly, uses the title "Dr" has previously claimed to heal HIV and the blind.

He was once seen to appear to walk on air.

'MIRACLE' OIL

However, in an interview with BBC last month, the prophet said "I don't think there is any sickness I can heal, but Jesus can heal."

His crusades-- such as the one slated for April 17 at the Kasarani Indoor Arena-- are known to attract thousands of followers.

On New Year's Eve, according to pictures circulated by his ECG ministry, the FNB stadium in Johannesburg with a 95,000-capacity is seen to be full to the brim.

Born in Mzuzu in northern Malawi, not much is known about the background of the pastor who is now in his 30s.

Although he is from Malawi, his megachurch in Pretoria hosts about 50,000 faithful who gather every week to listen to the preacher.

The church is laden with branded goods for sale such as "miracle oil" bottled in containers with the preacher's face, which is claimed to heal all manner of ailments.

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