A storm is brewing between Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries founder Walter Magaya and the country’s Apostolic churches after the celebrity preacher controversially described the latter as “marine spirits from the dark kingdom”.
In response, Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president,
Archbishop Johannes Ndanga, has retorted by accusing Magaya of being possessed by demons.
In his booklet titled Marine Spirits, Mweya Yemumvura: Teaching by Prophet W Magaya, excerpts of which are broadcast on his Yadah TV channel, the popular preacher claimed that Vapositori, as they are popularly known, are derived from spirits that reside in the marine kingdom and that they do not believe in the Bible.
Magaya also claimed that Apostolic preachers had a propensity to threaten congregants with death.
“It is from these Orion and Leviathan spirits of the marine kingdom where false, non-Bible believing white garment churches (mapositori ekumasowe) are derived,” Magaya said in his booklet.
“It is also unfortunate that many people have been deceived to follow or visit these kinds of shrines (masowe) in an effort to go over their problems, yet to no avail.
“Many people who have visited these non-Bible believing churches have had their problems worsened while others have been permanently hooked to them after receiving various continuous serious threats including death (zviga zverufu netsaona) thereby becoming members,” he added.
Magaya’s controversial remarks have already drawn a sharp rebuke from the ACCZ — which represents at least 700 Apostolic Christian churches in the country.
Ndanga, ACCZ executive president, came out guns blazing yesterday, accusing Magaya of launching “unrestrained and unprovoked attacks” against them.
Ndanga also provocatively accused Magaya of being possessed by demons.
“He has gone out of bounds. That area is not in his constituency, so he must not provoke us. We have never said that he and TB Joshua are witchdoctors who are also adulterous and are in the business of cheating people and making money in the process,” fumed Ndanga.
TB Joshua is Magaya’s spiritual father.
The angry Ndanga said if Magaya was “a real man of God”, he should have foreseen the Kwekwe stampede that killed at least 11 people and injured dozens others in a stadium in Kwekwe, 213 km west of Harare, in November.
However, at the time of the incident, Magaya said he had foreseen the disaster and had warned authorities who did not take heed of his advice.
The Accz founder further claimed that white garment prophets would not have their churches struck with such calamity without foreseeing it.
“God is much greater than what Magaya thinks as people worship in various ways and no one can master the mind of God.
“Jesus healed the blind using mud. He used water and we never heard of oil. He is a new comer in the Christian religion and cannot tell us how to worship God,” Ndanga said.
In his booklet, Magaya claims that 80 percent of the white garment Apostolic sects do not use the Bible “and for those who use it, they do so for deceptive purposes.”
He warned people against seeking deliverance from such churches as “darkness cannot push away another form of darkness”.
“First of all, the ‘prophet’ goes out to the rivers, lakes, coasts or beaches of oceans, mountains and caves to acquire the supernatural powers usually of the mermaid spirit (mweya wenjuzu) before they start their own church while others are groomed within an existing church (Masowe) to become a prophet,” Magaya said.
He said the marine kingdom was all about water and claimed that it is the reason why the environs of Vapositori’s shrines resembled a marine kingdom.
“In most cases, there are planted reeds, water lilies and other water-related plants on the ‘altar’ (kirawa).
“The plants are regularly watered to maintain a marine environment. On both sides of the ‘altar’ are large calabashes (makate) filled with some small ones by the sides…
“The members undergo regular visits to waterfalls for baptism to cleanse them of ‘bad spirits’ but unknown to them, they will be further dedicated and initiated into the marine kingdom,” Magaya said.
But Ndanga was adamant that the practice was well within the confines of the Christian gospel, saying most orthodox and Pentecostal churches believed in baptism by water.
“Jesus Christ used water to heal. He was baptised by John the Baptist.