Makandiwa case takes nasty turn

Shingirai Chirume; who calls himself Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa

A Harare couple, which is demanding $6,5 million from United Family International Church (UFIC) leader Emmanuel Makandiwa and his wife, Ruth, over an unfulfilled prophecy, has described the popular cleric as an occult worshipper and fraudster.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Upenyu Mashangwa’s rants came after Makandiwa last month filed an application seeking the dismissal of the claim.

Makandiwa argued Mashangwa and his wife Blessing’s demand for a refund of their contributions to the church was meant to harass, vex and injure the prophets’ reputation and good standing.

But the Mashangwas have hit back in their own affidavit, insisting that the case must be heard in an open court.

“I have received with shock the application filed by the applicants in this matter.

“What is clear is that they believe that a court of law can relieve them of the consequences of their fraudulent endeavours, which have brought about a claim against them and so relieve them from testifying and showing to the whole world the kind of fraudsters that they are,” Mashangwa said.

“Further, the purpose of this application is to make inquisitorial forays into our evidence.

“I will, for that reason, withhold the crucial evidence at this stage. I cannot give applicants an unfair advantage in the trial cause.

“There is certain evidence, which must be extracted under cross-examination and I cannot give it away that cheaply.”

In his founding affidavit, through his lawyer, advocate Thabani Mpofu, the businessman said the matter between his family and the Makandiwas could not be resolved without certain positions being put to the prophets in the witness box.

In their application through their lawyer advocate Lewis Uriri, Makandiwa and Ruth urged the court to dismiss the claim, saying there was no factual or legal basis upon which a court could pronounce that the Makandiwas were not prophets of God.

However, in his response, Mashangwa said: “It is also clear that there is need for the court to make certain credibility findings.

“At the heart of this matter are the following issues, which applicants are desperately trying to avoid dealing with: Are the first and second applicants (Makandiwa and Ruth) prophets or they are simply fraudsters hiding behind the holy book?”

“Do the applicants use information given to them in private by their followers to wage wars against them if the relationship breaks down and what are the legal implications of such conduct? Is it true that applicants rely on the occult and n’angas as we allege?

He added: “Is it true that the prophecies given by the applicants are stage-managed and that some are actually at the instigation of politicians?”

Mashangwa said in his initial main matter he and his wife made allegations against the Makandiwas and as such wanted the court to grant then an opportunity to establish and prove those claims, which it did through Justice David Mangota’s judgement.

“We intend to lead evidence, for instance, which shows that the applicants obtain their powers from their association with the occult, that they consult traditional healers, have people which they use in their church to obtain information from congregants and which Makandiwa passes on to unsuspecting congregants as prophecy,” Mashangwa said.

“We also intend to show that certain prophecies have to our knowledge been made at the instigation of certain politicians.

“We now have this information. We must be allowed to lead all that evidence before the court.”

Turning to Makandiwa and Ruth’s application, Mashangwa said it was a futile attempt to change the court procedures.

The matter is still pending. – The Standard