Several members of Prophetic Healing Ministries in Mutare are counting their losses after they invested cash into projects started by the church but did not get any return on the investments.
Several members of PHD, a megachurch founded and led by controversial preacher Walter Magaya, who spoke to a local publication are bitter after they were allegedly conned by the man of the cloth.
A disgruntled PHD Ministries member, who preferred anonymity, told Pindula News that Magaya introduced what he called empowerment schemes like farming, beekeeping, farming, mining, and housing projects in 2016. He said:
I joined housing and mining projects. The company was opened by the then second vice president Mohadi in 2018.
This project was supposed to assist me with raising money for the housing project as well as my other financial needs at 40% every three months per year.
From 2018 to date, nothing has been said about this venture. Sometime last year I phoned one of the prayer line numbers and I was given a number that was said to be of Yadah Connect.
I phoned and was told people were being given back the money they invested. I visited PHD offices on the 14th of March 2022.
I submitted my papers for a refund. From last year to date, I have been visiting Harare to no fruition.
Last week on the 10th of this month visited their offices after I had been promised my refund.
I was shocked at the time they had promised me to collect my money from my deposit of $1 600 I was given $100 only.
The most painful thing about this matter is that the prophet is silent on everything.
The PHD Ministries congregant added that he joined a company called Planet Africa in 2017 and deposited US$1 600 in total. He said:
I joined Planet Africa housing project in 2017. I paid a deposit of US$600. But it was supposed to be US$1 000 to Yadah Connect thus for the mining venture I deposited US$1 000.
From reliable sources within the ministry, the company is not working. The reasons are not being mentioned.
The mining project was supposed to cover the housing project. People are being refunded all the deposits they made either with housing or mining.
They added up what I paid and offered to refund me. The reason for giving people sums of $100 or any other figure is that the church doesn’t have money.
Another member of the megachurch also based in Mutare, who also spoke on condition of anonymity said it has been eight since he invested money in Magaya’s projects but nothing tangible has come out of it. He said:
I made a US$1 500 deposit in housing and farming projects but I never received any return. So, from 2016 up to now, I have received nothing from the church.
On 14 February 2022, we travelled to their offices in Harare and were informed that if we wanted to make withdrawals, we should right affidavits and bring them to Harare. We did as we were instructed.
So in February last year, we were advised that we would get back our money after six months.
After six months had elapsed, we called them inquiring about the withdrawals and they said they were experiencing cashflow challenges and we were told to come to Harare in September 2022.
However, nothing materialised in September last year. So on 20 September 2023, I again called the Yadah Connect office but they were evasive. The problem is that they constantly move you from pillar to post.
When I called them on the 20th, I asked them to give me Magaya’s number so that I could talk to him directly but they said I should come to Harare on 17 December. However, I expect to get US$100 or US$200 as they had previously promised.
He said his wish is for Magaya to address them in person as he did when he launched the projects and convinced them to part with their hard-earned cash. Said the congregant:
A lot of people invested money into the purported projects believing that Magaya was a man of God only to realise that the so-called “Man of God” was planning to dupe the poor.
He said another challenge that they are facing is that they have nowhere to turn because even if they take the legal route, the case simply dies a natural death. Added the congregant:
When we went to the police, they said “Magaya is a man of God so what do you want us to do about the matter?”
An official at Yadah Connect who spoke to Pindula News on Thursday, 21 September, could neither confirm nor deny that the church owes congregants thousands of dollars in cash from unfulfilled promises.
She said she was not in a position to give a formal response and didn’t have the finer details about the matter.
The official also refused to reveal the identity of the person responsible for such matters but promised to get this reporter through to the boss. She was, however, yet to honour her pledge more than 24 hours later.