This month marks one year after United Family International Church (Ufic) leader, Emmanuel Makandiwa, waded into the raging Zanu PF succession storm, declaring President Robert Mugabe will be replaced by a Zimbabwean presently based in the Diaspora.
With senior leaders in the former liberation movement, among them First Lady Grace Mugabe and Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, reportedly angling for Mugabe’s throne, Makandiwa has literally thrown the cat among the pigeons, with a “prophecy” that seems to suggest the current vicious jockeying is in vain.
In a Sunday sermon streamed live on YouTube, Makandiwa told his congregants that he was “seeing a person coming from outside, who was running towards the people of Zimbabwe”.
“This person is running in the opposite direction to people, who are running towards him, I see a spider and this spider is following this person, who is the chosen one to lead the people,” he said.
Makandiwa said if that person were to join a reputable opposition when he returns to Zimbabwe, he would be the leader to take over from Mugabe.
Mugabe, 92, has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since taking over from Rhodesian strongman, Ian Smith, at independence in 1980.
Due to his advanced age and reported failing health, Mugabe’s looming departure from the political scene has triggered serious infighting in the ruling Zanu PF.
Ufic spokesperson, Prime Kufa, however, said Makandiwa’s message “was complex” to the extent that people were now speculating on its meaning, including linking it to the country’s succession.
“This is the way God reveals things to His people, we don’t know why He does it in that way. You will know that up to now we have prophetic proclamations made in the Bible that theologians are still trying to understand their meaning,” he said.
Kufa said Makandiwa was the only one who could interpret “the prophecy”, with those close to the charismatic preacher saying “he (Makandiwa) could not even explain it and has warned against making uninformed political interpretations on prophecies”.
Makandiwa, in the sermon, also warned government against interfering with the work of the church.
“Churches are the ones that are holding off attacks directed at this nation and if you touch these churches, they will let go of these forces and they will destroy the nation,” he said.
Government had proposed to impose taxes on churches, while senior government officials, including ministers, have warned men of the cloth against dabbling in politics, as the country teeters on the brink of implosion amid a rising protest wave.
Recently, another preacher, Shingi Munyeza was summoned by the police over three statements titled, 10-Point Plan to Run Zimbabwe Limited, What I would have done with $200 million facility and Severe turbulence ahead.
Makandiwa, in the same sermon, also warned that the wave of protests rocking Zimbabwe would continue and pleaded with his followers to pray for the country. He said Mugabe was being misled by the people around him.
“Our President is in trouble. There shall come a time when these same men shall go door-to-door beating up people to join the demonstrations. They want to foment chaos,” he said on Sunday.
“We have a sad situation where there is no money and when you get the little money, the government is making sure there is nothing to buy. This is deliberate. It’s being planned by men close to the President. They are the ones planning the demonstrations.