MONICA KAYOMBO, Lusaka
JESUS Nation Church (ECG) has announced that the Zambian government has lifted the unwritten embargo on Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of Malawi and other members of the church. In 2017, Zambian immigration authorities refused entry of controversial Zimbabwean Prophet Uebert Angel, who is Prophet Bushiri’s spiritual father. Prophet Angel is founder of The Good News Church (Spirit Embassy) and Uebert Angel Ministries, a Pentecostal church founded in 2007. Bushiri’s Investment is a controversial company that has been implicated in fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and a Ponzi scheme. Crime investigators say the case involves 102 million South African rands (US$6.6 million; £5 million). Speaking at a press briefing hosted at ECG on Mumbwa road yesterday, national advisory committee chairperson Kennedy Chileya said the church has resolved the diplomatic hiccups with the Zambian government. “The current situation is that there is no problem with the church. We remain compliant with the guidelines of the country,” he said. Dr Chileya said before, there were deportations of members of ECG that were coming to Zambia. “I am happy to say that those things were ironed out and we have no problem with the Government. Recently, we have hosted some leaders from the headquarters and we have no problems,” he said.
Dr Chileya said the church has continued receiving numerous queries from the media on the status of the religious organisation and that of Prophet Bushiri, prompting the press briefing. He also said the church, which usually holds the cross-over services at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, will this year hosted the event in Lilongwe, Malawi, and over five million people are expected to attend. Dr Chileya has implored Zambians who wish to travel to Lilongwe to visit the Lusaka office for details over the event, which will be presided over by Prophet Bushiri. He said ECG, which was founded in Zambia in 2013, is doing fine, adding that most of the things that have been said about Prophet Bushiri are mere accusations.
ECG regional pastor Adamson Nkhoma said the church’s membership in South Africa has continued growing despite Prophet Bushiri’s departure from that country. He said since the church enacted a gender policy in 2018, some pastors have been suspected while others have been expelled for abrogating the policy. “Even as I speak, there are two pastors who are facing disciplinary charges after they were found wanting,” Pastor Nkhoma said. He said since implementation of the policy, the church has reduced gender-related issues by 90 percent. Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security failed by press time.