Brian Chitemba Investigations Editor
CHARISMATIC United Family International Church (Ufic) leader Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa is entangled in a nasty fight with a millionaire couple Mr Upenyu Mashangwa and his wife Blessing, over a staggering US$1 million in tithes, offerings and other contributions to the church.
The Sunday Mail Society understands that the messy clash between Prophet Makandiwa and the Mashangwa couple erupted in August 2016 after the latter left Ufic and rejoined Celebration Church.
According to Mrs Mashangwa, the Ufic founder penned an article on August 16, which was published in The Herald, titled “The importance of a good name” in which he pointed that it takes complaints from customers for a perfume or chicken business to crumble. She claimed that the message was targeted at her because Prophet Makandiwa was well-aware that she was into perfumes and another chicken business for her sister.
The man of cloth wrote, “When your name is tarnished you lose customers just because of a name that is not good. You need just one paper to write badly about you and say that you are selling rotten chicken and that is the end of your career. You need one person who can move around telling people that your perfumes can cause cancer and once that news begins to spread your company will begin to go down.”
This angered the Mashangwa couple who own Oceane Collection Perfumes. She felt Prophet Makandiwa was taking a dig at her because of severed ties due to several pertinent reasons which The Sunday Mail Society will expose next week.
The bad blood between Prophet Makandiwa and the Mashangwa couple then reached fever pitch on February 2, 2017 when a Facebook page titled “The Truth About Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa” published a piece ‘Truth Commission Part4” in which five people who left Ufic church were described as those “who dine with the devil”. The article, according to the Mashangwa couple could have mentioned some of issues which were discussed privately with Prophet Makandiwa.
“If Prophet Makandiwa was not aware of the Facebook page why were some of the issues discussed in private mentioned? Who could have written that article or who was the source of information? ,” said Mrs Mashangwa.
“People who were attacked on ‘The truth about Prophet Makandiwa’ were big givers and this explains that someone in Ufic was not happy about our departure. That person can only be Makandiwa”
The couple also claimed that they were arrested for allegedly kidnapping Mr Kudakwashe Madzvawawa who had sought ‘refuge’ voluntarily at their plush home in Borrowdale Brooke. Mr Madzvawawa had gone to the Mashangwa residence in the company of one of the Ufic bouncers Mr Munyaradzi Rukato.
The involvement of Mr Rukato, who is already facing charges of violence in court, raised stink due to his close links with Ufic leaders.
Mrs Mashangwa said she believed that the ‘kidnapping’ allegations were a set-up by Ufic leaders to bring her down but was “only saved by a video which was recorded by Mr Mashangwa of the proceedings which exposed how Mr Madzvawawa sought refuge”. After watching the video, the law enforcement agents set the couple free.
Mrs Mashangwa then wrote to Prophet Makandiwa on February 7, 2017 expressing displeasure over “unprovoked” attacks on her person.
In part her letter reads, “After serving you diligently for five years, the least I expect is for our end to be filled with this controversy and backlash.
“After seeing what was written on a page that so obvious it is administered by your office, I have had the time to reflect on my journey with you. I feel it’s about time you know; I feel you have robbed us, taken us for granted and afflicted pain on us. With all the commitment and love we had for you, you shouldn’t have betrayed us.
“It’s unfortunate those who are powerful believe they can oppress the weak. I believe in one principle of life which always stand; after all the good we did in Ufic, you can never repay good with evil and win.”
Due to the sour grapes between the couple and the Ufic leader, the Oceane Collection Perfumes owner has since indicated that she wants her money back from the church.
The Sunday Mail Society obtained details that Ufic spokesman Pastor Prime Kufa who is also Prophet Makandiwa’s right handman, wrote to Mrs Mashangwa on February 13, 2017 promising to pay back her money if she produced receipts of her tithes, offerings and other contributions spanning between 2011 and 2016.
Pastors Kufa and Tawanda Makandiwa, who is Prophet Makandiwa’s younger brother, met Mrs Mashangwa on February 13, 2017 to discuss how the latter would be repaid her money amounting to over US$1 million. Part of Pastor Kufa’s undertaking reads, “However, the prophet has instructed us to pay you back as you demand to ensure that you are satisfied and feel fully recompensed.”
According to Mrs Mashangwa, Prophet Makandiwa’s emissary promised to pay her up in full but to date nothing has been paid.
“I was also surprised that after the February 13, 2017 meeting, Prophet Makandiwa then called for a “Blessing Covenant Week” between 20-25 February, yet my name is also Blessing and I am the same person who is demanding my money back. I am only asking for my contributions because Makandiwa has proved that our relations have broken down,” she said.
The Sunday Mail Society was shown the Mashangwa couple’s receipts of their contributions to Ufic in which they were forking out at least US$24 000 per month in tithes, US$4 500 in ‘partnership with the Prophet’ and US$1 500 in charity contributions.
Further, the couple also made ‘other’ payments to Ufic amounting to over US$100 000, for instance, on June 30, 2011 under Ufic receipt number 141009, the Mashangwa couple paid US$10 000 towards the purchase of the state-of-the-art public announcement (PA) system while on October 7, 2011 they paid US$15 000 towards ‘conference contributions’ recorded under Ufic receipt number 239656 and on December 4, 2011, the couple parted with 100 000 South African Rands in thanksgiving.
The Sunday Mail Society also understands that instead of delivering their tithe at the church, Prophet Makandiwa’s brother, Pastor Tawanda would make trips to the Mashangwa residence to collect the tithe.
“If it was all about the money on our part we could have asked to be paid back in July 2016 when we left the church but we only doing it now because Prophet Makandiwa and his people are fighting us. We are not broke because our businesses are doing well; we just want to cut ties and give each other his or her dues,” chipped in Mr Mashangwa.
In response on Wednesday last week, Pastor Kufa said Prophet Makandiwa never promised to pay back the Mashangwa couple.
He said despite the Mashangwas’ departure from Ufic, things were still going on well as Prophet Makandiwa in his capacity as a businessman was the biggest financial partner for the church.
Pastor Kufa further explained that “there was no reason why Prophet Makandiwa or any Ufic member would fight the Mashangwas”.
He said even the allegations of kidnapping against the Mashangwa couple had nothing to do with Ufic and Prophet Makandiwa.
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