The Sunday Mail
Salacious details of how United Family International Church leader Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa allegedly plotted to cause the downfall of PHD head Prophet Walter Magaya have emerged, with information at hand indicating the former was “obsessed” with seeing the demise of the latter.
Businesswoman Mrs Blessing Mashangwa on February 7, 2017 wrote to Prophet Makandiwa outlining her reasons for leaving UFIC, one of which was the “obsession” with seeing Prophet Magaya fall.
This was after the creation of a Facebook page titled “The Truth About Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa”, which launched an attack on Mrs Mashangwa and her husband, Upenyu, on February 3, 2017, calling them people “who dined with the devil”.
The Mashangwas – understood to be major contributors to Prophet Makandiwa, and who are now demanding US$700 000 back from him – had left UFIC in July 2016.
Four days after the Facebook post, Mrs Mashangwa wrote to Prophet Makandiwa saying: “We left UFIC because personally ndiri kutsvaga kupinda kudenga (I want to go to Heaven). After all we plotted together with you against Prophet Magaya, we felt the battle was no longer about winning souls but kuteyerana mariva (setting traps); you got too obsessed by wanting to see Magaya fall.
“You don’t know how it feels to look up to someone, and then see the other side, kuplotter is for us but seeing it coming from you; it was disappointing. How will it come out to the world to know you are the one who paid our legal bills (in a case in which the Mashangwas and Prohpet Magaya were locked in a court battle over alleged improper importation of an SUV)? I know you did it for you not for us.”
Mrs Mashangwa said she had for long kept quiet about sensitive information related to Prophet Makandiwa because of her respect for “the man of God” and his wife Prophetess Ruth.
“Look at your text messages from 2015, if I wanted to be malicious, would I have not leaked all that? Messages of Pastor Kufa sending us to inbox ‘Madhiri aMagaya’. When you prophesied in church that our children would be kidnapped, I cried, only for you to send a message on my husband’s phone saying the prophecy was to make Magaya back off. Zvingani then zviporofita that you gave zvisiri zvechokwadi (How many false prophesies have you given then?”
This was in relation to a private conversation between Prophet Makandiwa and Mrs Mashangwa in which he allegedly intimated that her and her family could be at risk of a backlash from Prophet Magaya over the car importation case.
“What about messages communicating with (a) Mr Mupfukwa advising him to tell Pastor T (Pastor Tawanda Makandiwa) to move out of the brooke (Borrowdale Brooke Golf Estate) because of his embarrassing fights with his wife. But we never said a word.
“We were part of building UFIC and would never want to see it go down but you bring war to my doorstep. Isu taikudai but rudo chairwo kubva kwamuri we did not experience it,” wrote Mrs Mashangwa.
The Mashangwas want Prophet Makandiwa to pay them about US$700 000 they gave him in tithes.
Documents in our possession shows that the UFIC leader, has made an undertaking to repay the money, and dared the Mashangwas to go public on all confidential information relating to Prophet Makandiwa and UFIC.
On February 13, 2017, UFIC finance director Mr Elias Hwenga wrote to Mrs Mashangwa’s lawyers – Mutamangira and Associates saying while tithing was a voluntary act, the church would pay back the money under certain conditions. It is understood that Prophet Makandiwa’s right hand man, Pr Prime Kufa, delivered the letter.
The conditions were: “(1) that you release into the public domain all confidential information pertaining to the man of God in your possession, as you threaten in your letter to him. This is also to ensure that you are fully satisfied that neither the man of God nor the church owes you anything nor you are doing either of them a favour and also to ensure that the wrong you feel has been done to you by the prophet has been fully repaid by such exposure as you threaten.
“It is the prophet’s belief that you could hold threats for the next century and in the process deprive yourself of the satisfaction that should come from releasing such information into the public domain.
“(2) The church requires tithe receipts that were issued to you in order for us to verify the amounts paid.
(3) That you will be required to sign the receipt of any such refund.”
On March 6, 2017, Prophet Makandiwa’s lawyers – Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners – also wrote to Mrs Mashangwa saying their client had no legal obligation to pay back tithes, but would do so for the sake of peace if conditions set out in the February 13 letter were met.
The lawyers also said Prophet Makandiwa was suspicious of Mrs Mashangwa’s motives because she was an hour late for a meeting to sort out the issue.
Mrs Mashangwa’s lawyers shot back saying: “Your client is a prophet and the word ‘suspicious’ must never be heard from him. A prophet sees, and hears from God. Suspicion is the absence of knowledge. The prophet has all knowledge of what is happening and what will happen. It is our client who must be suspicious of the true motive of your client.”
The lawyers also called Pr Kufa a man of “double standards”, and added that Mrs Mashangwa had not intention to fight Prophet Makandiwa.
“There might have been disagreements, but it is not within her nature to pick up unnecessary fights. We note that your client insists on our client releasing information into the public domain. What we pick is that your client wants to create an impression that our client is fighting Prophet Makandiwa, which is clearly not.
“Our understanding is for some time your client has been baiting our client spoiling for a fight in the public domain which she has ignored.”
Mutamangira and Associates insisted that Prophet Makandiwa had a legal obligation to pay back the Mashangwas the US$700 000 because the UFIC leader undertook to repay any person who felt they had not benefited from their donations.
“For a sum of more than US$700 000 to have been given by our client to your client during a period of harsh economic times, is shocking to anyone. More shocking will be how your client who claims to be a man of peace and understanding will want to fight, given the genuine reasons our client has raised.
“We do not agree that your client has no legal obligation. You will appreciate from our client’s letter the basis for the claim.
“Your client specifically undertook to refund any person who claims all that he or she has given to the church. Your client being a person of integrity cannot surely deny what he publicly stated.
“We appreciate that this undertaking might have been made without anticipation that someone as bold as our client would step up and claim all that she has given to the ministry which from the look of things is by no means insignificant.”
Asked to comment, UFIC spokesperson Pr Kufa said, “lawyers are bringing a letter and respond to the letter first; then we will take it from there”.
Subsequent phone calls to determine when the letter would be delivered were fruitless.