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Prophet Magaya's powers questioned after 11 people died at his church, no more PHD crusades

Following the tragic stampede last Thursday at Prophet Walter Magaya's Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries crusade at Mbizo Stadium in Kwekwe, which killed 11 people, including three minors and injured 54 others, people in Mutare have expressed mixed feelings over the incident.

The Kwekwe incident comes barely two months after famous Nigerian prophet TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations tragedy where 116 people, Zimbabweans included, perished after a church building collapsed. The two incidents have left many tongues wagging among followers.

The irony comes from the link between Prophet Magaya and TB Joshua. Prophet Magaya became powerful in April 2012 after visiting TB Joshua's SCOAN.

He received a prophecy from Prophet TB Joshua that he had a lot of work to do in line with the Ministry of Jesus Christ and from there came back home and the world saw the "overnight" rise of the now famous young prophet.

The Kwekwe stampede and SCOAN deaths have been described by some Mutare followers as the work of the "devil" questioning the powers of the prophets.
 Prophet Magaya's powers questioned after 11 people died at his church, no more PHD crusades
A Magaya follower, Mr Tapiwa Mhere, said he immediately stopped attending church service at PHD after the stampede.

"These incidents have opened my eyes. In the Bible, even the devil was capable of performing miracles. People should not be misled. Most of us Christians are not willing to take time in prayer and want quick-fix solutions. Many of us follow these miracle-performing prophets simply because we are lazy to pray," said Mr Mhere.

He added that when Prophet Magaya came for the Mutare crusade in September, there were allegations of relapse of cases of people claiming to have been healed.

"I now think otherwise. There was a man from Chigodora whose illness relapsed the following day after allegedly receiving his healing during the Mutare crusade. I now question his powers. The relapse case is one example," said Mr Mhere.

Despite the avalanche of testimonies about the healing powers of Prophet Magaya and TB Joshua, the past incidents have raised scepticism over their miraculous healings and all sorts of wonders they perform.

Several people questioned why they failed to prophesy the disasters at their own crusades where precious lives of their devoted followers were lost.

A reverend with the United Methodist Church, Reverend Mushaninga, concurred with Mr Mhere and said it was lack of knowledge and the desperate times in the country that drove many Christians to follow miracles and prophets like Magaya.

"A lot of people do not want to pray and also feel lazy to work hard themselves as stated in Philippians 2 vs 12. Another problem is that The Word is lacking in us. The Bible says my people perish because of lack of knowledge. When you read the Bible, you know The Word and therefore get the knowledge," he said.

Rev Mushaninga added: "One other thing is that today's Christians are only concerned with prophecies and miracles not knowing that The Word itself is a prophecy."

A Christian who preferred to be just identified as David said there was more to the religious group deaths than the ordinary eye can see.

"No one is getting arrested for these deaths because they are called accidents, but we should really look out as this is just the beginning.

"I feel the families of the deceased should sue the responsible persons be it Prophet Magaya or whoever, because this is the hand of the devil.

"There is more to these cult deaths than what the eye can see. Even if we look at it biblically, God said nothing happens without Him informing us through his prophets.

"Why then didn't prophets Magaya and Joshua receive those prophecies before? It just makes one wonder."

However, others had different views.

Prophet Ellington Mazhomba of the Covenant Church of All Nations also said no one was to blame but the devil which caused the incident at Mbizo Stadium.

"Prophet Magaya is not to be blamed because he had not foreseen this in the prophetic realm. 1 Corinthians 13 vs 9 states that we know in part and prophesy in part. People expect that a man of God has all the answers, but if God has not revealed anything you may not say anything.

"So from my own point of view, he is not to blame. It is not his fault that people died and they failed to see the prophesy. People die every day. Death has always been there, but in this case it somehow becomes sinister because this has happened amongst a church gathering.

"I do not see why people have to complicate things and connect the deaths at SCOAN and those at PHD in Kwekwe," said Prophet Mazhomba.

Zimbabwe Republic Police national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the stampede at Mbizo Stadium was caused by a gas bottle that burst and not teargas from the police as previously alleged.

This statement comes amid many stories about the cause of the stampede, but police said further investigations were still being carried out on the incident.

Prophet Magaya has since suspended all crusades that had been lined up countrywide until further notice.

"We will not be holding any crusades with immediate effect following the tragic crusade in Kwekwe last Thursday night.

"The loss of human life in such a manner is shattering and we cannot afford similar incidents. And because we cannot take chances, we have no option but suspend what had been a countrywide outreach as we establish cell branches.

"I believe we need State assistance to be able to successfully stage these events without tarnishing the image of the country. The country does not need such publicity and even if the tragedy is the work of PHD enemies, the effects are national," said Prophet Magaya.

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