“I’ve never performed any miracle in my life,” says charismatic prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, responding to allegations of R15 million leaving the country on his private jet.
He claims it’s actually Jesus performing the miracles and he’s just the middleman.
Two weeks ago, reports claimed that Bushiri is apparently making so much money from his churches in South Africa that he’s able to send R15 million a month back to Malawi.
The leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering churches that are spread throughout southern Africa could not be reached for comment at the time, while his lawyer said they were not aware of any probe.
He has now publicly denied the allegations.
Some in his congregation also claimed that Bushiri orchestrates carefully planned false miracles as part of his services, while his collaborators were apparently demanding to be paid more for playing their part in his alleged duping of the faithful.
Prophet Bushiri, speaking on SABC News, disputed it all, adding that he only became aware of the allegations from reports while in the USA.
“When you’re on top you become a topic,” he said.
— Olwethu Sipuka. (@osipuka) April 16, 2018
“I’ve never been officially told by the Hawks or police that I am being investigated … I’ve been in the country for four years and never been approached by law enforcement.”
He said he could not afford to send that amount of money anywhere in any case. He attributed his wealth to his father and claims his father, who has interests in everything from farming to mining, is the wealthier man.
Asked why he was charging as much as R5 000 for one-on-one consultations or R25 000 for a gala dinner, he said that was also a false story.
“There was nothing like that.”
He said the “people” merely paid him for logistics.
“There’s no person on earth who paid money to see me.”
He said the Gospel was cheap, but expensive, meaning he could not accommodate international visitors by footing their bills.
“People who pay are international visitors. We have an international business programme,” he said, adding that it was a must for international visitors to stay in a hotel during their visit.
“These people” paid for general logistical issues, according to the prophet.
He said food, travelling expenses and accommodation were a package given to these international visitors, which the R5 000 covered.
Asked why thousands – on record – claimed they had paid money to see him, he maintained they must have been part of the international business programme.
Selling products (expensive 500ml bottles) in the church for money
“I think it’s only black preachers who have a problem with the selling of products.”
No one complained when the queen of England sold “the King James version”, he said.
“That’s the Bible and we don’t get those Bibles for free.”
He said the problem became apparent only when a fellow black African sold products. The sales department dealt with such matters, in any case, he claimed, and he knew nothing about the cost of merchanise.
“I’ve never performed any miracle in my life.”
Regarding testimonies that he had performed miracles, his response was: “I’ve never delivered any person.”
He said it was Jesus who performed the miracles.
“I’m not the healer; Jesus does … If those miracles are fake then let’s say we are attacking what Jesus Christ does, not only in my church; let’s say in every church Jesus Christ heals.”
Watch the interview below: