The high density suburb of Budiriro 4, in Harare, is one area which is developing very fast, with Central African Building Society (CABS) visible with its low income housing project.

The development was welcomed by many as it meant a number of people would have a roof over their heads, and a place to call home. But for Madzibaba Enoch, real name Hebert Senda, who leads a sect called Johanne Masowe Nyenyedzi Nomwe, the development in Budiriro was not welcome at all.

This is because the housing project was sprawling into his holy shrine that he has  inhabited for the past 16 years.

When the CABS project encroached onto his shrine, including the holy place, Madzibaba Enoch was not amused and declined to be evicted by the developers, including even by the Harare City Council.

He has allegedly used his religious powers and other such influences to defray eviction, at least for now.

Apart from that, Madzibaba Enoch, who commands a huge following in the capital had backing from politicians, traditional leaders and the congregants who vowed to stand by their holy place.

When The Zimbabwe Mail visited the shrine on Sunday, it was clear that land developers had respected the man of cloth, as evidenced by how they skipped the shrine, leaving it untouched, before resuming development some metres away.

Thatched huts that are used as shelter by those seeking assistance are still there, with congregants occupying a huge chunk of the land.

In an interview, Madzibaba Enoch said he was helping a lot of Zimbabweans, and has occupied the space for the past 16 years.

“I have been in this area for the past 16 years. When I arrived here, this place was nothing but a forest. The Holy Spirit directed me here, and people used to hunt for game meat here. The suburb of Budiriro 4 was not there though few had built some structures then.

“But 16 years later, developers now want this place. The City of Harare came, the riot police also came but I am still here. I am not being stubborn or resisting eviction but there are certain procedures that must be followed,” he said.

According to his version, the area they occupy is in Ward 24, Zvimba East, under Chief Negomo, who is also a member of the church. This, therefore, means the land does not belong to Harare City Council.

However, Harare City Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi yesterday insisted that the piece of land belonged to the council and that it was allocated to CABS for the housing scheme.

He said plans had already been approved for construction of houses on that land.

“But that piece of land you made reference to is planned for housing development. Plans have already been approved to build houses under the CABS scheme,” said Gwindi.

Meanwhile, Madzibaba Enoch dismissed allegations published in the media that he was paying people to fake testimonies, saying that it was the work of his detractors bent on pulling him down.

He has been labelled a fake prophet but laughed off the stigma, saying his works were enough evidence that he was a messenger of God.

“I was shocked to learn that there are people out there spreading lies about this church. I have been here for a long time and this church has a lot of people. Why would I bribe people to fake miracles? I am aware that these people are just jealous about the whole thing.

“We are not here for jokes, but helping a lot of souls. We have traditional healers coming here for spiritual healing. Some people from most of the prominent pentecostal churches are always here for help. We are here to heal the sick and help people. Currently, we are in the process of constructing wards so that those who are sick and have not responded to scientific medication can stay and be prayed for,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Mail had an opportunity to meet Madzibaba Enoch’s spiritual father, Madzibaba Bibo (real name Bibo Musapurwa) from Chiweshe who had visited his son in the Lord. Madzibaba Bibo said he had come after he heard the allegations being levelled against Enoch.

“I know Madzibaba Enoch as my (spiritual) son and am aware of the power he has, that it is from heaven. After hearing the news that there are people spreading lies about him, I had to come here in solidarity,” said Madzibaba Bibo who owns a school of prophecy.

Who is Madzibaba Enoch?

Madzibaba Enoch is a popular Zimbabwean prophet and healer who was born 33 years ago. He is single and will not marry for he is under a vow which the church refers to as chitsidzo. He is originally from Chiweshe and started healing and praying for people while in Form 3.

“I relocated from Chiweshe to this area when I met a messenger from God (Mutumwa) in Dande who directed me here. But before, I had to stay with one Madzibaba Judah for three years who mentored me,” he said.

He conducts his services on Thursday and Friday, while Sunday is meant for those who go to work.

Madzibaba Enoch works with one Madzimai Masikatera who has been on the shrine for 10 years. Masikatera is responsible for welcoming visitors to the shrine.