Prophet Walter Magaya (photo: B Kanamhora)

Prophet Walter Magaya (photo: B Kanamhora)

‘IF you are neutral in situations of injustice then you have taken the side of the oppressor’ Desmond Tutu. The Archbishop’s prophetic remarks said it all when it comes to the Zimbabwean religious ‘prophets/fathers’ deafening silence following the injustices and violence being meted out by Zanu PF to poor, hungry citizens of Zimbabwe, the majority of whom might be their followers.

Zimbabwe is going through a difficult time and all persons of influence should at least speak out one way or the other, especially the people whose livelihoods depend on ordinary people’s pockets.

I am really just writing this article but I am aware that these so-called prophets are bed fellows with the Mugabe regime.

One incident that I remember very clearly is when Magaya bought Grace Mugabe’s book for fifty thousand United States dollars.

It is none of my business what the prophet chooses to do with his money but I can’t help but observe that this is a classic take­-from­-the-­poor-­and­-give­-to-­the-­rich case because this money is most likely from poor people’s ‘tithes’.

When you receive money from poor citizens and splash it around, making donations which contribute to propping up an evil regime, then it is only fair that when the regime starts killing and beating people you make a statement so that people know which side you stand with.

The people who follow the prophets ­ and believe in the money spinning prosperity gospel (so far to the financial gain of the prophets) ­ at least deserve that.

The role of religious people in times injustice is to stand with the powerless, in my opinion. Reverend Martin Luther King Jnr, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the fallen Archbishop Pius Ncube and the Dalai Lama are just but a few examples.

But, in the case of these Zim prophets, all I see is relentless efforts to appease Mugabe and his family.

I would, therefore, like to think that if you make such generous donations as buying a stupid book by a former typist that you have the space to stand up for the people.

If my knowledge of the Bible serves me right, even Jesus did so during his time. Random, vague prophesies like ‘the economy will crash blah, blah’ and convincing your followers to wait for blessings from God while you get your own blessings from them (only to give them to Grace Mugabe) is really not the best example the good prophets can set. I hope to see more from the men of God.

Magaya sponsored the national soccer team, something which really has nothing to do with God, so I will not hear any excuses of how getting involved in politics is ungodly.

Buying a birthday present for a dictator’s wife is as ungodly as it can get too, Makandiwa. Without these ordinary people who are being bashed, tear­gassed and killed by Mugabe, the churches would be empty.

I hope that my tone really does, at the end of the day, sound like the appeal that it is. Because this is an appeal that I’m making for the prophets not to be men of the people only when the cameras can catch them in their glimmering suits.

My mother always reminded me of a very old saying that you only get to know who your real friends are during hard times. This is just about the time for the prophets to show the world who matters the most to them; the people or the oppressor?