Churches that participate in the project will benefit as they are set to retain 40 cents from every card sold. Miss Siyathemba said Churches involved include ZAOGA, Family of God (FOG), Celebration, Praise and Worship Centre. Negotiations are in progress with some other Churches like Word of Life International, Life Spring and AFM.
“Our cards feature prominent Church leaders such as Prophet Andrew Wutawunashe of FOG and Bishop Trust Sinj of Praise and Worship Centre, and these cards bare their portraits” further explained Siyathemba.
However, this project has had its fair share of controversy, United Family International Ministries founder prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa faced a US$680, 000 lawsuit by motivational speaker Mr. Pascal Nyasha for allegedly hijacking his airtime communication project. The latter contends that Makandiwa and his team simply changed the name from the original “Evangelicard” to “Christian Spiritual Link.” He argued that the system was his own brainchild and that he was surprised to hear prophet Makandiwa publicly claiming the project to be his.
According to papers filed at the High Court, Mr. Nyasha and his two firms were copyright and intellectual property owners in a concept known as “Evangelicard, Daily Inspiration Concept and Daily Link.”
The Registrar of Patents, Trade Marks, Industrial Designs and Copyrights, duly granted the licence for copyright protection.
Bulawayo-based Christians who spoke to Relzim.org expressed optimism on this project. Elliot Nhengu of Citywide Family of God said he was happy with the introduction of Evangelicard as it would enable him to communicate with his spiritual father.
While Aubokwe Sibanda said Zimbabwe was legging behind in using technology to evangelize and the project has come at the right time. “Evangelicard is good innovation as it gives us the ability to communicate and convey messages very easily. This is information age – people have to take advantage of technology to spread the Gospel to all creatures.”
On the other hand, a man, who preferred to be called Zulu, said the Evangelicard has nothing to do with spiritual matters. “This is business and it has nothing to do with spiritual matters, this guy took a man of God to court over this project and it clearly shows that this is purely business. Why did they not team up and work together with Makandiwa if they were really concerned with evangelizing?”
Efforts to get a comment from Pascal Nyasha were fruitless: he was said to be out of office.