Thousands of Bulawayo residents Thursday thronged Amazulu Sports Club where popular clergyman Walter Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries is holding a two-day crusade.

Residents started trickling into the venue on the outskirts of the city centre early in the morning although it was advertised that the event would start in the evening.

Magaya was expected to arrive at the venue in the evening, but activities started early in the day with people claiming to have been healed of various ailments.

Maria Mirisi (81), from Nkulumane, said she arrived at the stadium at 4am seeking a miracle.

“I always watched prophet Magaya on television. Whenever he prayed I used to touch my home screen believing a miracle would take place because I did not have money to go to Harare,” she said.

“When he announced that he was coming to Bulawayo, I came here at around 4am knowing that today is the day I have been waiting for all these years of pain.

“The moment I stepped on the ground I felt strength coming to my legs and immediately I threw my crutches away. I was able to run like a 16-year-old girl.”

Mpiyekhaya Siziba (38) said he had seen a number of people being healed after prayers from the PHD Ministries pastors.

“People are getting healed. I thought it was not real, but now I fully believe,” he said.

Sibusiso Magwaza (43) from Luveve suburb who suffered a stroke in 1994, was among the many seeking better health.

“I am not a member of this church, but I was told that I could be healed,” he said.

Magwaza arrived at the venue carrying her supper, blankets and toiletries saying she would spend the night at the stadium.

Chemistry Mathe took his wife Florence to the crusade saying they wanted to be healed because they had been sick for some time.

Maxwell Tengwana — one of the pastors in charge at the crusade — said the event was about ministering the Word of God.

“These are two days of God’s favour and grace as you can witness. Miracles have started happening even before we start the main event,” he said.

“We don’t brag about what is happening here, but we want people to believe that God is there.”

Magaya’s spokesperson Oscar Pambuka said the crusade was not a money-spinning venture, but was organised for worship.

“That’s why we are not selling the anointing oil, but giving it to those who buy discs,” he said.

“The main agenda is to reach out to all the parts of Zimbabwe as we have just started.”

The church said the two-day event was part of the Harare-based PHD Ministries’ way of reaching out to other parts of the country.