SPIRIT Embassy Church leader Uebert Angel has been battling a serious health scare after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in January this year in a development that forced him to decamp to his UK base to fight the disease.
The 36-year-old has not been seen in Zimbabwe over the last few months and recently announced he was handing over to his wife, Beverly, the church leadership in order to go on a five-month prayer retreat.
The announcement, made on Twitter, fuelled speculation that Angel had done a runner to escape possible prosecution and public disgrace.
There were reports that police dockets had been opened on him in Harare as well as claims he had made a youthful lover pregnant and spirited her away to Germany to avoid discovery and public shame.
Some media reports also claimed that a delegation of Ghanaian pastors would soon arrive in Harare to expose Angel for allegedly using black magic which he was said to have acquired in the West African country.
In addition, a Harare man recently approached the High Court claiming Angel was refusing to return a US$300,000 Bentley given to the prophet on the promise that the “seed” would, in a matter of months, multiple three times in value.
Angel has not directly responded to the allegations but NewZimbabwe.com was this week informed that he had temporarily moved to the UK for health reasons.
Sources close to the charismatic preacher said Angel’s doctors found he had a brain tumour in January this year but the prophet chose to continue with his church and public engagements, only informing close family of the development.
One of his last few public appearances in Zimbabwe was when he attended President Robert Mugabe’s birthday celebrations in February where he made a brief speech before promptly leaving, to the surprise of the thousands of people gathered for the event.
“He has been battling with cancer privately, dealing with pain which was at times debilitating but he nonetheless publicly maintained a cheerful outlook and attitude,” said our source who asked not to be named.
“However, it came to a point where it became difficult to maintain the pretence that all was well because, often, he would get a sudden surge of pain which made it impossible to remain in public view without people noticing that something was wrong.
“This is what happened during the president’s birthday celebrations, forcing the prophet to leave the event.”
When it became clear that he needed urgent and expert medical attention, the Spirit Embassy leader decided to temporarily relocate to the UK in order to be close to his family.
Angel’s office in the UK would not comment in detail but confirmed the cancer scare adding the prophet was now recovering after being given the all-clear by his doctors.
“The tumour has crystallised. It has stopped growing, so the prophet is in the clear for now,” said our source.
“We know he, now, is not in pain anymore; he fought one of the deadliest diseases and survived. And for that we praise and glory to God.”
Angel has also found himself at the centre of the country’s recent political storm after being linked to President Robert Mugabe’s increasingly powerful wife, Grace.
After he attended the president’s birthday, Angel and his wife also visited Grace’s projects in the country including the orphanage in Mazowe, leading to reports the First Lady was trying to conscript the prophet’s massive following for her political ambitions.
A church insider claimed Angel had received death threats from the first family’s political rivals, adding the whiff of scandal and media attacks against him were part of a deliberate campaign to “try and bring the prophet down, to tarnish and befoul the prophet’s person and his good”.
“Ultimately, you have to give Prophet Angel credit,” said the insider.
“He (Angel) was not only battling cancer, but he has managed, during this trying time, to withstand all personal attacks and accusations, lead a church preaching the gospel and prophesying even in the face of excruciating pain.”