Zimbabwe : Tsvangirai‘s visit to TB Joshua raises more questions than answers

tb-joshuaHARARE – Whoever said two heads are better than one probably did not have Zimbabwe’s inclusive government in mind.

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai demonstrated this in the recent past weeks when he sought a third and invisible head in the inclusive government in the form of Nigerian man of God TB Joshua, full name Temitope Balogun Joshua.

Tsvangirai travelled to Nigeria to meet the man of God in a move that generated much debate in informal discussions in local bars, commuter omnibus and social network sites.

In Nigerian newspapers the visit to TB Joshua founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), was described as an act of seeking “Spiritual Direction.”

The papers such as the Lagos-based Sunday Tribune even went further and speculated that the visit was in some way a measure to ascertain Tsvangirai’s victory in any future elections in Zimbabwe.

And like a man who has received his prophecy, Tsvangirai spoke like Zimbabwe’s next President at an economic summit held in Johannesburg last week telling investors that he was sorting out the future of service chiefs and that Mugabe wants to bow out of politics as a hero.

But many are still speculating as to what Tsvangirai and the Nigerian man of God could have discussed.

Jealous Mawarire, a Harare based political analyst and a member of the Pentecostal fellowship told the Daily News that Tsvangirai could have been in Nigeria for personal reasons.

“Besides being the Prime Minister, he is an individual who has a right to religious association. Maybe he went to TB Joshua with personal problems that he wanted addressed,” said Mawarire.

“Maybe he wanted God’s guidance to choose a wife and such decisions require spiritual guidance.”

Tsvangirai lost his wife, Susan in a tragic accident in March 2009. He is yet to remarry but has been rumoured to be looking at re-establishing his marital bliss.

However, Mawarire added that politicians should not use the altar of the church to campaign for votes but as a pedestal to develop a genuine relationship with God.morgan-tsvangirai_1

He said if Tsvangirai is creating a relationship with God, “then if he wins elections it will be good for us because a President who knows and fears God is a better leader.”

But why TB Joshua and not Ezekiel Guti, Nolbert Kunonga, Obadiah Msindo and many other revered local Men of God?

TB Joshua’s rise to fame was driven by two things – his ability to foretell future events and his kingmaker abilities demonstrated by the number of heads of states and prospective heads of states who have visited him before and went on to assume the mantle of state politics in African countries.

His church appears to have become a place of refuge for African politicians. In 2008, John Atta Mills then opposition leader in Ghana paid a visit to the prophet during elections in his country and thereafter won the election.

Former President of Zambia, Frederick Chiluba visited the prophet while he was in power. Even the late leader of Gabon, Omar Bongo did the same.

Among other presidents who had paid similar visit were Andre Kolimba and Pascal Lissouba of Central African Republic and Congo, respectively.

Joshua has allegedly predicted many world events and disasters, including the disastrous cyclone in Myanmar, the death of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, Nigerian leader Umaru Yar’Adua and Michael Jackson.

T B Joshua’s other unique attribute is his power to predict events in the lives of individuals.

It will be interesting to hear from the premier what the man of God said to Tsvangirai’s future and that of Mugabe.

Although nobody knows what all these men who have visited him wanted, he surely must have something that Tsvangirai thought would help him in his political career.

His ministry is attracting a growing fanatical following, particularly across Africa, and many African leaders like Ghana’s Atta Mills regularly frequent his church for spiritual support and guidance.

But the question of the contents of Tsvangirai‘s prophecy remains a mystery.

Another Harare-based analyst Takura Zhangazha said Tsvangirai had a right to religious association but hoped that his visit to Nigeria had nothing to do with the political problems that the country faces.

“The only thing that the Prime Minister needs to guard against is the myth of religion and politics. I don’t think that religion can pre-ordain a reasonable direction that that the country must take and we cannot place our faith in quasi-religious activities,” said Zhangazha.

National Constitutional Assembly Chairperson and an ally Tsvangirai who is himself a religious leader in the Lutheran Church, Lovemore Madhuku told the Daily News that the visit could have been motivated by a need for “spiritual encouragement.”

“He probably wanted spiritual encouragement thinking that one day he will be president,” said Madhuku.

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