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Tsvangirai speaks on Prophet TB Joshua

by Staff reporter
24 Sep 2014 at 22:13hrs | Views
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai has sympathised with embattled Nigerian preacher Temitope Balogun Joshua following the death of 115 people after a guesthouse collapsed at his church compound.

The support comes as the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) founder promised to travel to South Africa to "console family and relatives of the 84 South Africans" who perished in the guest house disaster amid calls by the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) for him to be denied a visa.

While Tsvangirai himself had told the Daily News that he could not comment or discuss the unfolding saga since "he was driving and far away", his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed that his boss had sent a condolence message to the under fire TB Joshua.

"The president was so much touched by the mishap and being (a) devout Christian… he joins the rest of the world in mourning the untimely loss of life," the MDC presidential spin-doctor said, although he could not divulge contents of the letter.

"This is a tragedy and we sympathise with the government of Nigeria and people who lost their relatives…. As a party were are actually affected by the tragedy," Tamborinyoka said when quizzed about the ex-premier's view of the spiritual leader's handling of the disaster amid widespread charges of obfuscation of the scale of the crisis.

Ever since the guesthouse – mainly housing foreigners – collapsed on September 12, TB Joshua has endured a serious backlash through press reports that he had "stonewalled rescue efforts and bribed journalists" in the aftermath of the disaster.

According to Tsvangirai's spokesperson, the former trade unionist had actually slept in one of the buildings adjacent to the one which tumbled or caved in due to poor workmanship when he visited Lagos last year.

"The president is a Christian and when he went there… he slept in the guest house," Tamborinyoka said, adding his boss had always been "received well" each time he went to the West African country.

Tsvangirai's condolences come as one of his key backers and Mashonaland West provincial executive Greenwich Ndanga was killed in the Ikotun tragedy.

Last year, TB Joshua prayed for the MDC leader at his SCOAN headquarters and in that episode Tsvangirai "buckled to his knees", and rose again, as if he was entranced.

It was the second time that the veteran politician had visited the controversial soothsayer after attending another church service in September 2010 when he was still the country's prime minister.

As the world struggles to digest and understand the disaster – dozens more outside the 115 people killed – questions abound about the celebrity preacher's prophetic powers since he had failed to predict the collapse of the multi-storied apartment in his own backyard and compound.

In the past, TB Joshua has hogged the limelight for sensationally claiming to see the demise of several high profile people and African heads of State as well as other tragedies worldwide.

According to him, he foresaw Michael Jackson's death and many other disasters.

However, it was the SCOAN founder's insistence that the disaster had been caused by a "mysterious plane and sheer sabotage" that have angered many, including the ANCYL, which is even contemplating legal action through a class suit.

"I will be travelling to South Africa to meet people from South Africa and other nations who find South Africa easier to visit, in memory of martyrs of faith," TB Joshua said on Sunday, adding reports surrounding the monumental disaster bordered on "persecution and propaganda".

According to Nigerian journalist Nicholas Ebekwe, the self-styled prophet handed out envelopes containing 50 000 Naira or over $300 and the reporter says he was surprised to see some of his colleagues take the money.

"What got me angry is we are talking about a tragedy, we are talking about a loss of over 90 lives," he told SAfM. "Now journalists do not have the conscious to report what is right."

He said the act of bribery was completely unethical.

Source - dailynews