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'Miracle cash' stir more debate

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2013 at 04:28hrs | Views
CLAIMS by a Ghanaian fetish priest that he is helping preachers in Africa acquire supernatural powers has ignited debate in Zimbabwe where a number of prophets are performing extraordinary miracles.

While some dismissed the claims that were published in last week's edition of The Saturday Herald on the basis that the sangoma's utterances were not authenticated, others feel he could have influenced some local preachers.

Others defended prophets who are claiming to help people receive miracle money, heal different ailments and make followers receive gold nuggets.

Last week, a "sangoma" from Ghana said over 1 700 pastors and "men of God" from different parts of Africa had approached him seeking powers to perform miracles.

The fetish priest, Nana Kwaku Bonsam, who operates from a shrine at Sa-Peiman, a village on the outskirts of Nsawam in east Ghana, said his god was called Kofi-Kofi who provides him with supernatural powers that are desperately needed by pastors from all walks of life.

He claimed prominent businesspeople and celebrated church founders frequent the shrine for his services and entered the shrine barefooted and without a phone or a wristwatch.

As part of his rituals, the priest hangs a cat alive and slaughters several fowls, a white dove, pigeons and goats and then spills the blood on his god.

The inner shrine is packed with several other gods and also has many cartons of talcum powder, bibles, razor-sharp machetes hung around the room, a rifle, golden rings, money, padlocks, calabashes and many other items which are veiled.

Said Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe leader Bishop Trevor Manhanga: "We should not be surprised at all at the phenomenon that is taking place, but we should not go to church seeking miracles, but God."

"God is not an ATM or father Christmas doling out gifts. We go to church to worship the Creator and even if He does not work a miracle in our lives, we still continue to worship Him."

Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe president Reverend Johannes Ndanga said he did not doubt the fetish priest's claims.

"This does not mean that there are no genuine men and women of God who indeed are doing miraculous works, but we should not just assume all miracles being done are in the power of God," he said.

"Ghana and Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) are the most popular countries where people visit to get those supernatural powers."

Apostle Alexander Chisango of Kingdom International Ministries said evil spirits could perform false miracles, false prophecies, false signs and false wonders.

"Scriptures and experience also reveal that formerly true servants of God can become possessed or deceived by the angels of darkness and start performing either miracles, signs, wonders, or giving prophecies completely out of divine order," he said.

"This can be done for selfish reasons and motives including financial greed, like it was with Balaam (Numbers 22:1-7). Such ones are not called prophets at all, but diviners or fortune tellers."

There some who feel that the Ghanaian fetish priest is out to discredit true prophets of God and mislead people.

They criticised some local preachers for siding with the sangoma and "judging other men of God".

"If a fellow man performs miracles in the name of Jesus, he is labelled a satanist," said Sanwell Ketiwa of Harare.

"They do not believe that God can do more than they have heard with their own ears and they do not believe that God can do things with anyone besides them.

"Anything they have not experienced is coming from the devil. Some have even become arm chair journalists attacking other preachers."

Rodwell Mutengwa also of Harare said people should not be irked by prophets who were doing their best to heal the sick.

"They are delivering the poor from poverty and when you criticise them you become an instrument of the devil," he said.

"I wonder if there is anything wrong if the prophets whom you call Satanists heal the sick and make the lame walk, are you the devil that enjoys to see people suffer."

Source - TH