Thousands of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) ministries followers yesterday descended on the capital Harare to clean-up the central business district in a campaign which brought business in the city to a standstill. The Standard senior reporter, Xolisani Ncube (XN) spoke to PHD ministries leader Walter Magaya (WM) during the exercise and he explained the clean-up campaign. He also spoke about his links with former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and other issues. Below are excerpts from the interview.
By XOLISANI NCUBE
XN: Prophet Magaya, can you share with us what has motivated you to do this clean-up exercise in the city centre?
WM: Well, this is not the first time we have done such an exercise, so basically it should not be a surprise to anyone who knows and understand how our ministry operates. But to give you a substantive response to your question, it has always been our wish to worship in a clean and healthy environment. The health and wellbeing of our city is a concern to us. We want to have a clean city, an attractive city which attracts investors and promotes health. As a church, we want to ensure our members are free from diseases that we can avoid such as cholera and typhoid and we must play a role in ensuring that happens.
Let me be clear here, when we have a clean city which is attractive to tourists and other investment opportunities, we would be creating wealth for our members, hence we have to play that important role as a church or ministry.
XN: Are you going to end the programme in Harare or you would want it to spread to other cities?
WM: Time permitting we would want to do this across the country. Remember our membership is spread across the country and beyond, but at the moment we are in the capital. We want to assist our government in maintaining a clean city, a clean environment, especially now with the outbreak of cholera. We need to keep our environment as clean as possible.
XN: There are reports that you are now taking a back seat at Yadah FC, a football team that has been synonymous with your brand, why?
WM: It’s not that I am quitting per se. I only alluded to the fact that I have too much at the moment and I would want to concentrate on new demands and diversify the church as well as our business ventures. I will always remain in football but at a different level.
I want to help a lot of people and so diversifying means that I can have more resources grow and increase the number of those that I assist.
It’s not like I’m quitting Yadah FC. I may not participate in the league or I may participate in the league depending on what happens today or tomorrow, you may see me participating in the league. But all the team members of Yadah FC are still there.
XN: Are we likely to see you helping Yadah FC going forward either technically, or financially?
WM: Yes, I have always assisted them and I will always assist them as much as I can. But as I have always said the national team is my first priority because it is a national duty, but I will always assist them.
XN: In 2016 you began a project to build houses for your members, but it seems the project has died a natural death why?
WM: The project is very much alive and we are making progress. We are doing very well and we are now anticipating that since there is now a policy of ease-of-doing-business from our government, we will accelerate the project which was stalled by various challenges.
We have been working to ensure we get all the paper work for the project but due to certain forces, it has been a challenge. We are happy now that it seems the new dispensation is supportive of our project. We have been pushing in the past for people to approve our project but it has been a challenge. I am glad that things are changing, you will see results soon.
XN: What are the challenges that you encountered and from who?
WM: Yes, previously I encountered a lot of challenges. Now I am hoping that in the new era it will be easy since there is a policy of the ease-of-doing-business. We have had challenges of false information getting out there and false accusations being made against me. I think jealous was driving a lot of people than anything else. That’s the first thing. Second thing is that we received attacks you know, just general attacks from different areas whereby we faced resistance from one or two, hence we failed to achieve our goal. Maybe one was saying why are you doing it and another says why are you not doing it? So there was a lot of resistance in terms of support for our projects. But now, for instance for the past 30 days we have managed to move on the factory which we are setting up as a church.
The ministry of Mines has approved our mines quickly which were stuck for the past eight months. The ministry of Local Government is assisting us, the ministry of Finance sent someone to view what we are doing, so you know, when your ministers are supporting you with that sense of urgency, then you know you are going somewhere as a country. We really appreciate this idea of easing the way business ought to be done. The way projects are approved is really encouraging.
XN: There are some who are saying you are undertaking too many projects at the same time and in the process getting zero results. What is your response?
WM: If you look at me, do you see a small man? I am also too much in my making. I believe that I can handle anything and I can take on any challenge so long my God has approved it.
XN: Do you have new initiatives on the plan?
WM: Whatever God inspires me to I will go for it. Look, so far we are doing 28 projects and we might add another two more. Basically, we are exploring all possible avenues whichever the Lord opens for us.
XN: Let us talk about your church, is it still growing?
WM: Very fast and very big. Look at [the people that came out]today, look at the numbers. It’s a sign that we are growing very fast and very big.
XN: There have been reports and allegations that you were backing a faction in Zanu PF. I am talking about your alleged allegiance to people like Saviour Kasukuwere. What was your relationship with him and others?
WM: Everyone who has a mouth has the right to say whatever they want even without facts because you know a person cannot be told what they want to say or what they do not want to say. But what I know is those that are in power know who I am aligned to. I am aligned to God and I pray for whoever is leading. I used to pray for Cde Mugabe and now I am busy praying for the leader who is there in power, that’s what I do. I pray for him and bless him for God to give him more vision, for God to give him more wisdom, for God to give him proper decisions. So I pray for whoever is in power that is my duty. I am aligned to God and I pray for whoever is in power and I love whoever is in power. Right now I love him and pray for him and I bless him every time.
XN: Thank you very much prophet.
WM: Most welcome.