LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Black Economic Empowerment for Malawi on Monday take swipe at Republic of South Africa (RSA) government along side its media on continual attack on Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s business operations in that country.
Malawi CSOs have accused the RSA media for prosecuting Prophet Bushiri with unbiased reporting over his worthy.
The grouping are therefore asking the RSA government to treat the man of God with respect and dignity when doing business in that country.
The CSOs says any legal violation by the Prophet must be done with natural justice arguing that the frequent attacks on him are out jealousy over his business empire growth.
The call comes barely a few weeks after the RSA’ elite police, The Hawks, are investigating Bushiri on allegations of money laundering besides other claims.
Addressing the news conference in the capital Lilongwe led by is leader Robert Mkwezalamba disclosed that the call has been made to protect Malawians doing business locally and internationally.
Mkwezalamba told the media that the call has been directly extended to RSA government through its branch in that country.
Below is the statement issued and made available to The Maravi Post;
STATEMENT ON INCREASED ATTACKS /PERSECUTIONS OF PROPHET SHEPHERD BUSHIRI BY SOUTH AFRICAN MEDIA AND STATE OPERATIVES
We, the Citizens of Malawi ( in our capacities as Human rights defenders, Activists, religious leaders,..) have learnt from media reports that South Africa’s elite police, The Hawks, are investigating Malawian born, but South Africa-based Prophet Shepherd Bushiri on allegations of money laundering besides other claims. The Hawks have confirmed these investigations, of-course, through media.
Ideally, as law-abiding Citizens of Malawi, we do not have issues when investigating agencies of countries across the world open investigations on any person. Investigations are key in unearthing facts that helps the public to have an informed perspective on the subject.
However, as citizens of Malawi, we have been compelled to make this statement after observing worrying trends and suspicious elements in the way the Hawks’ investigations of Prophet Bushiri are being handled.
1.He is blamed of coming to Malawi on private jet monthly to drop illegal money yet he has only been in Malawi three times in the past 8 months. Besides the fact that all his trips are flagged and highly monitored by the state, two times of the three times he came to Malawi, we have information that he was thoroughly searched as a criminal without a search warrant but they found him and his jet with nothing. This is against hit rights to freedom of movement and personal privacy as accorded in the South African Constitution but also AU Convention against torture and degrading, inhuman treatment.
2. We are saddened that upon his return from the recent travel to the United States of America the Home Land Security took all his phones and laptop with passwords in the name of being sent by South African police whose objectives or findings were never shared with him.
3.We are aware that Money laundering is a serious offence anywhere in world But its surprising to us to note that Prophet Bushiri has not been officially communicated to by the Hawks regarding these investigations. It is very unprofessional of the HAWKS to let the “suspect” read about their fate in the press/media reports. This is not only unprofessional but also retrogressive as it has the effect of traumatising the Prophet including affecting his integrity as well as reputation as a Man of God whose dealings are always just and publicly shared through the Prophetic Channel and other publications. Such persecutions can not continue.
We are convinced there is a conspiracy between the Hawks and the media aimed at tarnishing the image of Prophet Bushiri. The numerous articles covered on Bushiri which do not mention names of complainants or news sources can attest to this.
4.We are gravely concerned, that these stories are always being carried in piecemeal by one media house and, is it coincidence, the same journalist? Could it be that the journalist is being fed by some quarters in The Hawks? This amplifies our fears that there appears conspiracy between the Hawks and the media just to tarnish the image of Prophet Bushiri.
5.When we see the illegal activities against Prophet Bushiri Police and the Hawks, we have no doubt there is a great xenophobia going on against our citizen as none of the elite SA pastors or Prophets receive such attacks.
We, as Malawians, are immensely proud of Prophet Bushiri’s meteoritic rise and achievements both as a man of God and as an entrepreneur. He has greatly contributed to the profiling of the country beyond borders.
We are further aware of the enormous contributions that Prophet Bushiri is making to South Africa’s economy. His church continues to attract over 9000 foreign visitors to South Africa weekly for its services.
The direct and indirect contributions of these visitors to the South African economy cannot be overemphasised.
Through his group of companies under Shepherd Bushiri Investments (SBI), Prophet Bushiri contributes immensely in depopulating the unemployment market in South Africa.
Much as we would have loved to have him here, we feel, in the spirit of Pan Africanism and regional integration he has the right to operate and reside any place in this world without undue persecutions, hence he chose South Africa.
Our relations on other hand dates back to time immemorial and we have shared so much uncommon to the extent that we co-exist here at home and right there in RSA where there is a larger community of Malawians living harmoniously with south Africans.
Let state organs not to be used as instruments to bring disunity among our people. Malawi has capacity too to cause misery and great strife to the South African community living here BUT as the warmheart of Africa we have never taken that route and we don’t want to take it any time in future. Your State entities conduct and behavior should help us achieve this.
We demand an immediate stop of Prophet Bushiris persecutions or have him formally charged within the next 14days otherwise leave our anointed Man of God free!!
We appeal to the South African public to embrace and support Prophet Bushiri God-given mission to preach the gospel and, through his businesses, to help lift millions from poverty. We appeal to them to rise up against the spirit of xenophobia which distorts the lovely story of the Rainbow Nation.
We also appeal to South African Police and secret operatives, to ensure they dispense their duties in an acceptable manner and to the best of their professional expectation.
As the SA constitution provides, “South Africa belongs to South Africans and ALL who live in it!” Hence We appeal to the South African government to ensure that all persons in the rainbow nation are treated equal before the law.
Lastly, we appeal to the Malawi public to stand up for each other and show the world we are a nation brought together by the spirit of love and community.
In one Mighty God We Trust!!
SIGNED by Robert Mkwezalamba
Chairperson, National Black Economic Empowerment.