Harare, April 20, 2014 – Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, turned into a boom city Saturday, with Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s Judgement Night 2 at the National Sports Stadium being the major draw card.
Makandiwa, a larger-than-life preacher, whose church attracts 50 000 worshippers weekly, started pulling in crowds into the mega stadium as early as 9am yesterday for an event officially scheduled to start at 8pm last night.
Seeking prosperity and life-changing spiritual experiences, visitors flocked to the 60 000-seater stadium from around the country and globe, with enterprising Harare residents transforming the stadium and its environs into a hotbed of business.
Conspicuous outside the stadium was the first family’s Alpha and Omega trucks that disgorged their dairy products for sale.
Zimbabwe Republic Police officers helped control traffic and the crowd, with police dogs on standby, while parking largely controlled by church security.
UFIC double deck buses and haulage trucks went around Harare taking guests to the venue while commuter omnibuses made a killing ferrying the rest of the public to the National Sports Stadium.
Everyone arriving at the stadium was being given a ticket for enumeration purposes.
By yesterday afternoon, traffic swirled around the Chinese-built stadium, with delegates pouring in en-masse for the service. The level of expectation among people in the terraces was amazing, with many singing and blowing whistles.
By 4pm, the stadium was already full to the rafters.
As dusk set in, cars continued streaming in.
Dubbed “Free At Last”, organisers said those in bondage were set to be set free.
UFIC spokesperson and senior pastor Prime Kufa said miracles would be witnessed at the event and lives would surely be transformed, with many set to witness the visible manifestation of the power of God.
“Free at last is free from bondage and anything hindering progress and prosperity, be it witchcraft or demons,” Kufa said ahead of the mega event.
“The man of God (Makandiwa) said people should expect to hear the word because it is through the word that miracles emanate from and wonders manifest. Wonders and signs shall be witnessed.”
South African gospel music star Deborah Fraser arrived in Harare on Friday and local acts Mahendere Brothers, Gospel Power, Pastor Charamba and his wife Olivia, Diva Mafunga, Joyce Simeti, Pastor Hubert C, Minister Mahendere, UFIC Choir and Sebastian Magacha were also due to perform last night.
The prayer session was expected to attract more than 150 000 people, including foreigners. More space, dubbed “overspill spots” were created for the overwhelming numbers outside the stadium, where congregants were following proceedings on giant TV sets. At the B Arena, huge overflow tents were erected for the biggest gathering of Christians in Zimbabwe so far.
Makandiwa, a celebrity preacher with a huge following, announced at a recent church service that this year’s Judgement Night would surpass the previous one held two years ago.
The UFIC leader said this would be a ground-breaking session which he believes would bring in new developments in a country battered by acute economic difficulties.