Zim's Evangelist Angers Botswana Politicians

Beverly Angel, the co-founder of the Harare based Spirit Embassy church was accused by Francistown councillors of employing security that dwarfed that of President Ian Khama, the Mmegi newspaper said.

One of the councillors Tabengwa Tabengwa told the paper that he regretted attending the function after witnessing the behaviour of the evangelist’s wife.

“I was invited to the event as the area councillor but I wish I had not come to the event,” he told the newspaper.

“They even recognised the presence of their prophet more than that of Duma Masilo from the Office of the President and this did not go well with us.

“After that event I had a word with Peter Ngoma (former Francistown mayor) and pointed out to him that protocol was not observed by the church leaders.”

Another councillor Stanely Masalila said he felt abused by Angel’s security personnel.

“The prophet’s security personnel were pushing people,” he said. “They did not want me to get inside the house and tour with the pastor.

“They blocked my way when I wanted to get inside. I even complained to former mayor Ngoma.

“I thought as former mayor he knows and understands how protocol should be done in this country.”

He said the councillors felt disrespected in their own country by the Zimbabweans.

“I did not understand what their problem was because we are free in Botswana,” Masalila said.  “We are a country of peace. I think they should know that their prophet is not God and they should treat people with respect.”

But Daniel Morupisi, the Spirit Embassy resident president defended the tight security saying Angel’s followers were in the habit of mobbing her in the belief that they will receive blessings.

“If we allow the public to touch her there would be congestion,” he said. “We have to offer her enough security to avoid mobbing. We do this everywhere, even when we go internationally.”

The Angel couple are part of a crop of so-called prosperity gospel evangelists who have taken Zimbabwe by storm.

Desperate Zimbabweans flock to their churches seeking to escape grinding poverty blamed on the decade old economic crisis.

Hubert Angel’s friend Emmanuel Makandiwa attracts thousands of people to his congregation and owns a fleet of sports cars.