Controversial Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri may not succeed in his quest to come to Botswana for a mass crusade set for May 27. This is because any person in the past, who was placed on the Visa requirement list never got his application to enter the country succeed.
The South Africa-based churchman popularly known as Major One by his followers in Africa, is the leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) in Pretoria and has visited a number of Southern African countries to stage crusades. Posters and social media banners and adverts recently appeared, saying the man of God would be in Botswana end of this month.
Amidst all the excitement by his thousands of followers in Botswana, Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Edwin Batshu on April 26 published notice in the Government Gazette, stating that Bushiri would need a Visa to come into Botswana.
“Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Regulation 5 of the Immigration (Visa) Regulations the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs hereby declares that Shepherd Huxley Bushiri of Malawian nationality is to obtain visa to enter Botswana,” Batshu declared.
Incidentally, there is no Visa requirement for Malawi nationals, which suggests that Botswana government is not comfortable with Bushiri’s activities. Sources close to the Government Enclave reveal that Bushiri is suspected to be part of a money-laundering scheme with reference being made to links with Ref Wayne who recently was accused of wanting to swindle Batswana of their hard-earned money by promising to make them rich.
The Botswana Stock Exchange would later add to the broth when they too denounced Wayne for fraudulently using the BSE logo on his facebook campaign. “It has come to our attention that a facebook page under the name Ref-Wayne – Pipcoin is using the BSE logo for promotional purposes and through this press release we set the record straight,” the BSE Market Development Manager Thapelo Moribame wrote late March, adding: “The public is therefore cautioned against engaging with the company or the individuals behind the page under the pretext that there exists a relationship between the BSE and Ref Wayne – Pipcoin.”
In 2012, Botswana government deported Pastor Francis Sakufiwa of Zambia on suspicions that he was at the centre of a syndicate involved in crimes like drug-dealing, money laundering and tax evasion. More pastors who resided in Botswana then were placed on the wanted list, and with Bushiri having resided in Botswana before, there are alleged links being made between him and Pastor Sakufiwa.
Of late, government has been taking a cautious stance on the proliferation of charismatic churches whose leadership is in the habit of promising Batswana huge sums of miracle money and miracle husbands.
Three years ago, Economic Freedom Fighters leader in South Africa, Julius Malema was also asked to apply for a Visa to come into Botswana although like Malwians, South Africans do not need a Visa to enter Botswana. He never came. Neither did Gordon Bennett who was also placed on the Visa list. It thus remains to be seen if Bushiri would succeed. Government officials say they want to be able to monitor Bushiri’s movements while in Botswana.
Major One Bushiri may not get permission to get into Botswana