Okay so, I am not trying to keep flogging a dead horse, but when a saga keeps evolving, you have to stay on top of it. I fully suspect that there will be many parts to this T.B Joshua series. So what is new? Well, you have all heard that the president of Malawi died recently and T.B Joshua predicted it (well, kind of). The faithful have been hailing the prophetic prowess of the great man of GOD. However the story is a little more complex than that. From all indications, he had inside information. The vice president of Malawi (who has been sworn in as president) is a staunch member of his church. See video below for yourself:

Now, I could spend a long time typing about the implications of this, but I don’t have to. Somebody else has done an excellent job of it. Its a long article, but I beg you to read it all. Magnificently written!

As a caveat, I must admit I have a certain aversion to prophets and prophecies. And I did a piece, ‘Nigerian Nostradamuses’, on this some years back.

To me prophets must be sadists of sorts. The Biblical narrative of Jonah, written by, I believe, an allegorist, as a commentary about prophetic psychology, provides some helpful illustrative insight. God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh to prophesy He would punish the city’s inhabitants. After much drama, Jonah obeyed; the people repented and, God backed down. It would have been a fairy tale ending except the Bible adds a twist: Jonah’s ego was dented that God didn’t give him the joy of being proved right — after spending three days in the belly of the fish and managing to escape being digested, his frustration is understandable — and he was angry enough to want to die.

Prophets ought to have some elements of this Jonah-ism ego-tripping in them and T.B. Joshua, a popular Nigerian prophet, cannot be an exception. He predicts frequently: from Nigeria’s poorly trained and ill-motivated football teams losing matches to Michael Jackson’s death.

On a Youtube video of his hit Christian channel, Emmanuel TV, he prophesied that a certain African leader would die a ‘sudden death’. The first prophesy was on February 5; another, March 18; and on April 1, he eliminated West African leaders from the possibilities. Excerpts had him say, ‘I am praying…When it is too close and I cannot do anything about it, I will say it. But I’m still talking to Father but if I realise there is nothing I can do, I will talk…Before I come out to say something, I have been praying and praying. God showed me but I am praying to see whether this can be changed…I see sudden death but this can be changed.’ The Malawian President, Bingu wa Mutharika, died exactly 60 days from the first prediction.

Joshua has the inalienable right to frame any prophesy; his seer venture has been profitable and, Ikotun, Lagos, his church’s headquarters, is the better for it. His magnificent edifice dwarfs other structures around and provides employment for a number of Nigerians and foreigners. My quarrel with this ugly situation is Joshua’s gloat.

Following Mutharika’s demise, an exuberant Joshua bragged the dead man wrote to him six days prior to his death. A lot of questions here but the pertinent is: how did Mutharika find out that he would die via a prophesy? Since the content of the letter was not read out, how do we know what it said? What if it was even forged? (Worse things have happened in the Christendom) But what I find most reprehensible about the whole affair is that Joshua displayed the purported presidential signature in a live Sunday service. That’s a grave betrayal of pastoral confidence. It would be a different thing if a journalist did that. What Joshua did amounts to triumphalism and sadism; an undignified use of a man’s death as a trophy and with such shocking tactlessness.

Given how much was at stake for Joshua, could Mutharika’s death not have been hastened to prove this prophecy at all cost? It is not beyond the realm of conjecture. Statesmen have been dealt the dark art of death-by-piecemeal through the ages.

Crassly, in the triumphant PR stunt, what Joshua didn’t say to his millions of viewers’ is that the VP of the country, who has since been sworn in as the new president, Ms. Joyce Banda, is one of his staunch devotees.

Ms. Banda, in a Youtube video posted in July 2011, praised Joshua for the miracle he performed on her husband who had suffered stroke, sometime in 2009. (Was Mr. Banda actually cured of stroke through medication or prayers? Given the Pentecostal-speak, she could be ‘claiming this by faith’ or deliberately skipped the part of the medical exertions that must have gone into his treatment!)

The Mutharika/Banda relationship mirrors the antagonism between Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar and the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan in succession to Umaru Yar’Adua after the latter’s death. Like the bad blood between Obasanjo and Atiku, the Vice-President clung to her post moved away to form a new party. And like the Yar’Adua/Jonathan presidency, there was heightened tension before the VP ascended the office of president.

Couldn’t this woman, as VP, considering her fractious relationship with the president, have been the ‘God’ who ‘voiced’ this dazzling prophecy in Joshua’s ears?

Critically examining the prophesy itself, what is it about a 78-year old man dying that Joshua prayed relentlessly about? Why not pray to the same God to avert the death of children who died celebrating on Easter Sunday in Benue? By saying he was praying to see whether this man’s death sentence could be changed, was Joshua not putting a catch with which he could manipulate his way out if no head of state had died? The famous trick of putting meat in your mouth and making it disappear — pyrotechnics.

One part of prophesies I’ll never understand is when someone says God told him a certain disaster is coming and people should pray. If I were God, I whisper to my prophet about a coming evil that can be averted and, he in turn announces it to a delegation of prayer warriors, and they come beg me to avert it, what does that make me? Narcissistic? Vain?

I know for gullible people, this ‘prophecy’ is another goal scored for Joshua. He gets that from time to time; when John Attah-Mills became Ghana’s president, he gave glory to Joshua, God and the electorate (in that order). If Joshua and his God are not sadists, he should prophesy prosperity for Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, so that Americans can stop adopting their children to put up celebrity motherhood shows. It is bad we have African leaders who kowtow before a fellow man to hear ‘God’. If Paul the Octopus had been in Africa, its owner would have had an overflowing church by now.

While civilised countries and their leaders are looking to break new frontiers in knowledge and wellbeing, African leaders are turning towards superstition. Fredrick Chiluba, now late; Attah-Mills and Banda were ensnared in a black-hole of myopic servitude. Ms. Banda professes a 24-hour watch of Emmanuel TV on Sundays and given her overt superstitious disposition, I wonder what will become of her impoverished nation.

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The influence T.B Joshua has with African leaders is nothing short of amazing. For instance, Winnie Mandela is also a staunch supporter as the video below shows:

Anyways, not everyone is happy with the sequence of events leading to the death of the Malawian president, and some Malawian religious leaders are asking questions:

Pastor Temitope Joshua has come under fire from Malawian clergymen and politicians who questioned his role in the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi.

According The Herald on Wednesday, social networking sites have been awash with conspiracy theories saying if this had happened in some Western countries, it would have necessitated a commission of enquiry.

Others said God does not tell prophets who is going to die but rather who needs salvation.

Joshua had told his congregation of the Synagogue Church of All Nations about two months ago that an African Head of State was going to die of illness in 60 days, and in a subsequent sermon gave the day and date of death.

His prophecy has been linked with the death of Mutharika who succumbed to cardiac arrest last Thursday.

Political analysts and clergymen said no prophet of God was expected to prophesy about someone’s death no matter how evil they are.

Zanu-PF legislator for Tsholotsho North, Jonathan Moyo, accused Joshua of being part of the conspiracy in the death of the President.

He said, “TB Joshua’s involvement in this tragedy smacks more of a plot than a prophecy. One thing for sure is that there is no prophecy here but just a prediction if one is to give him a benefit of doubt.

“This leaves open the questions as to what happened because to neutral people there appears to be more to the saga than meets the eye.

“In some places there is even spirited speculation in well informed circles that TB Joshua had privileged intelligence information about a death plot against Mutharika and the plotters used him as their microphone to divert attention from them and let the death appear like it was an act of God when it was an intelligence operation.

“The kind of exact alleged prophecy on when it was going to happen shows that this was being said by someone with medical information and not from God.

“It’s possible to medically induce a cardiac arrest no wonder why his death was first leaked by his doctors.

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop Conference Secretary General, Frederick Chiromba, said the Catholics did not give prophecies on someone’s death.

“When you go to the scriptures no one is sanctioned to predict someone’s death in the public forum.

“God doesn’t give advance notices to individuals about their death. From the Catholic perspective it is not encouraged to give such prophecies. We don’t have such kind of prophecies in the Catholics,” Chiromba said.

Rev. Simon Jena of Baptist in Chitungwiza said, “That prophecy isn’t clear to me especially prophesying about the death of leaders.

“It would be proper to just say let’s pray for our leaders than to say a leader is going to die. This causes alarm and despondency. We just have to unite and pray for our leaders so that God can protect them.”

However, Destiny of Africa Network founding president Rev. Obadiah Musindo differed saying TB Joshua’s prophecy to the church was meant for the church to plead with God against the imminent death.

“A prophet is an instrument of God’s word to the people and he says what God would have said.

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Now the prophet is predicting that somebody in Nollywood will die soon. There are quite a few very sick older Nollywood actors, so I am not particularly convinced! What do y’all think though?

 

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