Saturday 15 May 2021
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Bushiri followers likens arrest to that of Jesus

The recent arrest of Shepherd Bushiri did not only garner support and prayer in supplication for his release from his followers in South Africa, but Namibians also joined in proclaiming the innocence of the “Man of God”.
The prophet, who refers to himself as ‘Major One’, and his wife Emily Bushiri were arrested by the South African Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation – Hawks on Friday, 1 February. The couple were arrested on fraud, money laundering and organised crime related charges, involving more than N$15 million.
The two who lead the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church, are alleged to have committed these crimes since 2015.
The Bushiris who have since been released on N$100 000 bail each on Wednesday, sought out the legal services of defense attorney Barry Roux to represent them.
Roux defended former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius who shot and killed his girlfriend at the time, Reeva Steenkamp.
Bushiri’s visit to Namibia in 2016 was received with mixed feelings by Namibian citizens, church leaders and even politicians. The self styled prophet has since started a congregation in Namibia, and they meet in the Lafrenz Industrial Area.
During an interview with a spokesperson at the ECG Windhoek congregation, Emilie Hermann stated that they were not surprised when learning about the arrest of Bushiri as “ all prophets before him went through similar ordeals including Jesus Christ himself, and anyone taking up His cross is not spared.
While some praised the Malawian-born who filled up Sam Nujoma Stadium during his visit to Namibia, many others were sceptical of his visit to the country, his members in Namibia believes in Bushiri’s innocence and state they will remain in support of him.
One of the more-than 20 000 people who went to “receive blessings from the Major One in 2016 ” is Hilma Jacob, a 32-year-old mother of one.
Jacob said that while she strongly believed in Bushiri for over two years, she soon started to question what “he and his church is all about” and said that the arrest did not shock her.
“I was only surprised that he got caught that is all, I never ever thought anybody can catch the prophet. He is very good,” the mother said.
Swartz added that it took a lot for her relatives and friends to convince her that her “relationship with the church is not healthy.”
Swartz is also one of the followers who paid N$1 000 to attend a gala dinner with the ‘Major One’. That same gathering also came under public scrutiny after some attendees allegedly paid as much as tens of thousands of dollars to sit in close proximity with the prophet.
One well-known individual, whose believe in the prophet made the rounds last year, told The Patriot that while they have no comment, they find it interesting to see how the whole matter unfolds.
Another Bushiri follower, however has an opposite view of the ‘Major One’.
The woman who did not want to be mentioned because of her family name, strongly believes that Bushiri is “being tried and tested just like many true followers of Christ from the bible”.
“This is just an attack on Papa. The devil does not attack the sinner, Satan attacks those he knows are precious to God.
We know that many are doing everything in their power to try and tarnish the name of Major One,” the follower said.
The follower said that she even had a fall-out with her family because they do not want to understand why the congregation is standing by Bushiri despite the charges.
“The man of God is about to perform a great breakthrough and it is because of that, that there are all these attacks on him,” she added.
Another ECG congregation member Salome Kambala, told The Patriot that the church leadership warned them not to talk to the media regarding the matter.
“We were told not to comment on anything so please talk to Emily from church,” Kambala said.
According to media reports, Kambala who is a spokesperson at the home affairs ministry, was one of the organisers of Bushiri’s visit to Namibia in 2016.
Kambala was also one of the people who defended the prophet against allegations of taking money, made from the different events he had, out of the country.

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