Society

Who is Shepherd Bushiri 

Dante Mwandawiro
Written by Dante Mwandawiro

Known as Major 1 or Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, he is a Malawian Christian preacher, motivational speaker, author, and businessman. He was born on 20 February 1983 in Mzuzu, in the northern part of Malawi. His mother gave him the name Shepherd due to the complexities around his birth, acknowledging the Lord as her Shepherd

He moved to Pretoria in South Africa where he leads his church – the Enlightened Christian Gathering, a non-denominational evangelical church known as the Enlightened Christian Gathering. The church has headquarters in Pretoria, South Afric,  with branches in other African countries and around the world. Tens of thousands of people are attracted to the church every day. He describes the church as a Prophetic Ministry based on the principle that “God cares and loves people and wants to speak directly to them.

Bushiri also runs a global investment company, Shepherd Bushiri Investments, based in Sandton near Johannesburg, with interests in mining, real estate, an airline, and other entrepreneurial enterprises.  According to Bushiri, he ventured into businesses to support his family as he does not believe the church must support his family.

Mr. Bushiri has been described as one of the richest religious leaders in Africa. He claims to have cured people of HIV, made the blind see, changed the fortunes of the impoverished, and, on at least one occasion, appeared to walk on air, although none of these claims have been scientifically proven.

He is so popular that he has been known to fill sports stadiums with followers. But he has also been accused of preying on poor people, desperate to improve their lives, by selling merchandise including “miracle oil”. The authorities in Botswana shut down his church after it claimed that money could be summoned out of nothing, which contravened financial regulations.

Mr. Bushiri is accused of money laundering and fraud, along with his wife and two others. Crime investigators say the case involves 102 million South Africa rand ($6.6m; £5m).

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