UNCONFIRMED reports say founder of the United Families International (UFI), Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa has fled the country.
It is alleged that Makandiwa flew to the United Kingdom together with his family and close counterparts.
Some eye witnesses confirmed seeing Makandiwa boarding a plane at the Harare International Airport.
However, his staunch followers confided that the prophet has gone to meet his spiritual father who resides overseas.
Some sources say Makandiwa might have fled owing to a number of controversial issues which involve large sums of money as well as his spiritual recharge cards.
Just last week, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) probed the prophet for allegedly operating a cellular phone airtime recharge service illegally.
Makandiwa was supposed to feature in the much publicised ‘Catch The Fire’ revival, which is going to be held from the 21st to the 26th of this month.
The prophet has attracted huge attention in Zimbabwe with crowds in excess of 35,000 people attending his sermons in one sitting.
The ministry acquired tent structures which have been erected at the City Sports Centre to cater for the ever increasing crowds of people who come to the UFI services at the Harare City sports Centre. Seven tents were acquired from China and are now in place at the City Sports Centre.
The intention was to avoid seating people in the open subject to the heat, rain and outside weather conditions. However, barely a month after acquiring the tents and fixing them at UFI City Sports Centre Sunday and Tuesday service location, the crowds in excess of 35 000 people have become too huge beyond the capacity of the tents to hold them.
WHO IS MAKANDIWA?
Makandiwa was reportedly born on December 25 in 1977, of a Muzarabani peasant family. His parents are both elders in the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Muzarabani.
The journey began in 1993, when Pastor Makandiwa and other boys his age spent six months with the late Pastor Mukwaira going around on crusades.
The teenage Makandiwa then left for his rural home after completing secondary education at Zengeza High to help his parents back in Muzarabani till the land.
In Muzarabani, Makandiwa started taking God’s word seriously and the next four years turned his life around.
With his parents, they organised crusades and preached from home.
In 1995, Pastor Makandiwa reportedly received his calling to serve God in a vision and would team up with a Muzarabani AFM Pastor, Rev Munyengeterwa , on gospel crusades.
During those years while preaching the word, God reportedly showed him that he wanted him to deliver people from the bondage of Satan.
In 2000, Makandiwa now fully engrossed in the work of Jesus Christ, enrolled at the AFM’s Living Waters Bible College in Harare and graduated in 2002.
During the same year, he married Ruth Makawa.
After finishing his pastoral studies, Rev Makandiwa chose to go to Matabeleland and worked as an assistant pastor under Rev Madziire, who was an overseer then.
After ordination, he was given an assembly in Shangani. There he became the talk of the neigbourhood with his demonstration of the power of God.
In 2004, he was transferred to How Mine.
He then went to Hebron Assembly in Chitungwiza and left the church last year.
But things were to change last year when the AFM church told Makandiwa to choose between the UFI and AFM. He chose UFI.
For the entire debate that has stalked the youthful pastor and his ministry, he is no doubt a crowd puller who has left an indelible mark on the preaching of the gospel in Zimbabwe.
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