Pastor and self-styled prophet Shepherd Bushiri may be on the run from the law in SA, but that has not stopped him from planning a weekend-long event for his followers to meet him in Malawi.
Bushiri announced the first “International Visitors’ Programme” for December recently. The event will take place in Lilongwe, Malawi, from Friday December 11 to Monday December 14 and includes a meeting with Bushiri. The package does not include transport to and from SA.
Bushiri urged his followers to make the pilgrimage to get a “blessing” from him.
“Make sure you register quickly and make a date to come and meet me face-to-face. It is important that you meet the Prophet before the year ends to speak a word of blessing over your 2021!” a message from Bushiri on his Facebook page read.
A poster for the event was also shared by Bushiri’s wife, Mary.
HOW MUCH IS A TICKET TO MEET BUSHIRI?
An official dealing with bookings for the event told TimesLIVE that they could not comment on the cost of the latest trip, nor provide further details on it.
However, previous packages for the programme, held in SA, included accommodation and ranged from $500 or R7,000 for a sharing room to $800 or R10,500 for a VIP room and $1,000 or R14,000 for an adult and two children.
The church noted that it does not accept $5, $10 or $20 bills, only $50 and $100 notes.
WHAT ABOUT FLIGHTS?
A flight from Johannesburg to Lilongwe for this coming weekend costs anywhere from R8,300 for a 22-hour stopover trip via Ethiopian Airlines to R14,500 for a three-and-a-half-hour flight.
Malawi is open to international travellers and no visa is required for South African citizens. Last month the country’s ministry of health issued Guidelines for Departing & Arriving Passengers at Airports downgrading the requirement for those with a negative Covid-19 test result to “self-monitor” but otherwise travel freely.
WILL I BE THE ONLY ONE?
Comments under the posts were flooded with messages from South Africans eager to fly to Malawi for the face-to-face, with some saying they had saved up for the opportunity.
“A reason to finally visit Malawi, such a blessed country,” Bonga Mss Pru Blessed wrote.
“I kept this money for long. I have always prayed for face to face IVP, God answers prayers. I am coming my papa,” added Joseph Mthandazo Oarabile.
“For the first time I am gonna set my feet in the land of Malawi. Malawi is now is very visible on the world map,” Hokma Wisdom Vezisk wrote.
The event comes just weeks before Bushiri is set to host a huge New Year “Miracle Night” crossover event on December 31 at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Bushiri posted videos of followers from around the world, including one from a man standing at home affairs in Bethlehem, SA, sharing their plans to attend the gathering.
The Malawian government confirmed on Tuesday that arrest warrants were being prepared for Bushiri and his wife Mary after the pair fled SA last month.
They had earlier been granted bail in a R100m fraud, theft and money laundering case. They are expected to appear in the Lilongwe high court in Malawi next Monday, where they are appealing their arrests.
BY Kyle Zeeman