Vi­ral pic spot­lights re­li­gion’s role in pol­i­tics

Lesotho Times - - News - Staff Writer

“JUST one touch. All it takes is one touch from a Ma­jor Prophet to change your en­tire story.”

These are the words spo­ken by self-styled South African-based Malaw­ian “Prophet” Shep­herd Bushiri and posted on his In­sta­gram page on 27 Fe­bru­ary 2017.

Peo­ple from all walks of life and coun­tries around the world have been flock­ing to Mr Bushiri’s church seek­ing this “one touch” to change their lives for the bet­ter.

Politi­cians from Le­sotho have not been left out, with a num­ber of prom­i­nent per­son­al­i­ties spot­ted seek­ing di­vine in­ter­ven­tion at var­i­ous church gath­er­ings.

A trend­ing pic­ture on so­cial me­dia net­works, show­ing Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy leader and for­mer deputy premier, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, seem­ingly at a church ser­vice con­ducted by Prophet Bushiri has shined the spot­light on the role played by re­li­gion in pol­i­tics across the con­ti­nent.

LCD spokesper­son Te­boho Sekata has de­nied spec­u­la­tion Mr Mets­ing had re­cently vis­ited Mr Bushiri’s church, say­ing: “This pic­ture is an old one and he has not been there re­cently.

“I think it was around Jan­uary when he was there. I am not sure whether he at­tended the church but I only know that it was in Jan­uary when he went to RSA (South Africa),” Mr Sekata told this pub­li­ca­tion yes­ter­day.

If Mr Mets­ing did visit Mr Bushiri’s church, he would have fol­lowed in the foot­steps of his po­lit­i­cal ri­val and suc­ces­sor Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki who has re­port­edly sought spir­i­tual guid­ance from Prophet Bushiri.

In fact, a 10 Fe­bru­ary 2017 In­sta­gram post by the Prophet shows a beam­ing Mr Moleleki and an equally beam­ing Prophet Bushiri with hands firmly clasped.

“I met this man one day and I told him the vi­sion I had of an an­gel putting him on top of a very beau­ti­ful moun­tain,” Prophet Bushiri says in the cap­tion.

“May the Lord who ex­alts peo­ple ex­alt you too wher­ever you are this morn­ing right now in Je­sus’s name,” he adds.

It is a post that sparked var­i­ous in­ter­pre­ta­tions with some Bushiri con­gre­gants telling this pub­li­ca­tion that the “beau­ti­ful moun­tain” re­ferred to must be un­der­stood in the con­text of Le­sotho as the Moun­tain King­dom.

“This means that Mr Moleleki’s po­lit­i­cal ca­reer is on an up­ward tra­jec­tory un­til he reaches this sum­mit, which is to one day be­come Prime Min­is­ter,” one con­gre­gant told this pub­li­ca­tion.

Cases of politi­cians seek­ing di­vine as­sis­tance at the churches of the pop­u­lar new wave of ‘prophets’ in­clud­ing the fa­mous Nige­ri­ans Temi­tope Ba­lo­gun TB’ Joshua and Pastor Chris are com­mon­place in Africa.

And while Mr Moleleki and Mr Mets­ing may have been cap­tured look­ing re­splen­dent in for­mal suits, the same can­not be said of some of the African politi­cians. There have been sto­ries of oth­er­wise re­spectable lead­ers re­duced to bare feet or even com­pletely naked while chant­ing some in­can­ta­tions in some dingy ron­dav­els of some shady medicine men and women.

In Zim­babwe, the long-run­ning saga to suc­ceed vet­eran Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe who has ruled the coun­try for 37 un­in­ter­rupted years since in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain in 1980 makes for in­ter­est­ing if some­what com­i­cal read­ing.

Back in 2014, while ad­dress­ing his rul­ing Zanu PF party’s an­nual conference, Mr Mu­gabe treated the world to sala­cious de­tails of how his then Deputy Pres­i­dent Joice Mu­juru al­legedly stripped naked and per­formed macabre rit­u­als on the ad­vice of tra­di­tional medicine men she had en­listed in her al­legedly ill-fated plot to as­sas­si­nate him and usurp his po­si­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Mu­gabe, the medicine men re­ferred to n’an­gas in Zim­babwe, told Ms Mu­juru to “Look for two river bee­tles of dif­fer­ent colours”.

“One should be named Mu­gabe and the other should be called Mu­juru, and they should be placed in wa­ter and made to fight.

“And if Mu­gabe’s bee­tle dies, then she (Mu­juru) will rule. How­ever, mine won against yours … It seems that is what hap­pened then,” Mr Mu­gabe said to rau­cous laugh­ter.

An­other Mu­gabe sup­porter, En­ergy Mu­todi sub­se­quently up­loaded to so­cial me­dia, im­ages of the al­leged rit­ual site used by Ms Mu­juru show­ing at least ten be­headed bloody chick­ens, ar­rows, clay pots and snuff among other charms used in the rit­u­als.

More re­cently one of Mu­gabe’s em­bat­tled min­is­ters, Saviour Ka­sukuwere who stands ac­cused of plot­ting to top­ple the leader, was pic­tured bare­foot as he was about to en­ter the house of sect leader.

He re­port­edly vis­ited the Chris­tian sect to seek di­vine as­sis­tance to es­cape a litany of al­le­ga­tions that have placed him at the fore­front of the lat­est at­tempts to dis­lodge the 93 year-old leader.

Be­sides these, sev­eral se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials were dis­patched by Mr Mu­gabe to con­sult with a medicine woman who claimed that her an­ces­tors had blessed Zim­babwe with never-end­ing sup­plies of pure diesel which sim­ply oozed from crevices of the rocks at her shrine.

To this day the min­is­ters con­tinue to the butt of jokes and memes on so­cial me­dia on ac­count of how the highly ed­u­cated group were re­duced to bare-footed, dust-faced sim­ple­tons chant­ing in­can­ta­tions which were sup­posed to bring pros­per­ity to the na­tion and thus as­sure their longevity in power.

The lady in ques­tion was a pri­mary school drop-out and yet she still man­aged to fool the in­ter-min­is­te­rial group by in­sert­ing a hose pipe through which some­one strate­gi­cally lo­cated be­hind the rocks was able to keep the diesel flow­ing much to the de­light of the cuck­olds.

Com­ing back home, it re­mains to be seen what the ‘one touch’ will do for ei­ther Mr Mets­ing or Mr Moleleki.

What­ever the fu­ture holds, one thing for sure is that hu­man be­ings and Africans in par­tic­u­lar, are highly spir­i­tual be­ings. Re­li­gion and re­li­gious fig­ures will al­ways have a role to play in pol­i­tics.

LCD leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing.

Deputy prime Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki

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