Viral pic spotlights religion’s role in politics

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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.

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Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls Telephone: +266 2231 5356

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