Parliament orders probe into ‘PHD’ leader Walter Magaya sponsorship

PARLIAMENT yesterday ordered that Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader, Walter Magaya be investigated to find out if his accommodation offer to the national football team, the Warriors, was not aimed at boosting his church membership.

Acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Reuben Marumahoko ordered Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane to institute the investigations after some legislators claimed that after the donation, Magaya forced some players to accept his anointing oil and attend his church services.

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent) was the first to question the motives behind Magaya’s donations.

“What does government policy say on issues of football sponsorship because, first, it was Wicknell Chivhayo and now there is Prophet Magaya sponsoring the Warriors? Prophet Magaya is putting in money from his church, and if people stop going to church, what is going to happen?” Mliswa asked.

In response, Hlongwane said: “Zifa partnered Prophet Magaya to ensure that our national team, the Warriors, stays at a respectable place. The move does not contradict government policy and we accept any sponsorship.”

But, Mliswa did not accept the minister’s reply, saying the day Magaya wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, he could chase the Warriors away from his accommodation.

“We even heard that Chivhayo took away former Warriors’ coach Callisto Pasuwa’s vehicle, which he donated,” Mliswa said.

Hlongwane said sustainability of the sponsorship ought to be reflected in the contract the sponsor signed with Zifa.

“We will encourage Zifa to avail to us their contract with Prophet Magaya,” he responded.

Gokwe Nembudziya legislator Justice Wadyajena (Zanu PF) also queried the arrangement, saying Magaya should not force players to attend his church services and use his anointing oil.

“Has it anything to do with sponsorship or he is campaigning for his church membership?” he queried.

Hlongwane said the Constitution stipulates freedom of worship, adding the players said they were not being forced by Magaya to attend his services.

“The allegations raised must be investigated to see if they are being forced, taking into account their constitutional rights,” Hlongwane said.

But, Wadyajena cited the case of coach Norman Mapeza, who reportedly refused to attend Magaya’s services, and the PHD leader was alleged to have threatened withdrawal of support.

Source: NewsDay

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