Former Daily Times editor and one of Malawi’s critical opinion leaders Idriss Ali Nassah says Malawi government should ‘give incentives to lure’ South Africa based preacher Prophet Shepherd Bushiri to ‘bring his industry to Malawi’.
Nassah, writing on his Facebook wall, used the word ‘industry’ to denote how Prophet Bushiri is generating income for South Africa through what is called religious tourism.
Writes Nassah: “From what I hear Shepherd Bushiri draws tens of thousands of his faithful each week to his base in Pretoria. I’m told a good number of them come from outside of South Africa.They fly in, stay at hotels, need transportation, shop and spend money. Someone can do the math.”
Every month, more than 13 000 people comes to Pretoria to pray at his church. Recently, the Mayor of Pretoria paid Prophet Bushiri a courtesy call to recognize and appreciate his role in the growth of Pretoria’s economy.
The Mayor underlined how economic sectors such as hospitality, transportation, fast foods and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), just to mention a few, have been boosted because of the consistent influx of people coming to Prophet Bushiri’s church in Pretoria.
Besides that, Prophet Bushiri, through his Shepherd Bushiri Investments (SBI), own a number of companies with most of them being in South Africa—something that is creating jobs to many South Africans.
Against this, Nassah argues that ‘Malawi government, in dire need of every penny it can get, should give incentives to lure this man and his industry back to Malawi’.
“It can only be good for the local economy,” writes Nassah, a Chancellor College graduate who, again, holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Oaklhoma University, USA.
Most of the comments on the post bordered on the need for Malawi to embrace Prophet Bushiri.
Comments one man: “Malawi does not promote good things. We are jealousy people. We choose to be poor by our own choice of keeping away the people who would like to do better than us. We believe the president and his royalist are the only people who can have everything and enjoy having best things in Malawi.”
The other said: “We do move forward in reverse, we take Bushiri as threat to everything, to us Malawians he is doomed, yet seriously we’re missing something special in him, the guy is a brand.”
Another renowned senior journalist, Horace Nyaka, chipped in and wrote: “I think Bushiri is free to invest in Malawi. So many areas one can invest in. In fact some of the things we don’t even need to know. If he starts doing those things I am sure those who feel uncomfortable with him may realise he is in fact helping the country. Not all investments need government approval. Let him invest in Malawi, it’s his country. So many things he can do. So many areas he can invest in. I don’t think he would be stopped doing that. While he will be helping create jobs and wealth, he will also be making money for himself.”
However, in different interviews that he has recently given to international media houses—such New African magazine, The Nigeria’s Tribune and Aljazeera—the Prophet has always maintained his love for Malawi and its people.
Despite billions that he spends every year in Malawi through charity, Prophet Bushiri has always indicated that it will always be his wish to invest in Malawi and contribute to the growth of the economy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :