The Sunday News
Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
A pastor from a Pentecostal Church in Bulawayo allegedly died of stress after he sold a family house and invested in stands and other business ventures that were promised by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries fronted by Prophet Walter Magaya, that are yet to come to fruition.
Pastor Ernest Mutasa, who was a pastor at Assemblies of God died in April after allegedly investing US$14 000 into the scheme in 2016.
His family, before and after the time of his death has reportedly been frantically trying to recover the investment. The late Pastor Mutasa’s daughter, Miss Bethel Mutasa (36) told Sunday News that her father made the investment in 2016, when he sold their family home to buy three residential stands in Douglasdale under Magaya’s supposed multi-million dollar housing construction scheme.
Miss Mutasa said not only did her father invest in the housing scheme but also in mining, and farming programmes under Magaya’s Yadah Connect a subsidiary of his PHD Ministries.
“What is really painful is that they caused his death and don’t want to acknowledge it. He was stressed and all he wanted to do was to secure a house for the family. He thought this was a good investment but on the contrary it took his life.
He sold our family house with the hope of building three houses, which would in turn make returns to the money he invested in the programme,” she said with tears clouding her eyes.
Miss Mutasa said she had to leave her job in South Africa to pursue the case and had been to PHD offices in Bulawayo many times, where she was on numerous occasions told that the investment was being processed.
“Many a time I have been there and it is the same answer I get. We are tired as a family and we are stressed. We lost our breadwinner due to stress and now we are suffering too, all because of some church ministry that doesn’t want to own up to its mess.
My father may have been alive now if it wasn’t for this,” said Miss Mutasa.
She accused PHD ministries of misleading people to fund the church’s programmes.
“They come up with different excuses all the time. One time they say they are reimbursing us, the next they say the stands will be availed with us being the first beneficiaries. We are tired of these lies and just want our father’s investment back,” said Miss Mutasa.
She said at one time because of the pressure she had been mounting on the ministry, she was blocked off their WhatsApp platform.
“They had the audacity to block me yet they owe us. They clearly showed how unprofessional they are. Sometimes I am referred to Harare, yet the investment was made in Bulawayo. So many excuses they have and it is frustrating.
“My mother too is showing signs of weariness due to stress of my father’s death and the failed investment,” said Miss Mutasa.
She said they were failing to meet rentals as the money her father had saved in a projection towards the completion of building a new home had run out.
“We are failing to pay rentals now, yet my father had a great investment. Now we are forced to scrounge around, which is really disheartening,” she said.
“ . . . my father’s dying wish was for us to expose Magaya and his church. He wanted us to find a means to reach out to TB Joshua, whom he says is his spiritual father,” said Miss Mutasa.
Sunday News is in possession of audio recordings where the late Pastor Mutasa made his creed, with several other audio messages of him instructing his daughter on what to do concerning the issue. A woman who identified herself as Mrs Dube operating from the church’s Bulawayo office said she was aware of the issue and the church through its relevant organs was working towards reimbursing the Mutasa family the money back.
“I am aware of that issue and a refund is being processed as I speak. I cannot comment further on the issue and it would be prudent if you sought a comment from Harare,” she said.
An Overseer at the church who only identified himself as Clive said the church was not ready to comment on the matter
“You cannot run with that story. Get in touch with me on Monday and we can have a man to man talk,” he said.
In 2016, Prophet Magaya commissioned a site in Douglasdale, Bulawayo, where he promised to build 5 000 medium to low density houses as part of the multi-million housing project spearheaded by the church.
The project was part of an ambitious scheme which would have seen the church construct houses in the entire Sadc region. However, Sunday News has established that nothing much has been done at the construction site with reports that beneficiaries were also now disgruntled over the slow pace of the project.