RELIGIOUS fever gripped a Victoria Falls church after congregants allegedly received more than $70,000 of miracle money in their bank accounts and through EcoCash while others claimed they had airtime topped up in their cellphones.
A conference organised by the Christian Centre International Church in which Prophet Moreblessing Ruwambiwa of the Greater Grace International Ministries was invited from Mutare, set the town abuzz after congregants claimed to have received money miraculously.
The Sunday event turned into a money spinning service as hundreds took to the pulpit to testify that they had received miracle money in form of recharge airtime, eco-cash or bank deposits.
Hundreds more reportedly gave offerings running into thousands of dollars, in the hope of getting “blessed as well.”
However, members of other congregations have dismissed the miracle money claims as a hoax designed to attract more congregants.
They said a majority of the people who testified that they got the money were known homosexuals in Victoria Falls.
The self-proclaimed “prophet of prosperity” Ruwambiwa, confirmed the incident and maintained the money was real, saying God released $70,000 to various congregants.
“I came on the invitation of my friend Pastor Dube who had a conference here and it’s true that people got plenty blessings on the night in question. Financially, many people got money into their Eco-bank accounts, eco-cash and airtime of up to three thousand dollars each.
“God released up to $70,000 to the people of Victoria Falls on that night and one girl actually found a bank note in her pockets. These miracles serve a purpose,” he said without elaborating.
A senior pastor accompanying the prophet thanked the people of Victoria Falls for donating six vehicles to the “Man of God” that include a Toyota Surf, Toyota Coaster and Nissans among others.
“People donated six cars worth $60,000 to the Man of God. The local Pastor gave out his Toyota Surf, another one a Coaster and also a Nissan among other cars. We’re grateful for such faith,” he said.
A male congregant at the Christian Centre International Church, Mkhululi Mthombeni, 30, who has plaited hair and perfect manicure, confirmed receiving $1, 000 worth of airtime.
Using finger gestures in a manner usually associated with women, he said he had not used the “blessing” yet as he intends to talk to his pastor first.
“I can confirm that I received airtime worth $1, 000 but I’ve not touched it yet. I still have the message in my phone but I need to talk to my pastor first in order to understand how it works,” he said.
Quizzed about his sexual orientation following allegations that he is a gay congregant, a shy Mthombeni looked aside and vehemently denied the allegations.
“Ah! I am not gay and I don’t believe in same sex relationships. I’m hearing this for the first time,” said a former Milton High School pupil.
Other congregants who didn’t receive the money questioned how the money could find its way into the accounts of “known gays” if it was from God.
“I’m suspicious of this money because a well-known gay guy received airtime worth thousands of dollars. This cannot be from God,” said a woman on condition of anonymity.
Another recipient of the money who also refused to be named for fear of victimisation said her happiness was short lived after the $2, 600 she received disappeared from her eco-cash account when she got home.