In This Biography
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri Biography, Ministry, Career, Networth, Wife
Shepherd Bushiri also known as Major 1 is a Malawian-born prophet. He is a Christian preacher, self-proclaimed prophet businessman, motivational, businessman, and author.
Bushiri is in hiding in Malawi after failing to pay bail in South Africa where he faced 8 charges of rape. 2 counts of fraud, and two charges of money laundering
The controversial person who gained attention after releasing footage of him through the air (see 5) and also runs a Christian non-denominational evangelical church that is known as The Enlightened Christian Gathering based in South Africa. The church’s headquarters are located in Pretoria, South Africa, and has branches in other African countries as well as around the globe. Tens of thousands are drawn to the church each day. The church is described by the pastor as a Prophetic Ministry founded on the premise the idea that “God cares and loves people and wants to speak directly to them”.
- FULL NAMES: Shepherd Bushiri
- NATIONALITY: Malawian
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- WIFE: Mary Bushiri
- NETWORTH: $150M
- MINISTRY: Enlightened Christian Gathering
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Mzuzu, Malawi
- PROFESSION: Motivational Speaker, Preacher, Business Man
- EDUCATION: Moyale Secondary School
Bushiri’s investment firm, Shepherd Bushiri Investments, has been linked to several allegations of fraud and money laundering. Several of its assets were taken by police following a Ponzi scheme that it ran was ruined and pensioners were cheated. It was investigated within the United States of America and allegations of fraud were brought. The company is located in Sandton close to Johannesburg 27+ mines and has the intention of trading in forex, real estate, and the aviation industry. Bushiri also owns a TV channel, a telecommunications firm, and various farms, properties as well as sports academies and universities. Bushiri began his business career when he was a teenager to aid his local community and work for the gospel across the world. His success has been described as meteoric employing innovative business strategies in a variety of industries to earn fortunes.
Childhood and early life
Bushiri was born in Mzuzu which is located situated in the northern region of Malawi. His mother named him Shepherd due to the many complexities surrounding his birth and acknowledged his Lord to be her Shepherd.
He travels the globe hosting crusades as well as meetings that are focused on prophesy, teaching and healing. In August of 2018, He was invited to be an honorary guest at the South African National Day of Interfaith Prayer that was held at the Emirates Airline Stadium in Johannesburg where he offered prayers for reconciliation and peace. The ceremony included South African leading clergy and Vice President of South Africa David Mabuza.
Bushiri was the child of his Malawian father and his Zambian mother. The couple is Mary Bushiri, who is active in charitable work. The couple has two children. On the 29th of March, 2021 Bushiri declared the death of his daughter Israella in Kenya following a prolonged respiratory illness. He said the fact that, as a dad, it was his dream to watch her develop and serve God.
Given name controversy
There was a report within The Citizen in February 2019 that Bushiri was born as Chipiliro Gama “an invoice mistakenly sent to Baloyi Attorneys did not use the popular name Shepherd Bushiri, and instead called him Chipiliro Gama”. The report from The Sunday Times newspaper for February 2019 claimed the following “Bushiri’s father, Huxley, and mother, Cristina, a Zambian by birth raised him as Chipiliro Gama”.
In September of 2019 Bushiri’s spokesperson as well as Communications Director, Ephraim Nyondo denied all accusations.
Bushiri is now recognized to be one of the most wealthy pastors around the globe and one of the wealthiest people living in Africa.
He is guided by a multimillionaire businessman and the head of the Good News Church in the UK, Prophet Uebert Angel. Bushiri is believed to be one of the revered and well-known “spiritual sons” of Prophet Angel.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering church
The Enlightened Christian Gathering Church is described to be among the fastest-growing church congregations across Africa and across the globe. Bushiri is the church’s founder. He has led and established congregations in South Africa, Malawi, Ghana, South Sudan, and other countries. The pastor has also been interviewed on the broadcast by BBC and was featured also from Al Jazeera, New African, Nigerian Tribune, and African Leadership magazine.
In the evening of the 28th of December 2018three persons were killed and nine were injured in an attack on the ECG Church caused by people trying to get out of an approaching storm. Bushiri’s spokesperson Maynard Manyowa told the media that “The ECG Church is not his [Bushiri’s] church, it belongs to South Africa and South Africans”. Manyowa added it was “not his [Bushiri’s] problem, but a problem that the church must deal with”.
Bushiri’s services draw more than 100000 viewers via his own television station as well as social media, and in-person guests. Their biggest gatherings of his are scheduled for New Year’s Eve in the FNB Stadium, South Africa, and attracted over 95000 guests both in 2016 and in 2017. FNB Stadium is the largest stadium in Africa. FNB Stadium is currently the biggest arena in Africa.
His church events are always well-received.
Shepherd Bushiri Investments
Bushiri’s business, Shepherd Bushiri Investments, is a controversial firm that has been linked to fraud and tax evasion, laundering of money, and Ponzi schemes. South African Police seized properties and bank accounts of the business after they discovered the company had defrauded pensioners of the sum of $6 million USD. They claim to represent an investment firm with international ties located in Sandton close to Johannesburg and has investments in mining, oil transportation, real estate, and the hospitality sector. On February 20, the 20th of February, Bushiri opened a hotel investment, which is a multimillion-dollar property located in South Africa. The hotel was one of the properties confiscated by the South African Police after Bushiri ran away from bail and returned back to his home country.. SBI has a particular interest in assisting governments, which includes the economics of state-run countries that are fragile. In the year 2017, Bushiri was hosted by the Vice President of South Sudan – Dr. James Igga, Reserve Bank Governor and Finance Minister, during which an agreement was made in the field of development and infrastructure. In 2018, Shepherd Bushiri was given the highly coveted award and was inducted into the Chief Executive Officer Hall of Fame by the African Leadership magazine.
Bushiri was involved in a variety of charitable projects around the globe including work with Malawi, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Botswana, and South Africa. He founded a charity named “Shepherd Bushiri Foundation” with Duncan Zgambo as the CEO who provides assistance to those in need and the less fortunate. He donates charitable funds, which include the support of livelihoods, educational assistance for orphans, and humanitarian assistance by providing food assistance. The year 2017 was the last time he traveled with the maize from Lilongwe and spent K85 million to support the Malawi Charity. He has invested in youth by establishing a sports school as well as via Major 1 Records, which supports and showcases emerging musicians. On July 18, 2018, on Nelson Mandela Day, Bushiri introduced an African-wide school adoption program, which included donations to local schools. The ceremony was attended by senior officials who were from the South Africa Ministry of Education.
In March, Bushiri visited Alexandra in South Africa, where a fire had destroyed over 100 shacks. He stated that he will give R400000 (equivalent to approximately $29000) to the emergency aid services “that should be used for the children in the area”.
Other Monetary Networks
On the 11th of February, 2020 It was reported by The Nyasa Times and Malawi24 that Bushiri declared that he would sell maize to Malawi at the price that was MK5 000 (US$6.85) per 50 kilograms (110 lbs) that is US$124.55 for a ton. The price of Corn Futures (yellow maize) at the moment when the news was announced was US$150 for a ton or US$7.50 per 50 kilograms. The prices in Malawi for commercially-produced maize in Malawi were between three and four times more than those stated by Bushiri and were selling at upwards of MK20 000 per 50kg [65According to various reports there were thousands of buyers who bought the maize for a bargain at different places in Malawi.
Bushiri has claimed that he is “curing HIV”. Bushiri countered that he’s not performed any miracles in his lifetime because only Jesus could. However, due to the claims of unproven miracles, Botswana temporarily barred his entry into the country, but courts later ruled that the ECG church can continue to operate in Botswana. At first, he was able to travel to Botswana at any time however now he has to obtain a visa each when he wishes to enter Botswana.
Fees for public meals
The reported fees for the privilege of attending the prestigious Bushiri’s public dinners were lauded. It was reported that he was charged R25000 for a place at his table for an evening gala on the 23rd of December, 2017, at Pretoria Showground. Pretoria Showground, and N$1000 for admission to the dinner at Windhoek, Namibia in January 2016. [8080 Bushiri in numerous interviews with news media denied the outrageous pricing claims made for “so-called gala dinners”, declaring these claims “fabricated”.
According to reports, at a church service in March 2017, Bushiri stated that he would like to turn members of his congregation into millionaires. Members were then instructed by e-mail that they must invest a minimum of R100 1,000 in cash within the next two days. They were assured of a 50% return within 30 business days. The ones who could not carry cash to church were provided with information about the banking details of a firm, Rising Estates, the directors of which include Bushiri lieutenants Willah Mudolo Duncan Oduor Otieno and Kit Ching Catherine Kum. About two years later the individuals who contributed Bushiri money claimed that they had not received any money back.
The investment scheme seems to be tied to Palambano Investments as six of the congregants from the Bushiri’s Church claim that they were informed that the funds they contributed will be put into Zambia as “gold minerals” as part of the Palamabo investing scheme. They provided proof that the funds had been transferred to the Eastern Cape’s First National Bank account. East London, Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Mluleki Mbi confirmed that a case was opened to investigate Palambano Investments and its directors as a result of an incident brought by Nombeko Dwesini. He is one of Bushiri’s congregants.
20 February 2020, the former deputy minister for finance of Zimbabwe, Terence Mukupe, claimed that Bushiri of having an affair with his musician wife, Rachel, which resulted in his exile of Rachel. Bushiri claimed that he had WhatsApp documents of the wife of the pastor meeting to have “sex romps in Malawi, Pretoria, and Rustenburg”. The man also said that Bushiri had obtained R100000 (approx $7500) from him to help finance the church he founded, Enlightened Christian Gathering.
Bushiri replied to the allegations, stating that he was not in South Africa in the past 13 months, and thus was not able to have had a meeting with the woman Rachel Mukupe. He also stated that he never used WhatsApp or iMessage over the past three years and thus was not able to send those messages Terence Mukupe claimed to have discovered. Bushiri claimed that he had contacted his legal team from Zimbabwe for the purpose of “urgently seeking legal recourse”.
Mukupe’s reply to Bushiri stated that Bushiri did not use his personal phone to call Rachel and Mukupe claimed that Mukupe had paid for the tickets that allowed Bushiri to fly. According to the reports, “Mukupe’s public spat with Bushiri has divided opinion among ZANU-PF members over his psychological fitness to head the ZanuPF youth league.”
On the 3rd of March, Rachel (known as Rachel J) replied to the accusations made by Bushiri Mukupe and Bushiri. Mukupe. In her statement that was made public through her family members, she stated that:
She wasn’t wed to Terence Mukupe however the man lived in her house and she had kids with him.
She was responsible for the father and his 10 children.
Rachel had ended their relationship after she learned that Terence Mukupe had once again impotently conceived Tracy Winterboer, the second child that was born to the same woman in Rachel’s affair with Mukupe.
The claims that she was impregnated by Bushiri are absurd since Mukupe’s proof indicates that they had a meeting in the year 2018. “How is it possible for her to carry a pregnancy for two years?” they inquired.
On the 4th of March Rachel J’s family requested that a paternity test be carried out on the child to show that he wasn’t Bushiri’s.
On March 6, Rachel gave birth to her daughter, whom she described by the name “Najah, Deborah, Makomborero”. There were no paternity tests carried out at the time.
Rape and Sexual Assault
On the 21st of March 2021, South African Police charged Shepherd Bushiri with 16 counts of rape that referred to 8 victims. The authorities had previously issued three warrants of arrest in connection with three separate allegations of rape on Bushiri The police stated that Bushiri had a sexual relationship with girls and women in his church. According to police records the girls, which include those who were as young as 15 and were sisters, were held in hotel rooms and sexually assaulted for hours prior to being offered up to $700 before being ordered to go home. The police later revealed that they were investigating the associates of Bushiri who they claimed were intimidating victims. They also said that a number of victims came to the police between the years 2016 and 2018, and had accused Bushiri of rape, only to retract their claims after being intimidated or bribed. The police in December of 2021 detained Brigadier Rosey Resondt’s husband Clifford Cornelius Respondent, who was the head of security at Bushiri and was charged with corruption and obstructing the justice system following the fact that Bushiri paid them R500,000, which was given to a victim who later retracted her accusations.
On October 24, 2020, South African Police revealed that Shepherd Bushiri’s status in South Africa could be irregular after they noticed the fact that the South African issued identity card was issued in 1996. Bushiri as well as his spouse first visited South Africa in 2010 on tourist visas. Later, the police revealed that Bushiri had purchased a fake residency permit and declared him an illegal alien. Following the announcement, 5 officials were suspended because they had issued Bushiri false identity documents.
On February 1, 2019, Bushiri was detained along and his spouse by the South African Directorate for Priority Investigations (HAWKS) for fraud and laundering. The Hawks stated that their case was related to alleged fraud-related offenses and money laundering in addition to the violation of the South African Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) that had been in place since the year 2015. The violation of the Act was related to Exchange Control Regulations relating to foreign currency worth $1147200.
On the 28th of August, 2019, the court case of Bushiri was delayed until the 29th of November 2019 in order to allow his lawyers, comprising Terrence Baloyi as well as Barry Roux, to make appeals to the National Prosecuting Authority. The case was later delayed until July 27, 2020, for the trial after which it was rescheduled until October 2020.
In November of 2019, an application was filed through the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to forfeit a 1984 Gulfstream aircraft that was owned by Bushiri and stored at Lanseria airport in northern Johannesburg. The NPA stated that the plane was purchased using funds that were obtained illegally. Bushiri said that the aircraft was purchased legally by the NPA in 2016, for the sum of $1250000 (R17000000). The forfeiture application was not yet ready to be filed and was taken off the court rolls.
Bushiri as well as his spouse were both granted R100000 (approx $7500) bail following their appearance at Pretoria’s Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on February 6, 2019. One of the bail conditions was that the couple stays in Gauteng and that their travel documents remain in the hands of the state. If they wanted to travel, they’d require permission in writing from the officers investigating. Bushiri and her wife were not permitted to communicate with any witnesses.
On the 20th of October, 2020, before their court date on 30 October 2020 The Bushiris were arrested for charges that were not mentioned in previous trials. There are conflicting reports that implicate a number of combinations from Lindiwe Sindoni, Lindiwe Ntokwana, Willah Mudolo, and Zethu Mudolo as defendants in the fraud case as co-accused along with the Bushiris. They are accused as co-accused with the Bushiris. Bushiris are also being accused of illegally living in South Africa and of having been in violation of immigration laws repeatedly from at least 2015. The application for bail was set to be processed by the 30th of October. The Bushiris were not freed from jail because they were considered to be a risk to flee, as demonstrated by allegations that they had illegally transported the vehicles of a Bentley along with the Maserati in the direction of Malawi earlier in 2020.
The date of the trial in the case of fraud was scheduled to take place in May 2021.
On November 14, 2020, there was a report of Bushiri as well as his spouse had fled to Malawi and violated bail conditions due to concerns about their security. On the 20th of November, Bushiri and his wife were detained in Malawi on the 18th of November and released from a Malawi prison following their arrest being deemed not procedural.
The next month, Bushiri and his wife were detained and brought before the court where the Malawi prosecution tried to extradite them for extradition to South Africa. The couple was granted bail, and their extradition trial is still in the process of being resolved. In February 2022, the highest court refused to dismiss Bushiri’s claim to challenge his extradition. Instead, it sent the matter to the Magistrate’s Court for decision.
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- “Bushiri finalises a $200mil deal with South Sudan for roads and mining – Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi”. Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- Staff Writer. “ALM Business Excellence Awards and African Leadership CEOS HALL OF FAME”. Hanergy Oil. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- Mark, Monica (19 November 2020). “Millionaire Preacher Skips Bail in South Africa, Fueling International Dispute”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
- Manyowa, Maynard. “OPINION | Inside Bushiri’s world: How a Malawian cleric’s media strategy took him to the top”. News24. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- “God appeared to me in my dream – Prophet Bushiri | Lusaka Voice”. www.lusakavoice.com. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Khumalo, Chomi (7 February 2018). “Malawi: Prophet Bushiri’s ECG Ranks One of Fastest Growing Churches Globally”. Nyasa Times (Leeds). Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- “Enlightened Christian Gathering Archives – The Most Influential Contemporary African Diaspora Leaders”. The Most Influential Contemporary African Diaspora Leaders. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- Bushiri, Shepherd (2017). Prophetic Calling. SB Publishers.
- Mashego, Abram. “‘Robbed’ from the pulpit: How Bushiri conned investors out of millions”. Citypress. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
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