Police moved in on Monday to disperse hundreds of people gathered at Belvedere Teacher’s College after they responded to a TV advert to come and receive “spiritual healing” from Nigerian preacher, TB Joshua.
The desperate crowd, mainly women, were under the impression TB Joshua would be at the college in person. College authorities called in the police to restore order as the restive crowd confronted organisers of the event.
The crowd were advised to reconvene at the Harare Agricultural Showgrounds on Monday evening but they were disappointed to discover TB Joshua was not in Zimbabwe.
One woman who travelled from Gokwe said she had an illness which she hoped TB Joshua could cure.
“I just came here hoping to get deliverance from the man of God, only to be told that we should register for an appointment,” she said after making the 340km bus trip to the capital.
Her husband, who travelled with her, said: “We were surprised to hear that we are required register. The message which we heard and saw on Emmanuel TV was that TB Joshua was coming to heal us, not the issue of registration.”
A member of TB Joshua’s church in Zimbabwe, identified as Chibwe, told the crowd: “The advert on TV was saying that people should come for registration so that they are ready to travel to Nigeria. So please don’t be confused because there is no chaos in Christ.”
The crowd were asked to buy “registration forms” for US$100 each and deposit a further US$2,000 for the trip to Nigeria for an audience with TB Joshua at his Synagogue Church of All Saints which is headquartered in Lagos.
Several Zimbabwean politicians have travelled to Nigeria over the last year for an audience with TB Joshua, believed by supporters to have healing powers and an ability to see into the future.
Among those who have sought TB Joshua are MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Zanu PF officials Oppah Muchinguri and Chris Mushowe.