Self-styled spiritualist Boniface Muponda continues to controversially blend Christianity and the occult in “ministering” healing to the sick.
His latest “miracle cure”, which he came to parade at NewsDay last week, is one Ottilia Chingwaru, whom he claimed to have called back from the point of death in the jaws of breast cancer.
Chingwaru herself backed Mponda’s story, saying she had spent her entire life savings since November last year seeking a cure from other traditional healers and “prophets”, but in vain.
This was after those in the know had told her that her problem, known in Shona as nhuka (nhuta), could not be treated by medical science.
She said she was forced to sell several goats to raise the money demanded by the “healers” on whom she had pinned her hope.
But after meeting Muponda at a Kutenda Apostolic Church gathering in Kondo Chisango Village, she said her problem literally melted away.
“I wasn’t asked to pay anything. I was taken to the church in a wheelbarrow and after only two weeks, I started walking,” she recalled.
When they first approached him, Muponda hesitated. He said: “I didn’t think I could help. So I was reluctant. I felt the problem was too serious. It frightened me.”
The disarmingly unassuming “prophet” refused to be drawn into justifying blending Christianity with his brand of spiritualism, which, if the Bible is true, are as far apart as the North and South poles.
“Whether someone is helped by a doctor, prophet or n’anga (traditional healer), to me, that doesn’t matter,” he said. “What is important is that the person gets help.”
He added that he felt there was no need for fighting because that was fleshly. He said he would rather “walk in the spirit”.
Muponda, a prophet-cum-traditional healer, made news headlines in the early 90s for his reported healing prowess, including “helping” barren women to conceive.
He shocked the entire country when he announced he had traded his white church robes for traditional regalia in 2001.
He claimed that he was a n’anga but still had faith healing powers, with the Holy Spirit and the spirit of his great-grandmother, a claim that was dismissed by both church leaders and traditional healers as unfounded.
He however defended himself, saying he was a “prophet” who used holy water and anointing oil in his ministration.
He said he also helped reverse a woman’s HIV status but quickly changed tact. He said: “She went to four places where she tested HIV negative. I don’t cure Aids. It was just her luck. I deal with symptoms.”
He admitted that there were also fake prophets, adding that they had always been there even since the time of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible.
“But we are not here to condemn them,” he quickly added.