Magaya's church members cry foul over failed ‘empowerment’ investments


Some members of Walter Magaya's Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries in Mutare are accusing the church leader of scamming them out of their money through various projects that never materialized. The disgruntled congregants claim that they invested in farming, beekeeping, mining, and housing schemes initiated by Magaya in 2016, but have not received any returns or refunds to date.

Prophet Walter Magaya's PHD Ministries members bitter over failed empowerment projects investments

One of the aggrieved members, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he joined the housing and mining projects, which were supposed to generate income for him at 40% every three months. 

He said that the mining company, Yadah Connect, was opened by the then second vice president Kembo Mohadi in 2018, but nothing has been said about its operations since then. 

He said that he contacted the church last year and was told that people were being reimbursed, but when he visited the PHD offices on March 14, 2022, he only received $100 out of his $1 600 deposit. He expressed his frustration at Magaya's silence on the matter.

Another PHD member said that he joined a housing project called Planet Africa in 2017 and paid a total of $1 600. He said that the project was not working and the reasons were not disclosed. He said that he was offered a refund, but the church was giving out small amounts because it did not have money.

A third member also based in Mutare said that he invested $1 500 in housing and farming projects in 2016, but never received any return. He said that he felt cheated by Magaya and his church.

He said:

“On 14 February 2022, we travelled to their offices in Harare and were informed that if we wanted to make withdrawals, we should right affidavits and bring them to Harare. We did as we were instructed.

“So in February last year, we were advised that we would get back our money after six months.

“After six months had elapsed, we called them inquiring about the withdrawals and they said they were experiencing cashflow challenges and we were told to come to Harare in September 2022.

“However, nothing materialised in September last year. So on 20 September 2023, I again called the Yadah Connect office but they were evasive. The problem is that they constantly move you from pillar to post.

“When I called them on the 20th, I asked them to give me Magaya’s number so that I could talk to him directly but they said I should come to Harare on 17 December. However, I expect to get US$100 or US$200 as they had previously promised.”

He indicated that the only path for redress is for Magaya to address them in person, in the same manner he did when he launched the projects and convinced congregants to part with their hard-earned cash. 

Said the congregant:

A lot of people Invested money into the purported projects believing that Magaya was a man of God only to realise that the so-called “Man of God” was planning to dupe the poor.

He expressed that another challenge they are facing is that they have no other avenue for reimbursements because even if they decide to follow the legal path, the case goes nowhere. Added the congregant:

“When we went to the police, they said ‘Magaya is a man of God so what do you want us to do about the matter?’”

An official at Yadah Connect said that she could neither deny nor confirm the allegations.

She said she was not in a position to give a formal response and was not in possession of the matter’s intricate details.

Pindula News reported that the official also refused to reveal the identity of the person responsible for such matters. 

Magaya and his PHD Ministries have been embroiled in several controversies over the years, including allegations of sexual abuse, tax evasion, and selling fake miracle products. 

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