TB Joshua, Joyce Banda and President Bingu wa Mutharika – the facts

Joyce Banda is one of TB Joshua's most high profile supporters

In our last article, we alluded to some conspiracy theories floating around the internet about the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika and TB Joshua’s involvement. Since then, some more information has come out and some high profile names are also suggesting a sinister connection between Joyce Banda’s relationship with TB Joshua and the president of Malawi’s death.

There may or may not be anything behind this, but there are big enough “coincidences” that it certainly worth looking at the facts.

What are the facts?

Joyce Banda is a big supporter of TB Joshua, and visited SCOAN in December 2011.

As Vice President of Malawi, Joyce Banda had a public falling out with President Mutharika resulting in her being expelled from their party. This meant that the only chance of her ever being president (a desire she had publicly expressed) would require President Bingu to die during his current term in office.

During July 2011 there were widespread protests in Malawi against President Mutharika’s government. Joyce Banda not only publicly endorsed the protests, she was accused by Mutharika as being the one inciting the unrest.

In October 2011 it was reported that President Mutharika’s government had plans to arrest Joyce Banda and charge her with treason. Apparently the governing party had been putting together documents showing there had been communication between the Vice President and others from the military and foreign nations (Nigeria?) strategising on how to wrestle power from Mutharika before his tenure of office ends in 2014

On the 5th February 2012 TB Joshua predicted the death of an unnamed African president in April of the same year. SCOAN quickly denied that he ever put a date on the death, then after the death fell in the correct time-frame released a video showing otherwise. Before this video was released, it looked like just another one of TB Joshua’s vague “one size fits all” prophecies (hence the “reality check” in our last post), however the release of this video put it in a whole different league. He had seemingly predicted the day of week and the month of this old president’s death.

On Thursday the 5th of April (the day of the week predicted by TB Joshua) President Mutharika suffered a cardiac arrest. Some say he died the same day, although most news reports say he died on Friday the 6th, however all sources agree the heart attack was on the Thursday.

On the 7th April Joyce Banda becomes the president of Malawi. The next day she fires the chief of police and chose a new one. The outgoing chief of police had been appointed by President Mutharika 2 years previously.

What does this all add up to?

At the very least, both TB Joshua and Joyce Banda have benefited from Mutharika’s demise. Banda achieved her ambition to become president (the only way possible), while TB Joshua has boosted his “Man of God” credentials by finally having a fairly impressive prophecy to his name.

Some commentators are going further by suggesting that Mutharika’s death was a plot. Zano PF minister Jonathan Moyo has suggested that President Mutharika was killed by his enemies and the TB Joshua prophecy was used to divert attention from them. Malawian political writer Cedrick Ngalande wonders if TB Joshua himself might have had a hand in the death. We’re not in a position to know if there is any truth to these outrageous suggestions. Without a doubt there are a lot of uncertainties, but what is certain is that the nature of TB Joshua and Joyce Banda’s relationship deserves close scrutiny and investigation.

President Bingu wa Mutharika is dead. Did TB Joshua predict this?

Mutharika  Since the recent death of Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika, the internet has been alive with claims that TB Joshua predicted it. The claims referred to a prophecy which TB Joshua gave during a live service on Sunday 5th February 2012. Numerous rumours were circulated about the time period of the prophecy; many believed he said this head of state would die within 60 days. SCOAN denied that there was any timescale given with the prophecy, which I expect they are regretting now since Mutharika died precisely 60 days later.

In this article, we aim to cut through the hysteria surrounding this prophecy to look more closely at the facts and the context.

First of all, we need a reality check:

  1. Mutharika has had ill health for a long time, so much so that he was even rumoured to be dead a year ago.
  2. Despite popular rumours, TB Joshua did not predict the time frame. Any time up to a year of the prophecy could have fitted.
  3. Mutharika was 78 years old. If we were mathematicians we’d be able to calculate the probability of an ill, 78 year old, Malawian male dying within the next year (if anyone is clever enough to do this, please let us know!). If you were to calculate this probability for all heads of state potentially fitting TB Joshua’s prediction, the probability of one of them dying is almost certain.
  4. SCOAN clearly stated that TB Joshua “did not say that the prophecy was unchangeable”. Again making this is a win/win prophecy – if it happens he’s a true prophet, if it doesn’t he saved the presidents life.
  5. TB Joshua never named the country or the president to allow for specific prayer or support to be given. Why didn’t he name names even when he said he would? Did the death come sooner than God told him? Did he not even know the name at all?

Secondly, the questions should be asked about how much TB Joshua already knew about Mutharika’s state of health. His Vice President Joyce Banda has very publicly expressed her support for TB Joshua in the past and regularly worships at SCOAN in Lagos. She said she visits the church “just the way some Christians visit Israel, or Muslims visit Mecca”, a comment which tells us a lot about how she views TB Joshua. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that TB Joshua had some insider information that Mutharika was already on his death bed. Despite being constitutionally placed to succeed him, Banda was not on the best of terms with Mutharika after falling out with him in 2011 and being expelled from the party, leading some to speculate an even more sinister connection than this, but we’ll leave the conspiracy theories to others.

Finally, the bible makes clear that even if a prophecy seems accurate,  this does not mean it was necessarily from God. The accuracy of a prophetic word is only one factor to consider when weighing the legitimacy of a prophet (which lest we forget, all Christians have a responsibility to do).

So again we must ask the question: What purpose did this prophecy have?

  • Was his death prevented? No.
  • Did he name the country or president, so specific prayer and support could be given? No (although he said he would).
  • Did this bring glory to God? No.
  • Did this bring glory and fame to TB Joshua? Yes.

We’ll close the article with a comment from Noah Bishop of Life and Liberty Churches International (source)

“(This prophecy) is unbiblical. There is no biblical precedence to that prophecy. God’s character is not given to inciting or causing confusion, despondency, apprehension or fear in individuals or nations.

In the Bible, when a prophet is given a message regarding an individual’s ill health, death or demise of a leader, whether it is a good leader or bad leader, the prophet is given specific instructions to approach the particular leader and speak directly in the presence of some witnesses.

TB Joshua has caused despondency, fear and apprehension. The prophecy is so general and open to anyone’s interpretation, it is not of God. He is very clever to make vague prophecies and has never been caught to be a false prophet. This guy is just a trouble causer.”

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