By Byron Mutingwende
The Ungano Yevapostori Apostolic Faith Church is growing in leaps and bounds in terms of membership both locally and abroad. The founding leader, Bishop Alfred Mupfumbati ascribes the success and fame to the Lord who gave him the gift of prophesying at a tender age.
“I was born on 6 November 1983 in Mt. Darwin in a family of six children where I am the fifth born child. I started prophesying while I was in Grade 3 and by the time I was in Grade 6, I would be invited to minister at the Mugodhi, Zion Christian Church and Johane Masowe Apostolic sects in our area. I would stand barefooted on burning charcoals and come out unscathed. I would foretell people’s future without any problems. It indeed was the hand of God on me. I am God’s vessel to take people out of their problems,” Mupfumbati said, donning a green, red and white garment.
The youthful prophet added that he got known at a tender age at such places like Karanda, Chironga, Bradley, St. Albert’s, Dotito and Dande in Mashonaland Central Province. After completing his Ordinary Level studies, he moved to Harae in 2002 where he went on to form Ungano Yevapostori Apostolic Faith Church in Mabvuku.
Through performing extraordinary miracles like treating cancer patients, or removing goblins, Bishop Mupfumbati’s fame grew until he established branches in Epworth, Budiriro, Chitungwiza, Warren Park, Mufakose, Southlands, Hopley, Rugare, Whitecliff, Granary, Ushewokunze and Southley Park in Harare. In the rural areas, he has parishes in Mt. Darwin and Wedza.
Mupfumbati catapulted to fame in September of 2013 when two women, believed to be witches, allegedly crash-landed at his shrine in Harare’s Budiriro high-density suburb before they were arrested on witchcraft allegations.
The “Prophet” hogged the limelight when the Budiriro incident initiated international debate with some sections describing the development as a microcosm of the tough Zimbabwean economic situation that had led the two women to dramatise the act through desperation for money to enable them to look after their families in difficult economic times while others felt he had spiritual powers to dismantle witchcraft.
Others dismissed that as evidence of growing levels of superstition as evidenced by the growing number of Pentecostal churches on the African continent.
“No grown woman would like to parade herself naked for the whole world to see her private parts. The fact that a live owl was relaxed in the arms of one of the women was not out of their own making or acting. In actual fact they fell to a spiritual magnet at my shrine after they were sent by my enemies to dilute my powers,” Mupfumbati said.
Some congregants at the prophet’s Budiriro shrine confessed that they had various demons exorcised. Others were healed of diseases like cancer, TB, diabetes, cholera and typhoid while others said they were previously mentally challenged but had been healed.
Only last week, a man who owns a carpentry shop at Glenview 8 Industrial Complex in Harare and was being hounded by evil spirits had family goblins exorcised.
“I saw that my business was falling apart and visited Prophet “Matewu” as Alfred Mupfumbati is popularly known. I was given an empty satchel and told to go home. Half way through my journey, the bag became heavy and I returned to the Prophet’s shrine. On emptying it, two long snakes came out of the bag. I knew these were my father’s goblins and I was asked to take them to the forest and dump them in a dam. That was the end of my woes,” the man said, refusing to be named but allowed this reporter to publish his pictures.