There’s a reason why people fall for the likes of Bushiri and Ace


There’s a reason why people fall for the likes of Bushiri and Ace

We can only pity these poor, gullible souls who have been so let down by the people who should be leading them

Executive editor: opinions and analysis

I don’t know what it is that possesses men and women of seemingly sound mind to surrender themselves to scheming conmen who abuse religion for financial profit. Take self-styled “prophet” Shepherd Bushiri, now a fugitive from justice in this country. Having never taken the guy seriously before, I’m naturally aggrieved at the middle finger he is showing our legal processes. What saddens me more, though, are those poor souls who genuinely believe he exhibits some form of clairvoyance, and are prepared to part with their hard-earned money in service of a religious crook. In one of the video clips circulating on social media, a young woman gets severely intoxicated by the deceit when Bushiri tells her during one of his phony prophecy sessions that he can see a “uniform” inside her bedroom.  

“Yes, papa, I’m a nurse, I’m a nurse,” she screams excitedly, seemingly oblivious to how easily anyone with an interest could obtain information about her chosen occupation and pass that knowledge off as prophecy. I wouldn’t be shocked if she parted with the equivalent of a monthly salary for that obvious piece of misinformation from a charlatan. These poor souls are crying for help, and in the absence of water they will drink sand, to paraphrase Michael J Fox in the movie The American President.   

Bushiri is facing very serious charges. We have a lot of unanswered questions over how he left the country unnoticed. We are also rightly outraged at his country of birth Malawi for not only accepting him back, but sheltering him when the right thing would have been to deport him the moment he set foot in Lilongwe. God forbid the rumour doing the rounds that he escaped on the presidential jet turns out to be true, because that impoverished nation and its leaders would not want to find themselves on the wrong side of Pretoria. If you are familiar with the history of Malawi and its relations with the apartheid government, that rumour might not be too far-fetched, but that’s a story for another day...

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