Prominent Zimbabwean journalist, Maynard Manyowa, has said that his relationship with the arrested leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, is that of father and son.
Manyowa is the founder of a publication called Khuluma Africa and is known for his role as the External Relations Manager for Bushiri’s church. This week, following the arrest of Bushiri on fraud and money laundering charges in South Africa, Manyowa said that his relationship with the leader is more than just a professional one.
He posted on his Facebook:
I stand with you, not as the ERM, but as a son. Moments like these, over the last 5 years, long before anyone knew i was your son.
I see so many people hating you yet they never met you. I see so many people speaking so passionately yet they don’t even know you. For us that know you, you an awesome person. Soft and kind.
I love you Dad. And i say this not as your press guy, but as a son who has travelled the world with you and watched you change lives. As i said yesterday, on the basis of what i know, you will climb this mountain and stand on its summit.
In our family we do not stress, we relax!
It is common for some Christian evangelical congregants in Africa to refer to their church leader as ‘Father’, ‘Papa’ or just ‘Dad’. Roman Catholic priests are also referred to by their congregants as ‘Father’.