By Anna Chibamu
A PASTOR who falsely ‘prophesied’ that former president Robert Mugabe would die on 17 October last year, has joined a newly formed opposition party as its deputy leader.
The veteran leader is still alive, aged a prime 94.
Activist cleric Phillip Mugadza this week confirmed that he had joined the fledgling United Democratic Movement (UDM).
“You can be the change you want to see, and this is the principle I want to live with,” he said.
“There are things I want to see happening; real change in this nation and this is what prompted me to join politics. These are the things that pushed me to join the system which I believe will change the shape of this nation.
“I discovered that even if I am a political activist, I need to join the political main stream so that I have an impact on the livelihood of people in Kariba,” said Mugadza.
The Kariba-based Remnant Church leader continued; “My love for the general people of Zimbabwe has led to this.
“I love this nation and do not want to see the continued suffering people are going through.
“Remember I once demonstrated in Victoria Falls where I held a placard written ‘Mr President People are suffering’ and I believe that, unlike many politicians who want to get something from politics, I want to give something to the people of Kariba.”
Mugadza was arrested and prosecuted over his prediction that Mugabe would be dead by last October.
The then Zanu PF leader defied the death prediction. He was however, forced to reign after a military revolt the following month.
Defending the charges, Mugadza’s lawyer said his client was merely relaying a “message from God. Police would have to prove that God didn’t say it”.
Speaking Wednesday, the cleric denied charges that he is an attention seeker.
“Such things as the death prophecy have happened before and, in Mugabe’s case, the word spoke that if the former leader repented, his life would be saved but, the Zimbabwean people wanted him so dead that they were looking forward to his death which eventually did not happen.
“Mugabe later fell as predicted by one of my prophecies that followed,” Mugadza argued.
He promised to push for the repeal of laws hindering freedom of speech and association.
UDM is led by Violet Mariyacha.