The social media has been awash with revelations about former president Joyce Banda’s errand boy Rhudo Chimbalawala’s embarrassing acts where he has been extorting money from unsuspecting individuals in exchange for ‘prayer appointments’ with the controversial Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, popularly known as Major 1.
According to media reports, Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG) has ‘disowned’ the bespectacled Chimbalawala whom the Church described as “a trickster” for duping Malawians and others by claiming to be Prophet Bushiri’s errand boy.
Prophet Bushiri’s Public Relations Officer Kelvin Silugwe posted on his Facebook account that Chimbalawala is not an employee of ECG and Prophet Shepherd Bushiri Ministries.
But inside sources reveal that Chimbalawala was indeed an employee of ECG and has been part of a strong resource mobilization team of the Church until a few days ago when Prophet Bushiri indicated to his inner-circle’ he does not want to work with people that are “too close” to self-exiled former Malawi acting president Joyce Banda because he has realized they want to abuse his inexplicable wealth for political and private interests.
Joyce Banda’s son-in-law, a Dr Zgambo’s sister is wife to Bushiri and therefore the two (Banda and Bushiri) are closely related.
Sources at ECG Headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa, have revealed that Joyce Banda has been pressurizing Bushiri to channel some of his inexplicable wealth to People’s Party (PP) activities and private business, which are facing serious financial problems.
Rhudo Chimbalawala has been Joyce Banda’s main contact person at ECG and she has been using him to persuade the self-proclaimed man of God to finance some of the PP activities and her personal business enterprises in exchange for an influential role should she return to State House after the 2019 general elections.
According to sources at ECG, it is apparently clear that Major 1 has grown weary of Joyce Banda’s advances through Chimbalawala and has decided “enough-is-enough”, Chimbalawala must go.
Rhudo Chimbalawala is a longtime Joyce Banda errand boy. The former president once appointed him the Liaison and Investigation Officer in the Robert Chasowa Commission of Inquiry.
When she was Malawi’s acting president from 2012 and 2014 after the death of President Mutharika, Joyce Banda used Rhudo Chimbalawala to extort money from wealthy businessmen of Asian origin in Malawi for their private and party use.
Rhudo Chimbalawala is married to Zelesi Gomani who is PP’s national director of elections. Zelesi Gomani also contested, unsuccessfully, for a parliamentary seat on a PP ticket in Lilongwe rural North West against the incumbent Lazarus Chakwera, the beleaguered Malawi Congress party (MCP) president and leader of opposition in parliament.
JB currently faces a myriad of financial hardships, which have rocked her self-exile in USA, private businesses in Malawi and the People’s Party, which she manages by remote control as if it were a private farm. While she has laid off tens of workers, many of her employees at Joyce Banda Foundation Private School in Chimwankhunda, tobacco estates and her private Ufulu radio and television station have not been paid monthly salaries for months.
“She is almost bankrupt because most of her financial taps in Europe and America have been closed because of her reported involvement in financial impropriety when she was Malawi’s acting president, particularly in the cashgate scandal,” one of her relatives told this publication undercover recently in Pretoria South Africa. (By Our Special Correspondent in Pretoria, South Africa)