‘I would make a successful president because I am young and a very successful business person’
South Africa based prophet Shepherd Bushiri has said he has a constitutional right to stand as a presidential candidate in Malawi and that he can not be barred by anyone.
The Malawian born prophet who is also known as Major 1 revealed during a press briefing that he convened on Wednesday in South Africa at his Sparkling Waters Hotel that he cannot be stopped from standing as a presidential candidate.
Prophet Bushiri said that it would even be good for the country for him to stand as a presidential candidate considering that he a young person.
“I have every right as a Malawian to stand as a presidential candidate. There is nothing that can stop me from standing. It would even be a good thing for the country considering that I am a young person and I know problems that young people across the country face.
“Secondly, I would make a better president because God has already blessed me as a successful business person. Someone with a capitalist mindset is exactly what Malawi currently needs as a head of state to move the country forward”
He was responding to a question by Zodiak’s journo, Mallick Mnela who wanted to know if the Enlightened Christian Gathering founder and pastor holds political ambitions to stand for the presidency.
He then compared himself to civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Junior and Reverend John Chilembwe, who respectively fought for human rights and freedom of black people in the United States and Malawi.
“John Chilembwe, who was also a man of God as I am, was considered as a political threat for standing up for social justice. In the same regard, I am also saying that I love the nation and I would not allow, in strongest terms, my fellow Malawians to go through such a turmoil.
“But when I come out like that, just like John Chilembwe, I am considered a political threat to the extent that each time I come to do charity in Malawi, I am always hindered. I am not even allowed to donate some Maize in some regions. At some point, this was so bad that I began to fear for my own life. I have faced a lot of political resistance across the country for my humanitarian works” he said.
In what sounded like pitching his candidacy to both Malawi Congress Party and UTM, Bushiri urged leaders of the opposition parties to speak to him due to the experience he commands in charity works.
“By now, the leaders of opposition should be talking to people like myself who love the country and who donate. There are so many people and organisation who are doing great for the country who must be approached by leaders of the opposition and even the government for their works. But I know there are even politicians who are scared to talk to me. Yet they are looking for help in their constituency but are scared to talk to me” said Major 1.
He however maintained that despite having the right to compete, he does not have any plan to stand, saying it is easy to confuse people doing humanitarian works for a politician.
“Malawians are tired of politics and the country’s problems are not political. Our biggest problems are hunger and poverty not politics. I am here to preach peace not politics because I am not a politician and I would never be a politician as I have said many times” said Bushiri who is currently fighting money laundering and fraud charges in South Africa together with his wife, Prophetess Mary Bushiri.
Nonetheless, the controversial prophet who is unable to leave South Africa without seeking prior permission from the HAWKs, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation who have confiscated his travelling documents said if he ever wishes to stand as a president, he would not start from the position of a politician but as a humanitarian.
“If I would come to stand as a president, I would not stand as a politician. Rather, I would stand from a humanitarian point of view to help the country not as a politician. So, if I am asked whether I would stand and help as a humanitarian, then my answer would be yes” Bushiri said.
Meanwhile, another South African based Malawian pastor, Hastings Salanje has already expressed his interest to stand on presidential ticket albeit not mentioning the political party that he will represent.