Men of the cloth tussle over tithes

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Men of the cloth tussle over tithes

Prominent South African pastor John Anosike and Namibian-based apostle Jimmy Mwaba are at loggerheads over money raised during a three-day church crusade held in early April.

At the heart of the dispute are the proceeds of a much-hyped crusade which was dubbed ‘3 Days of Power’, which saw Anosike invited to deliver sermons and offer prayers to the faithful at Mwaba’s Home of Power, which usually operates out of the Katutura Community Centre. However, the Anosike event was held at the Ramatex complex. 

Mwaba is now seeing Anosike as a sheep in wolf’s clothing. 

“He is taking things out of proportion; now it seems like he only came for money. He was here to pray over the sick,” he said.

Members of Mwaba’s church and followers from as far as the United States of America had high hopes of the spiritual awakening that the crusade promised to deliver. However, the aftermath of the event has been marred by a bitter dispute over finances, with both sides claiming funds raised during the three-day event belong to them.

Agripine Simasiku, who travelled all the way from Katima Mulilo, said, “I spent N$15 000 for the crusade. I wanted to be prayed for, but did not get a chance to meet papa”. 

A seed to see Papa

The crusade was attended by over 5 000, and took place from 31 March to 1 April, although it was initially planned to end on 2 April.

During the church service, attendees pledged a significant amount of money (N$445 432) to Anosike, purportedly for his church in South Africa, the City of Sons.

This figure does not include the additional pledges made by individuals from abroad, in different currencies.

According to a report seen by New Era, some church members pledged as much as N$10 000 to N$20 000, while others made contributions in the form of hard cash and via electronic payments.

Additionally, congregants offered N$49 000 in customary church offerings and tithes.

There are likewise claims that to have a personal audience with the “man of God”, one must first make a monetary offering, known as a “seed”. According to Mwaba, a man from the United States who had longed to meet Anosike reportedly paid N$50 000 for a one-on-one session with him. This was the only person who managed to meet him one-on-one “in the car on his way to the hotel”.

Anosike performed no miracles, lamented Mwaba.


Anosike and Mwaba share a spiritual bond which can be likened to that of a father and son.

In WhatsApp conversations between the two, seen by New Era, Mwaba is often referring to him as “daddy” and “papa”.

During one of his sermons which was publicly aired on social media platforms, Anosike can be heard alleging to have been swindled by Mwaba.

“This apostle who hosted me from Namibia ate up all the money. The money that people gave for the City of Sons, he took everything,” Anosike can be heard telling his congregants.

During the sermon, Anosike also called Mwaba a “devil, false apostle and con artist”, who he said is in the ministry but not for Christ.

“Beware of men who are corny and who are in ministries, but not for Christ,” he hit at Mwaba.

During an interview with New Era, Mwaba, who had referred to Anosike as his “spiritual father,” accused him and his team of demanding that every cent raised during the crusade, including pledges and customary church offerings, be handed over to them.

“We didn’t have a problem with giving him all the money, but we also had outstanding bills to pay. The problem is that he wanted everything, including all the offerings, despite us letting him know that we had to pay off the outstanding amount from putting the event together,” Mwaba stated.

According to him, the church had an outstanding amount of N$140 000 to pay service providers, and the offerings were used to help settle that debt.

He further stated that of the amount pledged, 90% of the donors didn’t pay the promised contributions, and he initially agreed to pay Anosike once the outstanding payments were received.

“Those in attendance of Day 2 and the final day bear witness that the call for pledges was made directly from the pulpit by the Bondservant (Anosike). But he kept insisting, and his PA was yelling at me, demanding even all money that was raised that day.

“After the conference, the basket of money was given to him (Anosike), and when we went to the hotel, he asked me to put money on the floor and separate the money based on currencies, notes and coins. Eventually, he took the USD. I would not say how much that was because I didn’t count it, and he also separated it from Namibia Dollars and Rands,” he narrated.

He continued that Anosike’s team was responsible for managing the list of pledges, which included the names and contact details of the donors, as well as the amounts pledged and paid.

 The list indicates that 10 individuals had paid a total of 8 100 during the conference, although it is unclear in which currency this money was pledged.

“The 90% of people who pledged according to the names and numbers in our possession have not paid, and this has resulted in miscommunication. Therefore, to avoid any further confusion, we instructed those who haven’t paid towards the City of Sons to pay directly into his bank account,” Mwaba said.

He further noted that Anosike aggressively yelled at him during a phone conversation, and accused him of stealing the money.

“He claimed the money pledged was not even enough, as he expected people to give more. He didn’t take into consideration that he cut the conference short as it was supposed to be three days, but he left on the second day. Instead of holding the sermon in the evening as it was agreed, he also did it in the morning, and people only flocked to church very late, so at what stage did he expect people to contribute?” he questioned.

Mwaba vehemently denied the allegations uttered by Anosike, stating that they are damaging to his reputation and that of his church.

He furthermore alleged that Anosike was supposed to perform miracles and touch the congregants, but he only preached on the pulpit.

“People travelled from different continents just to see him. Even ministers were willing to have consultations with him, but that didn’t happen,” he added.

New Era could not get a comment from Anosike at the time of going to print, as questions sent on his WhatsApp went unanswered.