The government of Botswana has closed down the church of a controversial Malawian pastor over allegations that it was connected to the use of "miracle money," which is considered illegal in the country.
Edwin Batshu, a minister in the government of Botswana, confirmed that they have closed down Malawian Pastor Shepherd Bushiri's church, the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG). He also explained that the church's continued violation of the country's law through the use of fake money was what led to its closure, Malawi 24 reported.
In addition, Minister Batshu said no branch of the ECG would be allowed to operate within Botswana. It has also been ordered to stop its congregants from holding church-related gatherings in their homes.
The officials of the ECG church have asked Minister Batshu to reconsider.
This was not the first time that Pastor Bushiri has been at odds with the government of Botswana. In May 2017, he was declared persona non grata and was blocked from entering the country to speak at a conference.
At the time, the government of Botswana said Pastor Bushiri would be required to obtain a visa to enter the country for the scheduled crusade in Gaborone. However, Malawi nationals are not normally required to procure a visa in order to travel to Botswana, All Africa noted.
The visa requirement was seen as an attempt by Botswana to stop Bushiri, who is reportedly considered a divisive figure, from holding his conference in May last year. The move has stirred controversy on social media, with some applauding the development and others expressing disappointment.
Bushiri has previously stirred controversy over his lavish lifestyle and his "prophesies."
In the past, Botswana had also required South African opposition leader Julius Malema to obtain a visa before entering the country, even though he was supposedly exempt from that requirement. The same thing happened to U.K. international lawyer Gordon Bennett and American actor Rick Yune.