By Wadza Botomani
It seems Bushiri presence in Malawi isn’t bad news at all .One of the players in the country’s hospitality industry, Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe has revealed that it’s business, since December, has not felt the full weight of the COVID-19 pandemic because of the continued influx of people who come from different countries to pray with Prophet Shepherd Bushiri.
Speaking to the media Thursday, the hotel’s Marketing Manager Malumbo Kondowe said before Bushiri came to Malawi in November last year, their business was running at five percent because of COVID-19 regulations.
“From December, we saw a surge of business and I can confidently tell you that 60 percent of our revenue, as a hotel, comes from people who visit Malawi because of Prophet Bushiri. We need this man for our economy,” he said.
Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo said over 300 people visit Malawi, every week, to meet and pray with the ECG leader and these people are mostly accommodated at Golden Peacock, Crossroads Hotel, Sunbird Capital Hotel and, some, in the lodges in Mangochi and Salima. Writing on his Facebook page , Nyondo wrote ” Lilongwe City, unlike lakeshore Salima and Mangochi Districts, has never been a tourist attraction place being nothing more but an administrative city. But this fact may be changing. Over 300 people, each week, fly and drive into Lilongwe City to meet with the leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Prophet Shepherd Bushiri for spiritual uplift and guidance”.
Asked if they see tourism in this, Nyondo said these visits, from different countries in the world, are purely spiritual and its only a confirmation that God is using Prophet Bushiri to preach the gospel
One economist Dumbani Mzale writing in Nation Newspaper wrote ” Based on such statistics, it means on average, the country is receiving in excess of 1 200 visitors per month and roughly 15 000 visitors in one year”
“For a sector which is highly regarded as one of the key priority areas in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS111), tellingly, Bushiri is doing a service to the Malawi economy, whose size is estimated at $10.9 billion or roughly K8.1 trillion”.