HARARE – Police, soldiers and state intelligence officers on Wednesday launched a predawn raid on the Harare home of evangelist Walter Magaya.
Magaya was not home but his wife and children are believed to have been sleeping when the inter-agency teams stormed his Mt Pleasant property at around 4AM.
They numbered at least 50, one witness said.
The purpose of the raid was unclear, sources said, even among some of the security agents in attendance.
A senior member of Magaya’s charge said: “They arrived at around 4AM, they were 50 or more. They just started harassing everyone and conducted searches.
“One question they kept asking was ‘what did he bring from Kenya?’”
Magaya, whose followers believe he has a gift of prophecy, was in Kenya last week for a church conference. He was provided a police escort everywhere he went and feted like a rockstar. Tens of thousands of believers attended the church conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
The raid on his home lasted several hours.
Magaya’s whereabouts are unknown and it was not clear if he is wanted, and what crime he was suspected of having committed.
Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the raid was “in relation to an ongoing criminal investigation”, but refused to state the nature of the offence he was suspected of having committed.
A source inside Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance church said: “One of the people demanded to know where the guns were kept. Nothing was making sense from their questions. It very much appeared as though the plan was to find something that shouldn’t be there, and then build a case from there.”
It was unclear if Magaya had returned to Zimbabwe from Kenya.