Botswana lifts Prophet Bushiri's visa restrictions

2019-11-07 13:37
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church. (Veli Nhlapo, Gallo Images, file)

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church. (Veli Nhlapo, Gallo Images, file)

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Botswana has lifted its visa restrictions on the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, the church revealed in a statement on Thursday.

"This is quite a progressive move. It will help me travel to Botswana easily to grow our church and, most importantly, to resolve some of the compliance issues of our church in Botswana," Bushiri said.

The restriction meant that, unlike other citizens of Malawi, Bushiri would have to apply for a visa every time he entered the country, according to City Press

This was followed by the government of Botswana deregistering Bushiri's church in the country in December 2017.

His church’s leadership said this was because they had failed to provide the government with a copy of their audited financials for three years in a row, the publication reported.

ALSO READ: Botswana shows Bushiri no mercy

ECG has over 55 branches across Botswana.

In June, News24 reported that Bushiri, along with EFF leader Julius Malema, could soon be free to travel to Botswana, as the ban - imposed under former president Ian Khama's regime - was being reviewed.

According to The Star and the Botswana Standard, the travel restrictions placed on Malema and Bushiri would be lifted under the government of Mokgweetsi Masisi.

The southern African country recently held its elections on October 23, which saw Masisi's Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) emerge victorious.

Masisi was sworn in as the president in Gaborone on November 1.

ALSO READ: Malema, Bushiri could soon be free to travel to Botswana as ban is reviewed - reports

Bushiri said the move represented the "government’s respect for people’s religious freedoms".

Bushiri is expected to announce a visit to Botswana soon.

Read more on:    shepherd bushiri  |  botswana  |  southern africa
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