PHD Ministries housing project a rip-off: Beneficiaries say

PROPHET Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) beneficiaries of a housing project are fuming over founder Walter Magaya’s assertion that there is movement in the construction of their houses while on the ground nothing appears to be happening despite years of contributions.

For one to qualify as a beneficiary of the housing scheme, they have to be a life partner first.

Once someone is a life partner, they would be allowed access to the multi-million-dollar project.

Life-partner members are required to pay a monthly subscription fee of US$20, failure of which the money would accrue and be considered as owed to the church.

If one fails to keep in touch with set subscriptions, the arrears are considered as debt to the church.

The housing project was launched in August 2016 and was supposed to run to December 2016.

Planet Africa, a company wholly owned by Magaya, is responsible for the construction works at all the sites.

Magaya reportedly injected US$8 million into the project.

The PHD Ministries Waterfalls guesthouse was also constructed by Planet Africa.

A source within PHD Ministries, who preferred anonymity, told Zim Morning Post that the project had become too expensive and could no longer afford it.

I made a once-off US$1 050 payment so I benefit from the scheme. But it has been long and I am still paying the US$20 life-partnership levy every month,” a source said.

The Westgate housing project is yet to be completed, but nothing is happening there. This means I can die without having that house,” said the PHD source.

Zim Morning Post also heard that those paying in local currency pay the equivalent of the prevailing interbank rates. 

I was asked to submit a withdrawal application since I said I was no longer able to continue making the US$20 needed to remain a member of the project as per requirement. I was also told to wait for the processing of what I had contributed. Now I am being told my contribution of US$1 050 would be paid back to me as ZWL1 050, using the 1:1 rate recently ruled by the Supreme Court.”

Planet Africa is also set to construct a number of houses in Kwekwe, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo and Mutare.

The PHD Ministries-run project owns 300 hectares of land in Bulawayo, 910ha in Mutare and another 300ha in Kwekwe.

A source who spoke to this publication said 90% of the project – including the land – was owned by Magaya. 

A couple from the church told Zim Morning Post that they had also withdrawn from the project due to inability to meet to monthly US$20 payments.

“We paid US$3 500 once-off payment, expecting to be proud owners of a home but our dreams were dashed,” the couple said. 

“We are now being told that we will be paid ZWL3 500 for all our US$3 500. That is not fair,” the couple said.

The couple also spoke of how they were shown pictures of beautiful and completed homes, apparently in order to placate them, while on the ground there would be nothing to talk about.