Multimillionaire Pastor Shepherd Bushiri has announced the unexpected death of his 8-year-old daughter Israella. He blamed the misfortune on the Malawian government for preventing his trip to Kenya in February. The embattled head of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church is facing an extradition case in Malawi.
According to Bushiri, a doctor told him that if his daughter had arrived earlier to Kenya for treatment, she might not have died, Sowetan Live reported. The pastor expressed grief that his daughter became a victim of the persecution he and his wife suffered.
On March 19, The Citizen cited the preacher as saying that his child had been battling a lung infection in the intensive care unit at an undisclosed hospital for two weeks. She was referred for treatment to Kenya, but died before the family could make the trip.
In February, Bushiri’s attorney Wapona Kita said the Malawian authorities prevented his daughter and her grandmother from traveling to Kenya.
“We are still trying to understand why they were blocked from leaving because they have not committed any offense and there are no travel restrictions imposed on them,” Sowetan Live quoted Kita as saying.
The trip would not have been her first time traveling to Kenya for medical care. She had sought medical treatment there on several occasions.
On Feb. 1, 2019, Bushiri and his wife, Mary, faced allegations of corruption by the South African government. The pastor was accused of laundering more than R102 million (about $6.6 million) through ECG, which he founded. The husband and wife pair were arrested in a Rustenburg hotel in 2019 and subsequently charged with fraud, money laundering and infringing the Prevention of Organized Crime Act of 2015.