Despite coming under heavy criticism from other quarters, a snap check by The Daily Times on Monday revealed that the coming of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) to Mzuzu had a positive impact on businesses in the city and surrounding areas.
During the random interviews, a majority of businesspeople confirmed to have benefited from the visit.
Grand Palace Hotel Manager, Francis Salia, said he was overwhelmed by the demand for services over the period.
He said over 500 guests dined at the hotel.
“I must say that Bushiri’s coming had a very positive impact on us. We [made] business and we were quite busy. So, yes, we smiled all the way because our bookings also rose,” said Salia.
He added: “The climax of it all was the dinner itself because you can agree with me that feeding 500 people to a meal of not less than K9 000 is no mean achievement. It’s something that comes once in a blue moon so we are excited that we benefited from his coming.”
Salia also disclosed that over 10 deluxe rooms which cost K55, 000 per night were occupied by members of the entourage.
“Mind you, these were cash payments and they were taking rack prices without any negotiations which means that if we didn’t have adhoc bookings we would have made more money,” he explained.
Things were no different for Mzuzu Shoprite. A senior official, who asked for anonymity, said the chain store saw an influx of customers in the three days Bushiri held his crusade.
“We are a standard store. So, most people who attended the crusade opted to come here for their shopping. We were busy, the shop was full though I cannot confirm to you the actual figures because it’s not within my mandate to do so,” he said.
Small and medium enterprises also had a fair share from the event. Taxi operator Harry Banda said his daily proceeds trebled during the three-day miracle crusade.
“I have not attended any of his sermons but I must say that Bushiri’s coming has been a blessing in disguise. As taxi operators, we did not scramble for customers as we do oftentimes. Business was smooth yet rewarding. On each of the days, I made three times more than what I get on a normal day,” said Banda.
Another business person, Dafless Nyirongo, said within the three days of Bushiri’s stay in the city, her fast foods business transformed tremendously.
Nyirongo, who said she normally makes K50,000 on daily basis at her grocery store, was able realise K200, 000 per day.
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