Oscar Pambuka is a Zimbabwean convicted criminal, journalist, entrepreneur, musician and, church founder, and self-styled prophet.
In November 2018, following a trial on corruption charges, Pambuka along with co-accused, Psychology Maziwisa was convicted of defrauding the Zimbabwe Power Company of $12,500 in a PR deal.
In January 2023, Pambuka was sentenced to 6 years and 5 months each in jail but would only serve 2 years and 6 months after the rest of the term was conditionally suspended.
Pambuka trained for a Journalism and Communications qualification at Christian College of Southern Africa. He worked at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as a newscaster and senior producer.
Oscar Pambuka owns Fruitful Communications together with Zanu-PF politician, Psychology Maziwisa. He founded Oscar Pambuka and Associates, a PR firm which he runs with his wife Nyasha Pambuka.
The company was involved in controversy after power company Zesa and Energy Minister Samuel Undenge came under fire for engaging Fruitful Communications to do public relations for Zesa when the power utility has a full-fledged public relations department headed by Mr Fullard Gwasira.
Arrest and Conviction on Corruption Charges (2018)
In January 2018, Pambuka was arrested together with Psychology Maziwisa for their involvement with ZESA in a deal that saw ZESA losing tens of thousands of dollars for public relations work through their company Fruitful Communications. Psychology Maziwisa And Oscar Pambuka Arrested
In November 2018, the two were convicted by the courts and were sentenced to 6 years and 5 months each in jail. Effectively however they would serve 2 years, 6 months each after the rest of the term was conditionally suspended.
Conviction on Attempted Fraud Charges (2023)
On 18 January 2023, Pambuka and his two accomplices, Elmore Mwenye, and Ngonidzashe Mbauya, were convicted on charges of attempting to defraud a Harare-based transporter of R36 000. They were convicted by Mbare magistrate Nyasha Vitorini.
Pambuka and his co-accused attempted to dupe Gibson Mazhangara, who runs Gimatar Logistics in November 2022.
Pambuka and Maziwisa had been moving about freely for three months, instead of submitting to jail, after their appeal against conviction and sentence was struck off the roll in September 2022.
After news filtered through that Pambuka had been convicted at Mbare magistrates’ court on 18 January 2023, the courts activated his warrant of arrest.
On 19 January, Pambuka was brought before High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda for a default inquiry and was committed to prison. He will now be serving the original term (two years and six months).
Wholly Suspended Jail Term
On 24 January 2023, Pambuka was spared from serving another prison term after Mbare magistrate Nyasha Vitorini sentenced him to a wholly suspended one-year jail term for attempted fraud.
Vitorini suspended the 12 months for three years on condition that Pambuka does not commit another offence involving dishonesty.
In sentencing Pambuka, Vitorini said he noted that he did not benefit from the offence and that the jail term he was serving for his 2018 fraud case would do justice and keep him out of crime.
Pambuka ventured into Zimdancehall music around 2013. Zimdancehall Awards founder Phineas Mushayi appointed Pambuka as the patron of the genre in 2013 and his term in office expired at the end of 2017. He commented on the role:
"As a patron of Zimdancehall my role is to support artists ether morally of financially like what i am doing in sponsoring workshops for artistes-all in a bid to bring sanity and order in the growing industry. "We are holding workshops in ghettos where we drill artistes to be professional and desist from the habit of thriving on unorthodox means such as violence. The workshops are being sponsored by my company-Oscar Pambuka Associates. Our workshops attract stakeholders in showbiz particularly in Zimdancehall such as music promoters among others.
In 2017, Oscar Pambuka has collaborated with several Zimdancehall artists on new release singles,a development which will catapult the veterans broadcast profile. Oscar collaborated with Kinnah aka Mr. Mbare on songs Hukama and Ndaigara ndichishanda with Dj Fantan and with Dj Levels, Oscar recorded Hapana Anotimisa.
Pambuka said he was inspired by Kinnah and he promised to launch an album in October 2017.
Around 2014 Pambuka emerged as the spokesperson of the popular church, PHD Ministries. He said that being a member of the church had changed his life.
I joined PHD Ministries some few years ago after I met Magaya at Joina City and he introduced himself to me before inviting me to his church. Ever since I joined PHD Ministries everything in my life has turned to gold.he said
Oscar Pambuka ran the PR section of Walter Magaya founder ofPh.D. Ministries church. He was the official spokesperson and was linked to the publicity the church got from issues to do with raunchy dancer Beverly Sibanda converting to the church and later announcing she was leaving the church. Pambuka then said Bev was trying to extort money from the church. [Read full article here].
Starting Own Churh
In May 2019, Pambuka founded his own church called Oscar Pambuka Ministries. He announced that he would now be addressed as Prophet Pambuka:
“Good morning to you all…. kindly refer to me as Prophet Pambuka. No retreat, No surrender. My first ever service is on this Sunday in Houghton Park. Some were asking me the name of the ministry. It is called Oscar Pambuka Ministries. Come and see the power of God at work. Bring all the sick and afflicted.
Nyasha Makota and Oscar Pambuka got married on June 21, 2013 in Harare under the Marriage Act (Chapter 5:11). They had two children; Aisha Nokutenda, a girl and a son Oscar Jnr Tawanda.
In 2019, Makota filed divorce papers, arguing that her marriage with Pambuka had irretrievably broken down to such an extent that there was no prospect of restoration of a normal relationship. Nyasha Makota said they had not been living together as husband and wife for over 12 months.
She added that during the subsistence of their marriage, they acquired a few household items which they shared upon their separation and it was just and equitable that each party retains property that was in his or her possession.
However, Nyasha Makota said it was in the best interest of the minor children that their custody be granted to her with Pambuka enjoying reasonable access to them every weekend. She demanded that Pambuka should pay US$150 per child for their upkeep.
In 2022, Makota pursued the divorce for the second time after initially summoning Pambuka in 2019.
She said Oscar Pambuka should pay a monthly contribution of US$100 per child and continue paying school fees for both minor children. Nyasha Makota also sought custody with Oscar having access during weekends from Friday 1600hrs to Sunday 1200hrs.
- ↑ Fidelis Munyoro Pambuka jailed, THeraldZim, Published: 20 January 2023, Retrieved: 20 January 2023
- ↑ Pambuka spared extended jail time, The Herald1, Published: 25 January 2023, Retrieved: 27 January 2023
- ↑ vasco chaya (August 21, 2017). "Oscar Pambuka releases singles = dailynews". Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Charles Laiton, Pambuka’s wife files for divorce, NewsDay, Published: March 27, 2019, Retrieved: April 20, 2022
- ↑ Mathew Masinge, Pambuka’s wife files for divorce, H-Metro, Published: April 15, 2022, Retrieved: April 20, 2022