Oscar Pambuka Biography: Zimbabwean Journalist, Musician, Self-Proclaimed Prophet and Convicted Criminal
Oscar Pambuka is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur, musician, church founder, and self-styled prophet. He was also a journalist who worked at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as a newscaster and senior producer.
Oscar Pambuka’s love life and divorce
Nyasha Makota and Oscar Pambuka got married on June 21, 2013, in Harare, Zimbabwe under the Marriage Act. They had two children together, a daughter named Aisha Nokutenda and a son named Oscar Jnr Tawanda.
Nyasha Makota filed for divorce in 2019, stating that the marriage had irretrievably broken down and they had not been living together as husband and wife for over a year. She asked that custody of the children be granted to her with reasonable access to Pambuka every weekend, and requested that he pay US$150 per child for their upkeep.
In 2022, Makota pursued the divorce for the second time and asked that Pambuka pay a monthly contribution of US$100 per child and continue paying for their school fees. She also requested custody of the children with Pambuka having access during weekends from Friday 1600hrs to Sunday 1200hrs.
Oscar Pambuka education and business
Pambuka trained for a Journalism and Communications qualification at the Christian College of Southern Africa. He worked at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as a news reader and senior producer.
Pambuka founded Oscar Pambuka and Associates, a PR firm that he runs with his wife Nyasha Pambuka. He also owns Fruitful Communications with Zanu-PF politician Psychology Maziwisa.
Oscar Pambuka Corruption Charges and Arrest
In January 2018, Pambuka and Maziwisa were arrested for their involvement with the Zimbabwe Power Company in a deal that saw the company lose $12,500 for public relations work through their company Fruitful Communications.
In November 2018, they were convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to 6 years and 5 months each in jail. However, they would only serve 2 years and 6 months each after the rest of the term was conditionally suspended.
The controversy around Fruitful Communications arose when power company ZESA and Energy Minister Samuel Undenge were criticized for engaging Fruitful Communications to do public relations for ZESA when the power utility had a full-fledged public relations department headed by Mr. Fullard Gwasira.
Oscar Pambuka Convicted of Attempted Fraud
Oscar Pambuka, along with two accomplices, Elmore Mwenye and Ngonidzashe Mbauya, was convicted of attempting to defraud a Harare-based transporter of R36,000. They tried to dupe Gibson Mazhangara, who runs Gimatar Logistics in November 2022. They were convicted by Mbare magistrate Nyasha Vitorini on 18 January 2023.
After their appeal against conviction and sentence was struck off the roll in September 2022, they had been moving about freely for three months instead of submitting to jail.
When news of Pambuka’s conviction reached the authorities, they 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 serve the original term of two years and six months.
Oscar Pambuka suspended sentence
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 on 24 January 2023. Vitorini suspended the 12 months for three years on the condition that Pambuka does not commit another offense involving dishonesty.
Zimdancehall Music Career
Oscar Pambuka became involved in Zimdancehall music around 2013, and in the same year, he was appointed as the patron of the genre by Phineas Mushayi, the founder of the Zimdancehall Awards. Pambuka’s tenure in this role came to an end in 2017.
In 2017, Pambuka collaborated with several Zimdancehall artists on new singles, including Kinnah, Dj Fantan, and Dj Levels. Pambuka said he was inspired by Kinnah and promised to release an album in October of that year.
Religion played a significant role in Pambuka’s life, and around 2014, he became the spokesperson for PHD Ministries, a popular church in Zimbabwe. He credited his membership in the church for changing his life.
Pambuka was also known for his work as the head of the PR section of Walter Magaya’s Ph.D. Ministries church. He served as the official spokesperson and was involved in publicity efforts related to dancer Beverly Sibanda’s conversion to the church. When Sibanda later announced her departure from the church, Pambuka accused her of attempting to extort money from the organization.
In May 2019, Pambuka established his own church, which he called Oscar Pambuka Ministries. He announced that he would be referred to as Prophet Pambuka from that point forward.