Zimbabwe: Witchcraft Fantasies, False Prophets, Diesel Mystic Spell Sluggish Governance

Perhaps the 2007 diesel mystic, Rotina Mavhunga that sent an entire government on a wild goose chase is a legendary example of how deep Zimbabweans can sink while seeking supernatural solutions to their
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Locals witnessed saddening newspaper images of barefooted government officials grovelling before the cheeky spirit medium, busy praying for barrels of pure diesel to start gush from a rock.

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Obviously taking advantage of their gullibility, she ordered three government ministers — Didymus Mutasa, Kembo Mohadi and Sydney Sekeramayi — to mobilise a 50-vehicle convoy which drove for 230km to Makuti and Kariba on a futile trip as part of her elaborate con.

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How this famous tale failed to scoop the all time best comedy award is a mystery that can be solved on another day.

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Fast forward to 2015, state president fingers his former Vice President Joice Mujuru in a witchcraft act against him.

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Mugabe took the occasion of his 91st birthday in Victoria Falls to explain to his followers how the embattled Mujuru was so impatient with becoming President that she sought the services of Nigerian sangomas to fast track her ascendancy to the throne.

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Mujuru, a devout Christian, has voiced her innocence and chastised her accusers for alleged malice.

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But that was enough to remind observers about a nation so fixated with phantasm as the solution to their myriad troubles.

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Stories abound of ministers and other government officials sneaking out of their mansions without security to consult sangomas especially towards cabinet appointments.

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Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) president, George Kandiero admits their members do prescribe luck enhancing potions on ambitious politicians which he says have worked wonders.

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“It’s a known fact that even during elections, most politicians visit sangomas to obtain charms to win elections,” he said.

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“People have their individual sangomas who they consult from time to time…the prescriptions indeed work a lot.”

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“This is not just confined to politicians but to footballers aswell.”

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But while the rich and mighty would navigate through rough terrain on high rider cars seeking the most powerful sangomas, the story is not so different with those on the opposite side of the social divide who have sought respite among prosperty prophets.

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Week in and week out, charismatic prophets Emmanuel Makandiwa and Walter Makaya’s congregations are packed with magic seeking Zimbabweans.

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These vary from those seeking treatment for chronic ailments to those seeking supersonic rise to riches.

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Even the already rich still want more.

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Zimbabweans are familiar with the story of an ambitious Harare man who surrendered his Bentley to the now United Kindom based Zimbabwean prophet Angels on the promise of flood of miracle riches.

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It is one thing to seek magic intervention into your troubles and boost your fortunes, but does this work?

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Pastor Maxmore Gwanzura, an expert in spiritual affairs, sees differently.

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“Yes, they work but these miracles are used as a bait to attract people to certain Satanic kingdoms; they are rituals,” he says.

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“You would be using yourself to participate in a certain act of evil. When you go home you have this psychological comfort that you get. But you later realise that you have been used and it would be very difficult to reverse them.”

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Gwanzura further explains: “Most people are suffering in various ways and as such, not everyone is prepared to work and even if they try to, they don’t get as quick answers as they would want.

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“The devil also takes advantage of such situations. He comes in, proposes quick fix solutions to problems and sometimes they appear like they are ordinary solutions.

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“It is only after sometime that they realise some side effects to it because normally you don’t get things for free.”