Ray Bande Senior Reporter
SEVENTH Day Adventist emissaries who were on a door-to-door bible teaching outing were last Thursday left scurrying for cover after a Nyamajura man did the unthinkable when he pulled out and released a three-metre long python in a stunning bid to demonstrate his magic and chase them away from his homestead.
Narrating their ordeal, the SDA members said the snake man cuddled, caressed and strapped the python around his body while holding its neck before teasing them with it.
The snake man — Laudon Chimwala (63) — is a popular herbalist in Village 9 of Nyamajura resettlement area.
He allegedly took the four SDA devotees by surprise when he adamantly rejected and countered their teachings by arguing that he was protected by his paraphernalia.
Chimwala told them he believes in Islam, not their Christian teaching rhetoric. He allegedly teased the four churchmen with the reptile in broad daylight arguing that their so-called Christian judgment teachings had no effect on him.
It was not long before the SDA church men got more than they had bargained when Chimwala pulled out the three-metre long python to scare them off his homestead.
In an unsolicited interview Simbarashe Matapo (17), who was one of the four SDA devotees camped in Nyamajura village for the door-to-door teaching excursion, told The Weekender that Chimwala is known for treating snake bites in the area.
Matapo said Chimwala refuted their teachings before pulling out the python much to their astonishment, fear and disgust.
“We were on a door-to-door bible study in the Nyamajura area last week and when we got to Chimwala’s homestead we introduced ourselves, our mission and the judgment day topic we wanted to discuss with him.
“Before we could even get into detail, Chimwala instantly dismissed us. He told us that the ‘judgment day teaching’ we were preaching did not apply to him as he is protected by his paraphernalia. He vowed to show us his power of protection and in a bid to prove his word, he went around one of the huts and pulled out the three-metre long reptile.
He rolled the snake around his neck while holding its neck. The snake bit him four times, but it did not affect him in any way. Instead he boosted that the bites were releasing more strength into his body.
“It was a scary scene. We retreated to watch the drama from a distance. Even some villagers who also witnessed the incident were equally shocked,” said Matapo.
When The Weekender tracked down Chimwala to Nyamajura village, about 50km north east of Mutare on Tuesday, it was not much of a hustle to locate his homestead as he is a well known man.
Chimwala, who is popularly known as “Twoboy” or “Mafia” in the village, said he was an expert in curing any kind of snake bite.
He, however, denied breeding snakes for magic purposes at his homestead.
He said the python he displayed on Thursday had been captured at a nearby homestead after killing some chickens, on the same day.
“I do not keep snakes at all, but I can treat any snake bite. Anyone I treat will never die. I don’t know of anyone I treated of snake bite who later died, including those bitten right on top of their heads by the venomous Black Mamba (rovambira).
“On Thursday last week, the python I captured had killed some chickens at a nearby homestead.
“Coincidentally the Adventist guys were at my homestead when I was called to help capture the reptile. I was bitten four times before I managed to capture it. Yes, I held it by its neck and it was about three metres long. I strapped part of it round my neck as I held its neck,” he said.
The 63-year-old said he was neither a traditional healer nor a spiritualist. He also said he cures sexually transmitted infections and certain cancers.
“I do not see myself as a traditional healer. I learnt this trade from my late father. I have assisted so many people in this area. In fact, I do not encourage people to kill snakes, I only help to capture and release them into the bush.
“I have cured a number of people of different kinds of snake bites, certain cancers and sexually transmitted diseases. There is a certain cancer that leaves a huge wound hole on the patient’s leg, I can cure that one. I have done it before. I do not cure Aids though. No, not at all,” he said.
Chimwala said he used to cure snake bites for free, but now charges $5.