A 28-year-old woman from Gweru’s Ascot suburb went into a trance yesterday morning and confessed bewitching a seriously ill woman who later died in the afternoon.
The woman, Ms Judith Matimbe, claimed that she allegedly bewitched Ms Lyna Ndora with the assistance of her neighbours, an elderly woman and two other women. Ms Matimbe and Ms Ndora were tenants at the same house, Number 328 Fusire Road, Ascot.
Neighbours and relatives told a Chronicle news crew at the house that Ms Matimbe woke up yesterday morning appearing to be in a trance. They said she then started confessing that she was responsible for Ms Ndora’s illness.
Ms Matimbe, who is a member of an Apostolic sect, is said to have received prayers from members of her church in a bid to stabilise her. When Chronicle visited the house yesterday morning, Ms Ndora also known as Mai Brian, was still alive but in visible pain.
Her alleged tormentor, Ms Matimbe, was still “possessed” and continued chanting as she claimed that she was given the evil powers by the elderly woman, her neighbour. On the other end, Ms Ndora was being closely monitored by her relatives as she writhed in pain on her bed.
Ms Matimbe said while still in her trance-like stance that she was a witch who was given evil powers by her elderly neighbour. The possessed woman would at times fail to answer questions posed to her by this reporter as she appeared to be losing her senses and would suddenly speak on top of her voice.
She kept making accusations against the unidentified elderly woman, who turned her into a witch.
“Ndati mbuya avo variapo ngavauye vabvise huroyi hwavakanditemera Mai Brain vapore. Ndakaroyereyiko Mai Brain? Huyai mundibise huroyi hwamakanditemera. (The elderly woman next door should rid me of the evil powers that she placed on me so that Ms Ndora can be healed. Why did she turn me into a witch and cause me to bewitch Ms Ndora? I don’t want to be a witch anymore),” shouted Ms Matimbe as she struggled on her bed with some of her relatives trying to calm her.
She continued to mention the name of the elderly woman and appealed to her relatives who were gathered in the room to summon her to her room so that she could free her from the bewitching powers.
“Please call the granny next door to come here and remove what she put in my body. I don’t want to be a witch anymore. I want Ms Ndora to be healed,” said Ms Matimbe.
When interviewed, Ms Ndora said she has been suffering from suspected diarrhoea since Thursday last week and was also vomiting. There were signs that her condition was deteriorating as she had a bucket that she was using as a makeshift toilet in the house. Ms Ndora’s body was covered with only a cloth.
Ms Ndora’s husband, Mr Brain Sikwila said they were shocked by Ms Matimbe’s startling revelations that she was responsible for the illness and later subsequent death of his wife.
“It’s a shock to everyone. We have been staying together with Ms Matimbe and her husband here for a long time and we have been treating each other as one family. Now with Ms Matimbe’s utterances, I don’t even know what to do. I am still consulting my relatives,” he said.
Mr Sikwila said his wife started complaining of stomach pains on Thursday.
“When my wife started complaining of stomach pains on Thursday we thought she would recover but she is fast deteriorating. I was, however, shocked this morning when Ms Matimbe woke up and started confessing that she had bewitched my wife. She is blaming someone for having given her the bewitching powers and the whole issue has become complex,” said Mr Sikwila.
Mr Sikwila said they had reported the matter to the police. He said they had also invited a local pastor to pray for both his wife and Ms Matimbe. A pastor with a local church, House of Mercy Ministries, Pastor Alex Mwale, said Ms Matimbe was being used by evil spirits that were manifesting through her person.
He said the evil spirits’ utterances could be true or false.
“What is happening to Ms Matimbe is not strange because evil spirits manifest in people. It’s unfortunate that this evil spirit is coming through Ms Matimbe speaking about witchcraft and the bewitching powers she got from her neighbour. What this demon is saying can either be false or true and what only needs to be done is for it to be cast out so that Ms Matimbe can be freed,” he said.
Pastor Mwale said Ms Matimbe could have entered into a “covenant” with an inyanga or a false prophet resulting in her practising witchcraft. He said he would pray to cast the demons out of Ms Matimbe’s body.
“What we can only do as pastors, which I will do, is to go and force the demon out of Ms Matimbe’s body. The other task we should do as men of God is again to reconcile the two families because this demon has caused friction between them,” he said.
A relative to Ms Ndora later called Chronicle at around 3pm announcing that the woman had died. “We are now at Mtapa Police Station where we are making a death report. It is very sad that this has resulted in the death of our relative,” said the relative. The Chronicle