By Mugove Tafirenyika
More than a month after a section of the homestead belonging to Johane Masowe Vadzidzi Vajesu Church founder Aaron Mhukuta Gomo was vandalised, government is still to investigate the incident.
Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs ministers Martin Dinha told the Daily News yesterday that he was still gathering the facts and would share the findings once he has the full picture of what had happened.
“I have don’t have the facts on the ground yet because that needs to be done since you know that there are factions there,” Dinha said.
“Once I get the two sides of the story, after investigations, I will come back you”.
Dinha was part of a probe team set up by former president Robert Mugabe to investigate Wimbo’s alleged abduction by a faction of his church.
The other members of the probe team are Kembo Mohadi and Ignatius Chombo.
While Dinha could not be pressed into revealing the team’s findings, that Mugabe and Chombo fell out with the current administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa complicates issues for the team in the sense that the alleged aggressors have close links with the status quo.
Last month, the Daily News crew visited Wimbo’s homestead in Madziwa and spoke to the prophet’s second wife, Enesia Mhukuta, whom he married in 1958, who narrated the family’s ordeal.
She said immediately after Mnangagwa’s inauguration last month, dozens of church members, the majority of whom were once Wimbo’s patients before his abduction, stormed their homestead and started demolishing several houses without explanation.
“They said they were now in charge after Mnangagwa became president since he was one of them and they were saying you will realise that ngwena inoruma (the crocodile bites) and that they were on a mission to punish us so they removed all the roofing, window and door frames from all these houses saying because they were built by my husband therefore they belong to the church,” Enesia said.
“I, however, do not believe that the president sent them. We all thought after taking my husband by force here they would be satisfied but it looks like they want us dead and they will not rest until they achieve that. I do not know what crime we committed to deserve this.
“Now I am wondering who is cooking for my husband after the death of his younger wife (Jesta Kanzara) with whom he had no children but was now staying with at the shrine).”
Wimbo’s family also alleges that some members of the church murdered a fellow church follower, Jacob Zifungo, on March 16, 2014, in connivance with Wimbo’s fourth wife, in a desperate bid to wrestle control of the church, and allegedly also using Mnangagwa’s name.
Gomo, 94,, popularly known as Mudzidzi Wimbo, was allegedly abducted by his church aides last year, for political reasons.
Since then, his children have not accessed him.
While to his family Wimbo is just a father and cleric, for some the 94-year-old holds the key to the country’s succession politics.
Having correctly predicted Mugabe’s rise to the throne in 1957, Wimbo has emerged as some sort of a cult.
According to legend, Wimbo prophesied that independent Zimbabwe would be ruled by a man carrying the name of the angel Gabriel, which came to pass in April 1980 with Mugabe — whose middle name is Gabriel — becoming the nation’s prime minister.
But as age began to take its toll on Mugabe, now 93, both his followers and Zanu PF bigwigs believed he was on the cusp of making “another pinpoint prediction” that could shape Zanu PF’s topsy-turvy succession debate.
It was therefore unsurprising that there has been a scramble and beeline of sorts to court the “enigmatic character”, in the vain hope that he could give an instant indication as to who was to take over from the veteran leader.
Since three years ago, Wimbo’s church has been rocked by debilitating fights, with his three wives and children estranged from him accusing senior church officials of having kidnapped Wimbo two years ago — to force a prophecy favourable to Mnangagwa’s long held ambitions to succeed Mugabe.
The prophet’s children claim that their father’s captors had convinced Mnangagwa that the enigmatic “prophet” wanted to announce him as Mugabe’s successor.
In October 2015, Mnangagwa visited the revered Madzibaba Wimbo’s shrine ostensibly to help raise funds for a new school there.
He was subsequently told by Wimbo who is also known as Mudzidzi Majinesta — that he needed much prayer and assistance to succeed Mugabe.
The Daily News crew witnessed all the proceedings having gained entry pretending to be congregants at Wimbo’s church.
The frail nonagenarian prophet suddenly rose from his seat and directed Mnangagwa to follow him around the shrine — even though Wimbo had initially said he was neither going to speak nor perform any duties — and started to prophesy with fervent intensity.
He walked with so much difficulty, that it required two men to support him as he hobbled around the grounds, with Mnangagwa in tow, and as many of his followers, seemingly overcome by the occasion and the spectacle, went into trances.
Speaking through an interpreter, Wimbo said, “Anoda kubatsirwa, angazvigona seiko ari oga. Handizive kuti ndoita zvipiko. Vari kunditeera nditeverei nekuno (Mnangagwa needs help as he can’t do anything on his own. I don’t know what I should do to help him).
As he spoke, his followers roared with many — dressed in pink, white, sky blue and light green garments — speaking in indecipherable tongues.
Coincidentally, Mnangagwa was inaugurated as Mugabe’s successor on the back of assistance from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces which stepped in purportedly targeting “criminals” hiding behind the former president.
One of his sons Exnevia Gomo, a South African-based medical professor, told the Daily News in a telephone interview yesterday that the family had been “taken aback” following the latest development.
“We wonder what the future holds for us. The family is living in fear after over a 100 church members came to our home and started to indiscriminately destroy houses saying they had won the war and that they can now do what they want,” Gomo said.
“We allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do because we have realised that no one will give us protection although we are not convinced that the new president is the one directing them to be lawless like that.
“I think they are only taking advantage of us because since they forcibly took our father, nothing has happened to them”.
Stunned by the church members’ actions, Gomo said he sought for an explanation from major general Douglas Nyikayaramba, the church’s chief security officer.
“The response was lukewarm as he simply said he was away when it happened and promised to investigate but up to now we have not heard from him”.
Both Nyikayaramba and Wimbo’s spokespersons Shepherd Chingwena’s mobile numbers were not reachable yesterday. Daily News