Picture: The day a spirit medium conned Mugabe’s cabinet
Believe it or not this was the day Zimbabwean cabinet ministers were conned by a little known spirit medium Rotina Mavhunga into believing she could produce pure diesel from the Maningwa Hills in the bush in Chinhoyi.
Even President Mugabe chaired cabinet meetings in which claims by the Grade 3 educated Mavhunga were discussed at length. A high powered government delegation packed with people like State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi were sent to investigate the claims.
The government actually fell for her story hook line and sinker and even met her demands for two head of cattle, three buffaloes and Z$5 billion. Mavhunga also known as Nomatter Tagarira claimed she was possessed by ancestral spirits who were keen to help Zimbabwe get over the then chronic fuel shortages.
It was only after another team was sent to investigate that the con was eventually unearthed. It took Minister of Energy and Power Development, Retired Lieutenant-General Mike Nyambuya, Science and Technology Minister Olivia Muchena, and the Minister of Mines Amos Midzi to find out the obvious.