CHITUNGWIZA – Some Zengeza residents on Tuesday begged the popular Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa to dispose of the clay pot that remained unaffected by the mysterious blast that claimed five lives in the area on Monday afternoon.
While the exact cause of the blast has remained a mystery, the majority of Zengeza residents are convinced that it was a result of black magic-in the form of a bolt of lightning-involving a youthful sangoma, Speakmore Mandere who also died in the explosion. He was known as Sekuru Shumba.
And the clay pot believed to have been used to create the ‘juju lightning’ remained untouched in the middle of the rubble.
Even the late sangoma’s relatives where scared to temper with the clay pot prompting some residents who were still gathered at the blast scene to appeal to Makandiwa to chip in. Makandiwa has roots in Chitungwiza where he remains hugely popular.
“Izvi zvaakutoda vakuru veminana. Dai pawana anokwanisa kuuya naMakandiwa abvise hari iyi,” said one onlooker whose sentiments were immediately echoed by those gathered.
Meanwhile, the wife of the businessman who died in the blast spoke out on Tuesday. Svodai Kamudzeya miraculously escaped the blast and says that business problems had forced them to consult Sekuru Shumba.
“There are a lot of things that can make people consult traditional healers, it could be family problems and an ailment in the family. Things were not well at his work-place Tarc Transport where he was a driver and the combi business was not smooth. We decided to seek help when the incident happened. We own four combi’s” she said
Svodai, who is also a member of the Zion Apostolic Church, narrated how she survived the horrific blast.
“I had gone out to fetch water, which was to be used on my husband. I took the bucket from the car and when I was about to enter the house, the blast occurred and I found myself on the ground. I stood up and discovered that I had survived but my husband and others had died,” she said
On Tuesday the bodies were still at the scene with crowds and a number of specialists from various State Departments. Various body parts and chunks of human flesh of the deceased were being picked and put in coffins before being taken away.
The sangoma’s father ‘Swirimu Mandere’ was shocked to learn that his son was operating as a traditional healer.
“I’m shocked to discover that he is a sangoma. We know him as a great prophet and helper, who helped a number of people. Tiri ve postori yekwa Emanuel and that is where he had been prophesying,” he said.
Mandere picked and packed his son’s other tools of trade, except the clay pot. The late sangoma’s aide, Tawanda Marume had his ancestors to thank as he was a few metres out the house. He narrated the sangoma’s history from where he knew him.
“Yesterday, these people were here in the morning and I was just standing outside the house when the blast occurred. He has was previously staying in St Mary’s and left the place nekunetsa kwehugaro hwacho. Kutsvaga pakasununguka,” he said.
The owner of the house where the sangoma stayed, Oliver Dumba appealed to the government for support to rebuild his house. “This is a disaster that has occurred and if the government can help me rebuild the house.”
A licence inspector from the traditional medicines council, who was at the scene on Tuesday could not immediately state the cause of the blast, requesting an opportunity to investigate. He indicated that it was premature to conclude or rule out that it was lightning that struck and destroyed the residence.
He added that operating with a corrupt spirit could lead to such tragedies. He said it is rare that their members die during the course of duty and he should prophesy the danger before it strikes.
“It is rare that our members die during the course of their work as they should foresee such dangers. Dambudziko nderekuti vamwe nakushanda vasina kusimba vobata zvinhu zvikuru kwavari.
“Some are practising without being powerful to do so. It can be the lightning but we have to investigate first because there are some spirits which are equally strong to cause the same damage.
“Vamwe vave kubata zvakawanda, kuromba kuti awedzere simba zvokonzera kuti mweya wake usvube zvekuti haachakwanisa kuona,” he said.