Prophet drowns during cleansing ceremony, family blame mermaids
By Melody Gwenyambira
A self-styled prophet on Wednesday drowned in a river during a cleansing ceremony in Epworth, giving residents quite a scare.
The prophet, Simbarashe Kamupondera, 31, of Nyeredzi Nhatu apostolic sect, met his fate around midday as he was attending to a congregant at the Ruwa River banks when he was swept away by a strong current.
However, the family believes Simbarashe is still alive claiming he was abducted by mermaids known as njuzu in vernacular.
“Simbarashe came to stay with us a month ago. He has been telling us that he had a spirit of a mermaid.
“He also said that a prophet had prayed for a cloth that he gave him to always tie when getting into the waters. Yesterday he bought a new cloth after he had written his name on the old one saying that he could no longer use it.
“He tied it today before he got into the water,” Magma Mutingwende, Simbarashe’s sister-in-law said.
Magma also said that Simbarashe was praying for a female congregant when he was swept away.
The father of two is also said to have frequented the river several times taking a bath and baptising people.
“Vaenda vari mumweya vachinamata nendimi. We realised that he needed help when he started saying come and get but when we tried to swim to where he was, he was submerged in water.
“We believe that he was taken by a mermaid and we are not going to mourn him because we know that he is coming back,” Magma added.
When this news crew arrived, Magma was getting ready to leave the river banks with her two friends who are also congregants of the small apostolic sect as it was getting dark. Her husband Thomas had accompanied the police to the police station.
“We have not told his wife as yet and we know that he is coming back,” Magma added.
Police details at the scene said they were waiting for the Aqua Unit to attend to the scene. H Metro