By Ray Bande
MARANGE – In an unfolding macabre real life drama that reads like a gothic horror movie script, a 12-year-old boy in Mabvengwa Village in Marange area is being pelted by stones and is occasionally being strangled by unseen assailants.
For two weeks now, the innocent and likeable boy is going through hell on earth as he now endures the excruciating pain as well as bewilderment of stones hitting him hard without any assailant in sight.
The Grade 5 pupil and his grandmother have since sought refuge at an apostolic sect shrine about 40km away from their home in Mabvengwa.
As the family battles to come to terms with this ghoulish tale, accusations and counter accusations have now been the order of the day, with some saying the calamity befell the child after he scolded an elderly woman in the community and she told him ‘uchazviona’ . . . ‘You shall see.’
Some in the family believe the remaining eldest grandfather knows the source of this misfortune and should own up.
Others are of the opinion that the boy’s father, who is understood to be well read and is based in East London, South Africa, has a case to answer.
Nonetheless, since their arrival at the apostolic shrine things are said to have improved as the boy has been pelted by unseen assailants only once last Friday, but there is genuine fear that the worst could still happen upon their return home.
After tracking the boy down at his Mabvengwa Village homestead before heading to the apostolic church shrine and successfully solicited for an interview with the 12-year-old boy who was in the company of his granny, he told this newspaper that in the previous two weeks, he had been strangled by the neck occasionally only to be freed when almost giving up on life.
He professed that at one point during this agonising experience, he saw a human skeleton moving towards him, but disappeared after a few moments.
“It started about two weeks ago and it is painful. I sometimes fall after being pelted unawares. At times, I am strangled by the neck and freed later when almost giving up,” he confirmed.
Although efforts to get a comment from the boy’s father who is understood to be based in East London, South Africa, were fruitless, his granny was at a loss for words in describing her grandchild’s condition.
Mbuya Janet Muchaonyerwa nee Kambarami said the situation had improved since they visited the church shrine, but expressed fear that the unseen assailants might torment the young boy once they return home.
“I have never seen anything like this in my whole life. It is frightening and disgusting. Since we came here, things have improved as it only happened once last Friday, but we fear that the moment we get back home, it will start again,” she said.
Asked on whether they knew the reason the young boy had suddenly gone through this nasty experience, Mbuya Muchaonyerwa insisted that this must have come as a result of ‘issues’ in the family.
She does not buy the notion that her grandson’s condition came after he scolded an elderly lady in the community and the lady told him that ‘uchazviona’ (you shall see!).
“Well, I do not think it is proper for anyone to say this condition came as a result of the young boy scolding an elderly woman. In fact, the confession by the boy that he scolded a certain elderly lady came under duress. They (male elders in the family) threatened him until the child said he scolded a certain old lady who then told him ‘uchazviona’ .
“As a daughter-in-law in this family it is really difficult for me to point fingers at people, but I am convinced that it is within the family.
“This is something that came as a result of an elderly person in the family who must have used juju or goblins in his life.
“In fact, the babamukuru you met at the homestead will have his home cleansed in weeks to come. At one point he refused to have traditional healers or apostolic church prophets cleanse his home, but this time he agreed to have them visit his home,” she said.
In a no-holds-barred interview with the eldest grandfather in the family, John Muchaonyerwa, whom this news crew met at a shop near his Mabvengwa homestead, he said the condition must have come as a result of the young boy scolding an elderly lady.
“We know from way back in this area that young men would end up with swelling tummies each time they got out to steal honey. They would not be helped until they said out the truth. I think this is the same with my grandson. He actually confessed that he scolded a certain lady and was warned uchazviona.
“It is unfortunate that I cannot divulge the identity of the lady in question because that will be tantamount to accusing someone of witchcraft. There are normal procedures that we follow and I hope we will be able to do that in time.
“It is also unfortunate that when you are the eldest remaining family member people are quick to say that you are aware of what is going on.
“They forget that at some point they will also become the oldest in the family. As a family we have our properties and my children are well educated with one of them a professor.
“Naturally, people would want to point fingers simply because we have achieved more in life. However, it might be true that someone could have done something, but my hands are clean. With quite a number of learned sons with many degrees, one might not be sure whether these degrees were attained in a legitimate manner. In fact, when I went to check on the young boy’s condition yesterday I also gathered that some people think the boy’s own father has something to do with his son’s condition.
“So it is a tricky situation that needs to be handled maturely,” he said.
Asked whether there have not been any other calamities in the family, the 66-year-old Sekuru Muchaonyerwa said all had been well despite himself having lost two wives.
“Well, we all know that people die and I have even lost two wives, but that is only natural. We have never had ill-omens in our family,” he added.
Owing to incessant droughts and hunger spawned by acute low rainfall patterns in the Marange area, widely referred to as Bocha, cases of villagers sourcing wealth through voodoo practices are rampant.
Sadly, most of them end up resulting in mysterious incidents and inexplicable deaths in families. Manica Post