By Bongani Ndlovu
A prominent traditional healer from Harare, Sekuru Kamwelo Kamwelo Banda has claimed that popular prosperity gospel pastors are nicodemously visiting his shrine seeking supernatural powers in order to swell numbers in their churches.
Sekuru Banda who is in Bulawayo for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, however, declined to reveal the names of the pastors but past media reports have suggested that some of the country’s top pastors were relying on dark magic for the sustenance of their churches.
The traditional healer, who brags that he can bewitch anyone, told Saturday Leisure in an exclusive interview that he was surprised that some pastors speak ill of his trade yet, like the biblical Nicodemus, they visit him during the night while vilifying him during the day.
This is ironic as churches demonise traditional healers sermon after sermon, calling them all sorts of names and discouraging their congregants from consulting them.
“Prominent pastors and church leaders demonise traditional healers on the pulpit during their sermons. They can say what they can when their congregants are watching, but when the sun sets, they make a beeline to my shrine in Harare through their own volition to ask for powers.
“They mostly want powers to draw numbers to their churches. I don’t really care what they say, I just help them like any other person,” said Sekuru Banda.
At first glance one would think the man is one of these prominent prosperity pastors, who have flashy cars and all, but no, Sekuru Banda is a traditional healer who has taken Harare by storm.
Clad in a traditional shirt and a maroon jacket with matching formal chic shoes coupled with a black stylish headgear, Sekuru Banda whom this reporter met at a local hotel was accompanied by burly men, body guards and a European who is his understudy.
Immensely popular in the capital city as stories of his healing prowess have reached far and wide, Sekuru Banda has decided to stretch his influence across the country.
After practising for most of his life, Sekuru Banda only shot into prominence last year after our sister newspaper Kwayedza published a story of infidelity involving a baboon, a small house and Sekuru Banda.
Headlined Gudo vhuu ku’small-house’, a woman had consulted Sekuru Banda to help stop her philandering husband. The traditional healer sent a baboon to attack her husband at the small house’s place of abode.
Thereafter, Sekuru Banda rose to fame and has been a guest at most radio stations in the country.
This new found fame has also swelled the numbers at his shrine with up to 500 people visiting him daily.
“I charge $60 per person for consultation. I group people into 15 or 20 according to their problems. They just say their problems and I give them herbs to help solve them,” said Sekuru Banda.
It’s not only baboons that Sekuru Banda can send to torment people who have wronged you, he can send ghosts to torment thieves or people who do not want to clear debts, bring back loved ones and so on.
At the trade fair that ends today, Sekuru Banda said he wants to meet as many people as possible to create and cement business links with them, as some of his clientele are people who are in the world of commerce.
Those who want to meet him will have to try their luck at one of Bulawayo’s biggest hotels where he is booked as he unfortunately does not have a stand at the ZITF. So far, Sekuru Banda has visited the Zanu PF stand at the ZITF Hall 5 where he met the Zanu PF’s national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Industry and Commerce minister Dr Mike Bimha.
He also visited the Zimbabwe Republic police and Zimbabwe National Army stands.
The soft spoken Sekuru Banda who was born in Malawi 44 years ago said apart from giving powers of healing and drawing numbers to church leaders through herbs, he also can bewitch people, especially thieves.
“I can make a person grow breasts, for example if they have stolen from someone who has come to seek help from me. There’s a question whether Sekuru Banda is a healer or a muroyi (wizard). To tell you the truth we are people who bewitch others, because we can do it all,” he said.
On how he began his trade, he said: “I was six or seven years old, when I yielded to the calling that I was destined to be a traditional healer. I was taken to a river and I spent 14 days underwater.
“There’s a world out there with people and all. In those 14 days I was being prepared to be a traditional healer.”
When he was in his late 30s, he attended Ghana Herbal Medical Students Association (GHEMSA) for four years to further develop his trade. The Chronicle