By Amos Maseko
Perhaps the 2007 diesel mystic, Rotina Mavhunga that sent an entire
government on a wild goose chase is a legendary example of how deep
Zimbabweans can sink while seeking supernatural solutions to their
Locals witnessed saddening newspaper images of barefooted government
officials grovelling before the cheeky spirit medium, busy praying for
barrels of pure diesel to start gush from a rock.
Obviously taking advantage of their gullibility, she ordered three
government ministers — Didymus Mutasa, Kembo Mohadi and Sydney
Sekeramayi — to mobilise a 50-vehicle convoy which drove for 230km to
Makuti and Kariba on a futile trip as part of her elaborate con.
How this famous tale failed to scoop the all time best comedy award is
a mystery that can be solved on another day.
Fast forward to 2015, state president fingers his former Vice
President Joice Mujuru in a witchcraft act against him.
Mugabe took the occasion of his 91st birthday in Victoria Falls to
explain to his followers how the embattled Mujuru was so impatient
with becoming President that she sought the services of Nigerian
sangomas to fast track her ascendancy to the throne.
Mujuru, a devout Christian, has voiced her innocence and chastised her
accusers for alleged malice.
But that was enough to remind observers about a nation so fixated with
phantasm as the solution to their myriad troubles.
Stories abound of ministers and other government officials sneaking
out of their mansions without security to consult sangomas especially
towards cabinet appointments.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) president,
George Kandiero admits their members do prescribe luck enhancing
potions on ambitious politicians which he says have worked wonders.
“It’s a known fact that even during elections, most politicians visit
sangomas to obtain charms to win elections,” he said.
“People have their individual sangomas who they consult from time to
time…the prescriptions indeed work a lot.”
“This is not just confined to politicians but to footballers aswell.”
But while the rich and mighty would navigate through rough terrain on
high rider cars seeking the most powerful sangomas, the story is not
so different with those on the opposite side of the social divide who
have sought respite among prosperity prophets.
Week in and week out, charismatic prophets Emmanuel Makandiwa and
Walter Makaya’s congregations are packed with magic seeking
These vary from those seeking treatment for chronic ailments to those
seeking supersonic rise to riches.
Even the already rich still want more.
Zimbabweans are familiar with the story of an ambitious Harare man who
surrendered his Bentley to the now United Kindom based Zimbabwean
prophet Angels on the promise of flood of miracle riches.
It is one thing to seek magic intervention into your troubles and
boost your fortunes, but does this work?
Pastor Maxmore Gwanzura, an expert in spiritual affairs, sees differently.
“Yes, they work but these miracles are used as a bait to attract people
to certain Satanic kingdoms; they are rituals,” he says.
“You would be using yourself to participate in a certain act of evil.
When you go home you have this psychological comfort that you
get. But you later realise that you have been used and it would be
very difficult to reverse them.”
Gwanzura further explains: “Most people are suffering in various ways
and as such, not everyone is prepared to work and even if they try to,
they don’t get as quick answers as they would want.
“The devil also takes advantage of such situations. He comes in,
proposes quick fix solutions to problems and sometimes they appear
like they are ordinary solutions.
“It is only after sometime that they realise some side effects to it
because normally you don’t get things for free.”