HARARE – African Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) has disowned the prophets who caused the death of six children during a baptism that went horribly wrong in Mashonaland East.
While presenting a speech on behalf of ACCZ moderator Johanes Ndanga during the ordination of Bishop Simeon Samanyanga last weekend, ACCZ chief registrar Reverend Taurai Mbewe said the children were in fact killed by magicians from Mashonaland East not Johane Masowe eChishanu prophets.
Six juveniles, including a one-year-old, died in the fatal baptism ritual in the district of Chikomba.
The ritual that was being conducted by two self-styled prophets Maud Dzvuke, 30, and Jane Ruvinga, 34, took nine juveniles for baptism in a stream known as Mutorahuku.
Police identified the deceased children as Tafadzwa Dzvuke, 5, Tinotenda Dzvuke, 3, Emmanuel Dzvuke, 7, all of Tiyemba Village, Patience Pfumbidza, 9, Shamiso Pfumbidza, 4, both of Muriwo Village and Blessed Muvadi, 1, of Dzvuke Village.
The children were from different villages under headman Mutengwa in Chief Neshangwe’s area.
“It is disheartening that some magicians have called themselves prophets and misrepresent to belong to Johane Masowe eChishanu to seek relevance in their dubious practices… where the nation has unfortunately lost its citizens only in the acts of unscrupulous behaviour by these magicians who have duped people of their hard-earned money,” Mbewe said.
He said they had dispatched their provincial representatives from ACCZ to probe the deaths and revealed that the culprits were neither members of any Apostolic nor Zion indigenous church.
“The recommendations by the team were thus protection of all indigenous churches from being put into disrepute by magicians who misrepresent themselves in any part of the society as accredited and or act under the registration of anybody that represents indigenous churches in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“They encouraged all churches to work hand in glove with their traditional leaders for authenticity and legality of their activities in various parts of the country where they operate.
“Further observations were that those involved in the horror baptism have no business within the operations of indigenous churches in Mashonaland East and specifically Johane Masowe eChishanu and we therefore recommend that the law should take its course so that all would-be perpetrators will receive a cautious message that befalls them after committing such crimes.”