A MAZVIHWA family in Zvishavane district was duped by a self-styled prophet who told them to strip naked and bathe while he stole their money after they had sought spiritual cleansing from him.
Paul Dzibakwi (59) of Farm Number 2 under Chief Mazvihwa and his family were left in shame by Charles Charumbira (38), who commanded them to strip naked and bathe with water stored in a tree trunk to cleanse themselves from being haunted by a big snake and a goblin.
While Dzibakwi’s family was following the “prophet’s” commands, Charumbira stole their money and vanished.
He pleaded guilty to fraud and indecency charges when he appeared before Zvishavane magistrate Peter Madiba yesterday and was remanded in custody to September 9.
According to the State’s case, on August 19, Charumbira approached Dzibakwi at his homestead and asked for water from a tree trunk.
Dzibakwe went into a nearby bush and brought the water. Charumbira then asked him to gather all his family members for a prayer session.
Charumbira allegedly faked falling into a trance and started “prophesying” saying he had been shown that there was a big snake and a goblin causing problems within the family.
He offered to help “capture” the snake and goblin for free.
Charumbira asked for a white cloth and ordered the family to bring all the money into the hut he was working from for cleansing.
He then used a razor blade to cut small pieces from the corners of all notes that were surrendered to him amounting to $210 after which he tied the notes on Dzibakwe’s trousers.
Charumbira commanded the family to go to a nearby river where he asked them to strip and wash themselves using the water from the tree trunk.
When the females finished bathing, Charumbira commanded them to go home and witness the snake dying in their yard.
When all females left, Charumbira ordered Dzibakwe and his son to go and throw stones at a road junction while naked.
He remained behind and stole all the money which he replaced with papers before fleeing.
When Dzibakwe and his son returned, they could not find Charumbira. Dzibakwe checked for his money but found papers.
A few days later, Dzibakwe bumped unto Charumbira at Machipisa shopping centre and dragged him to the police where he confessed to stealing money by masquerading as a prophet.