Mugove Tafirenyika 15 May 2017
HARARE – The fight to control and succeed mysterious prophet Madzibaba
Wimbo is hotting up, with police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri –
who is a brother to the revered diviner – now being accused of playing “a
negative role” in the deepening saga.
Wimbo – the head of the Mount Darwin-based Johane Masowe Vadzidzi Vajesu
Church – is famed for having allegedly foretold 60 years ago that Zimbabwe
would be led by a man with the name of an angel, Gabriel, with the
prophecy allegedly coming to pass when President Robert Mugabe, whose
middle name is Gabriel, rose to power in April 1980.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News at the weekend, Wimbo’s
spokesperson Shepherd Chingwena claimed that a nasty battle to succeed the
seer was at the centre of the problems bedevilling their church – and not
Zanu PF wars as was being alleged.
He also claimed that Chihuri was influencing some of Wimbo’s children to
cause chaos at their father’s shrine, by falsely claiming that he was
being kept there against his wish.
“The children want to take over the church and its properties, and so they
have been fighting us as leaders appointed by their father to work with
him, given his advanced age.
“We suspect that the commissioner general influences them because even
when they engage in violent acts, including destroying our homes and
property, they are not arrested,” Chingwena said.
“What surprises us further is that when they went to the police at one
point, following a case of assault, the commissioner general dispatched a
whole assistant commissioner, Chrispen Makedenge, to investigate.
“Is that normal? He did not want the district or the province to deal with
“Interestingly when one of Wimbo’s gun-totting son, a chief superintendent
in the police, came here recently, purporting to want to see his father,
but later became violent, no arrests were made and how do you explain
that?” Chingwena asked.
He also insisted that “because of their (the children’s) conduct, the
church had asked them to first seek permission (from the church) if they
wished to see their father.
While Chihuri was not immediately available for a comment, Wimbo’s other
son, Abinashen Gomo, dismissed Chingwena’s claims yesterday as
“mischievous” and “meant to sow seeds of division in our family”.
“The commissioner general is in good books with his brother and has never
at any point influenced us to be violent. That is why we have never been
violent despite provocation from outsiders who want to stay with our
father as if they do not have their own parents.
“He (Chihuri) might not be happy with what is happening, but he has never
interfered with the church’s business,” Gomo said.
He also once again accused Chingwena, Ishmael Magodi, Zex Pamacheche and
Edison Mukohwa – the so-called four church prefects – of having allegedly
abducted Wimbo on June 29 last year, for the furtherance of the warring
Zanu PF’s factional and succession interests.
Last week, the Daily News reported that there was gnashing of teeth among
Zanu PF’s superstitious bigwigs who are engaged in a deadly dogfight to
succeed Mugabe – after Wimbo was believed to have completely ruled out any
of them taking over from the wily, but increasingly frail nonagenarian.
The famous prophet was then said to have prophesied that a new leader
would emerge in Zimbabwe after next year’s eagerly-anticipated national
elections – although this is now being disputed by some church members.
“He has made another prophesy that a new leader will emerge next year, but
did not give names.
“However, he said the new leader is not among the current favourites who
are engaged in Zanu PF’s succession battles, but is an outsider,” one of
the sources at the secretive church said then.
Having correctly predicted Mugabe’s rise to the throne in 1957, Wimbo has
emerged as an influential and much-sought-after cult figure in Zanu PF –
with party bigwigs firmly of the belief that he will anoint the former
liberation movement’s next leader.
“The prophet said the person who will next lead Zimbabwe will have a
`foreign name’ and that there will be great suffering in the country for
some months. He also predicted that the army will intervene in politics,”
the source claimed further.
The Daily News has also recently reported that Mugabe’s spirited efforts
to “rescue” Wimbo, who is said to have been “abducted” by one of Zanu PF’s
factions, were dead in the water, with the prophet’s church also splitting
into two due to ugly infighting linked to the ruling party’s deadly
Tragically for Wimbo and his family, brawling Zanu PF factions have
continued to fight each other viciously over the frail prophet, 95, in the
seemingly vain hope that he will have a decisive influence over the ruling
party’s toxic factional and succession wars.
At the same time, a number of Mugabe’s top securocrats – including army
major general Douglas Nyikayaramba also stand accused of fuelling the
Narrating to the Daily News how desperate Zanu PF bigwigs were convinced
that Wimbo knows the person who will succeed Mugabe, the prophet’s
children said then that they had concluded that the government’s
ministerial committee which the president set up last year to secure the
cleric’s release from his “captors” had completely failed in its mandate.
“Since they came with a helicopter and landed at the shrine last year, and
held meetings with the people there without even talking to us his
children, grandchildren and wives, nothing has changed because our father
is still there and we still can’t talk to him.
“We have since lost hope as they (Wimbo’s alleged abductors) have defied
the president. It looks like even the president can’t do anything about
it,” the despondent Gomo said then.
“Now what has happened is that the church has all but split into two, with
us and other church members in the village and surrounding areas
congregating at home, while they (the other group) do their service at his
shrine, with both camps pledging allegiance to Mudzidzi’s (Wimbo)
leadership,” he added.
In July last year, Mugabe was forced to intervene in the dispute,
including holding a lengthy meeting in Bindura with Wimbo’s family and his
security chiefs, in a desperate bid to get to the bottom of, and to
resolve the long-running “abduction” saga of the popular prophet.
Mugabe subsequently set up a ministerial committee headed by State
Security minister Kembo Mohadi, to try and break the impasse over Wimbo,
and to investigate the claims of thuggery by the soldiers at the shrine.
The ministerial team also included the ministers of Defence and Home
Affairs, Sydney Sekeramayi and Ignatius Chombo, respectively.