Mugove Tafirenyika 12 March 2017
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s spirited efforts to rescue revered
“abducted” prophet, Madzibaba Wimbo – who is acclaimed for allegedly
foretelling the nonagenarian’s presidency 60 years ago – are dead in the
water, with the famous seer’s church now also splitting into two due to
ugly infighting linked to the ruling Zanu PF’s deadly succession wars.
The multitudes of followers of Wimbo – the head of the Mount Darwin-based
Johane Masowe Vadzidzi Vajesu Church – claim that he prophesied in 1957
that Zimbabwe would be led by a man with the name of an angel, Gabriel;
with the prophecy allegedly coming to pass when Mugabe, whose middle name
is Gabriel, took power from the British in April 1980.
Tragically for Wimbo and his family, brawling Zanu PF factions continue to
fight each other viciously over the frail prophet who turns 95 this year,
in the seemingly vain hope that he will have a decisive influence over the
ruling party’s toxic factional and succession wars.
Some aggrieved family members of the mysterious Wimbo confirmed to the
Daily News On Sunday yesterday that his church had now split due to
infighting linked to Zanu PF’s ugly brawls, which they claim led to the
“kidnapping” of their father by a ruling party faction two years ago.
At the same time, a number of Mugabe’s top securocrats – including police
commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri, and army major general Douglas
Nyikayaramba, who are both members of Wimbo’s church – stand accused of
fuelling the sect’s divisions.
Chihuri and Wimbo are blood relations, with the police chief’s father said
to have been responsible for raising the leader of the secretive apostolic
sect, after his mother had died soon after he was born.
Narrating to the Daily News On Sunday again, how desperate Zanu PF bigwigs
are convinced that Wimbo knows the person who will succeed Mugabe, the
prophet’s children also said yesterday 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
Wimbo’s distressed son, Abinashen Gomo – who accuses Ishmael Magodi, Zex
Pamacheche, Shepherd Chingwena and Edison Mukohwa (so-called church
prefects) of having allegedly abducted Wimbo on June 29, 2015 for the
furtherance of their Zanu PF factional interests – said Mugabe’s team had
done little tangible to help the situation.
“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.
“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’s)
“However, on a sad note, other members have since left for other churches
while some have quit worshipping altogether out of frustration,” 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.
This was after the nonagenarian had been petitioned to intervene in the
matter, following the alleged assault of high-ranking police officers
related to Wimbo by the soldiers who are now guarding the prophet and his
shrine day and night.
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.
Mohadi was not picking up his phone yesterday when the Daily News On
Sunday made efforts to get his comment on the progress his team had made
In the meantime, Wimbo’s family is consistent in claiming that the deadly
tribal, factional and succession wars that are devouring Zanu PF, and
which are pitting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s supporters against
the ruling party’s ambitious Young Turks who go by the moniker Generation
40 (G40), is a major reason why Mudzidzi Wimbo was “abducted” in a
desperate bid by the two camps to get his blessing.
In 2015, Mnangagwa visited Wimbo at his shrine and got involved in a
bizarre church rite, with the popular prophet telling the gathering that
the VP needed help if he were ever to ascend to the presidency.
Mnangagwa was told by Wimbo, who is also known as Mudzidzi Majinetsa, that
it was time that he got others around him to put their shoulders to the
wheel to help him in his mooted presidential ambitions.
Gomo told the Daily News On Sunday yesterday that there was fear by
Wimbo’s “captors” that if Wimbo was ever allowed to return to his family,
their plan to have him influence the country’s politics would crumble.
He said it was disturbing that despite Mugabe’s visit and subsequent
meeting with some of the players involved in the sad saga, Wimbo remained
“Equally concerning is that the five-member ministerial committee
established by Mugabe to facilitate VaWimbo’s return home has so far not
managed to resolve the issue.
“One wonders whether there is a third and hidden element that continues to
defy the president. But why? Surely this is not about religion,” he said.
Gomo also claimed last year that the so-called church prefects were part
of the group holding his father hostage, fearing that if he was ever
allowed to return to his family their plan to influence the country’s
politics would crumble, and “expose all the lies that they have peddled to
Further fingering the quartet – which is not related to Wimbo – of having
committed a series of heinous crimes ranging from extortion, adultery and
murder, Gomo said they had roped in senior politicians for protection as
they sought to get their way.
“The prefects, in particular Magodi, Pamacheche and Mukohwa masterminded
the scheme of torturing church members that resulted in the broad daylight
murder of Jacob Zifungo on March 16, 2014.
“Mukohwa and several church youths are currently on bail on the murder
case in the High Court,” Gomo told our sister paper, the Daily News, last
He also accused Nyikayaramba in particular of having allegedly taken over
security matters at the church thuggishly, where the top securocrat was
now referred to as the security chief for Wimbo’s church, despite being
still in full-time military service.
Gomo also told of how Nyikayaramba and Chihuri had allegedly and
repeatedly clashed over the frail prophet, further claiming that during
the meeting with Mugabe in July, the two had openly traded barbs in front
of the president.
“Chihuri was angry when Nyikayaramba seemed to suggest that he (Chihuri)
was using his position to disturb the peace at Wimbo’s shrine, by sending
police officials from outside the province to deal with the matter.
“He (Chihuri) immediately interrupted him demanding to know who had
deployed the army there. He accused Nyikayaramba of being behind the
deployment and an argument ensued, with Mugabe and his ministers watching
“By the time the meeting ended, nobody had taken responsibility for the
military presence. Masoja akashaya muridzi (no one accepted responsibility
for the soldiers’ presence there) prompting the president to direct that
the matter be investigated further,” one of the family members told the
Daily News at the time.
Nyikayaramba has previously told the Daily News that he would only speak
on the matter once Mohadi and his team have presented their findings.
“Like I said earlier, the matter is before the president and so it would
be disrespectful for me to give you my views at the moment.
“Why don’t you just wait until the commission investigating the issue
finishes its job?” he said then.