Traditional healer attracted rich, famous

HARARE - His name is Speakmore Mandere, a young traditional healer whose death has left tongues wagging.

At the youthful age of 24, he had established himself as a “great” sangoma who attracted the who’s who.

From politicians to business executives and members of State security agents, he had an A list of clients, which also made him a marked man by potential robbers who knew that he stashed cash at home.

While police and army experts are still examining evidence collected from the “House of death”, the disaster has all the hallmarks of a bomb explosion although neighbours are far from convinced.

His neighbours insist that it was black magic.

“There is nothing like a bomb in this issue. It is a pure case of black magic which went wrong. We know this guy as a traditional healer.” said Gift Koke.

Revelations that an ex-police detective and a soldier also perished in the blast gives credence to suggestions that a bomb could have caused the blast.

According to Daily News on Sunday’s sources, some of whom worked with the traditional healer, Mandere’s services never came cheap and only a few elite customers frequented his rented house.

Sources said at the time of the explosion, he was making plans to buy a house and move out of the lodgings, with at least $40 000 stashed in the house.

The whereabouts of the money remain unknown.

Dumi Kapfeni, a neighbour, told this paper that top-of-the-range vehicles frequented Mandere’s rented house, some coming during the dead of the night to avoid detection.

“We used to see the latest vehicles parked outside his house. He never worked or healed people from this community. He dealt mostly with outsiders and a few of local politicians,” said Kapfeni.

His father Swelimu Mandere said his son was new to traditional activities but neighbours said he seemed to attract the rich meaning he should have been good at his job.

While he could be resting in his grave in Centenary, Mashonaland Central province, the young healer has left a lasting legacy in this area where residents are now living in fear.

“We are still shocked, people no longer walk at night, even those who used to go home late have since changed their timetables,” said Vimbiso Koke, who lives in the neighbourhood.

For Victoria Zarangera,  a neighbour to the late sangoma  whose house was completely damaged in the blast says she will only find peace if she moves to a new place.

“I can tell you it will be difficult for us to sleep in these houses.

“If possible, council should just allocate us new stands so that we start life afresh. The trauma and shock we experienced will be difficult to forget,” said Zarangera. - Xolisani Ncube

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