Mugabe fails to free 'abducted' prophet

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 its mandate.

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) leadership.

“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 so far.

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 “abducted”.

“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 church members”.

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 year.

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 quietly.

“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.

Comments (6)

But whatz to b investigated there?Itz all bigotry!Itz suprising bec ,the state laws & the president have all powers to instruct whoever is there including the so called captors of Wimbo & the so called soldiers to release him within minutes.Otherwise what this does suggest is Wimbo is in agreement with the so called captors in their spiritual whoship, save only that therez another group which includes the so called his sons &other relatives who only want the old man home ie him to move away fr his whoshipping place

addmore gudo - 12 March 2017

Shame on Zimbabwe State apperatus (soldiers)used to guide a sherine , what is it have to do with the Country?Wastage of poor taxpayers' money for nothing. Is it becoz of his 1957 's prophacy that make Wimbo so important? can anyone come to my rescue otherwise am lost in darkness

Igwee - 13 March 2017

Shame on Zimbabwe State apperatus (soldiers)used to guide a sherine , what is it have to do with the Country?Wastage of poor taxpayers' money for nothing. Is it becoz of his 1957 's prophacy that make Wimbo so important? can anyone come to my rescue otherwise am lost in darkness

Igwee - 13 March 2017

expecting answers from Mapostori? Sorry maningi.

selele - 13 March 2017

.......... vari zvakare mutungamiriri weuto re Zimbabwe defense forces, vari zvakare mutungamiriri we.......... Then we say he doesn't know about the presence of the military at that place, furthermore he can't order them out of that place. Instead he has to appoint an ineffective ministerial task force which of cause comes up with nothing. Then we say the man is in control, control of what?

Ziggy Zigawo - 13 March 2017

Exactly @selele or Madzibaba Wimbo might giving prophecy not acceptable to Dr Amai and Mugabe so they have kept him hostage such that he won't reveal it to others.

Chen Chikezha - 16 March 2017

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