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Mnangagwa drawn into fight over shrine

by Staff reporter
30 Oct 2022 at 06:57hrs | Views
FIFTEEN village heads in Seke communal area are seeking President Emmerson Mnangagwa's intervention after their sacred shrine was leased out by the Manyame Rural District Council (RDC) to an apostolic sect.

They used the shrine for rain-making ceremonies.

In a petition dated October 25 addressed to Mnangagwa, the village heads through group secretary Onismo Mhishi said they were surprised to see their Harava shrine fenced off when they visited recently for a ritual.

The area was reportedly leased to an apostolic sect known as members of the Varume Vatatu.

"Your immense support of our traditional African religion, has encouraged us as 15 village heads from Seke communal lands to appeal to you for urgent assistance," Mhishi said.

"Recently we were surprised to find the Harava sacred shrine fenced off when we arrived to perform regional rituals.

"The planting season is upon us and it is for this reason that we are now approaching your esteemed office for your urgent assistance so that the sacred shrine can be opened once again to allow us to practice our traditional religion without hindrance.

"We, therefore, kindly request that we be given access to this shrine for the benefit of our community, traditionalists and other worshippers."

Before petitioning Mnangagwa the villagers had approached the Manyame RDC to no avail.

In their last letter to the Manyame Council dated September 9, they had hinted that they would approach higher offices if the council did not take action.

"We have it on good authority that your office visited the shrine and made certain observations without our input. [You] gave away our shrine, yet we, the interested parties, had raised issue," Mhishi said.

"We believe this is a sensitive issue that can be resolved amicably."

Officials from the Manyame RDC did not respond to emailed questions.

Since July, the villagers have been fighting for the return of the shrine in Marimo village.

Source - The Standard Zimbabwe