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Spirit medium vs police: A clash of beliefs at Wenimbi Dam

by Staff reporter
11 Mar 2023 at 06:37hrs | Views
WHERE do we draw the line between reality and belief?

Who do you believe, a mouthpiece of the unseen or an account of an elite trained squad whose experience tells a story of service?

The venue is Wenimbi Dam, a large popular water source east of Marondera town.

It is a Tuesday afternoon as a crowd led by Chief Svosve and police officers gathers at the shores.

Outstanding from this crowd is a 19-year-old girl, slim and beautiful, but she is crying.

Everyone around her, all being older, are giving her unusual and unconditional respect.

She is being referred to as Chihwa, a family totem.

In a trance, the teenager is giving directions to everyone involved in the task ahead.

This is the story of the girl who is allegedly possessed by the spirit of her late uncle, who according to her, was murdered 23 years ago in Rusape by some relatives before being thrown in Wenimbi Dam.

"We come from Honde Valley. Our child is currently possessed by the spirit of our relative who is saying he is in this dam and wants a proper burial.

"He died around 1999. We now know of his death through his spirit on our girl. All along, we were saying he is missing. We received a letter saying he was going to South Africa, until today, the spirit is telling us that he was killed and thrown in this dam," narrated one of the family members.

Speaking with her head always over her shoulder, the girl, who we are going to refer to as Chihwa, insisted that "he" was in Wenimbi Dam.

"I am here in Wenimbi. The exact place is on a protruding rock, it is about three meters deep. There is also a tree near that rock," said Chihwa in trance.

True to her words, the team located the place, about 400m from the shore.

A team of four police officers from the sub aqua unit embarked on a journey to search for the remains of the deceased.

Chihwa, her relatives, Chief Svosve and on-lookers remained on the shore.

Using a mobile phone, Chihwa would direct the sub aqua unit to where the remains allegedly were.

A lot has changed in Wenimbi Dam.

Since 1999, like any other dam, siltation has been the order of the day.

Chihwa said "his" remains were interred at that place under the silt.

According to villagers who witnessed the construction of the dam, the place where the deceased's remains are believed to have been dumped was too submerged by water during that time.

However, as the dam was completed it was all covered with water.

Following the recent incessant rains that have been experienced in Marondera this rainy season, Wenimbi Dam is full to capacity, a rare situation since it was constructed.

For two hours, the sub aqua unit searched in vain.

"You were almost there, I am buried in the sand," insisted Chihwa.

The police then insisted that they would return the following day.

On day two, police officers secured a boat and took Chihwa with them.

In the company of other relatives, Chihwa sailed to the place and the search continued.

Some members of the apostolic sect were present and prayed, saying that the perpetrators had performed some rituals so that the deceased won't be found again.

They claimed they had cleansed the area.

The second search was in vain and the sub aqua unit officers said they had completed their task.

"You were almost there," said Chihwa.

Experiencing first-class treatment, Chihwa revealed new details.

"There are some people who died in the dam. Their spirits are saying they want to be buried properly. They are saying I can't leave them here and go home alone," she said.

Chief Svosve and the family then begged Chihwa to direct then on the next move.

"It has been days of searching Chihwa, can you please release us and tell us the next move. We want to go to our work stations, our children want to go to school. Can't you avenge your death?" queried a family member.

Chief Svosve begged with the spirit medium to give them some time to allow the waters to subside.

"A prayer vigil has to be done here. Those who killed me have performed some rituals so that I won't be retrieved. It is the time now, do not relax. The perpetrators will come on their own and will show you where they dumped me," said Chihwa.

The family was relieved and welcomed the idea.

For three years, the girl has been at the receiving end of being possessed by her uncle's spirit.

The Chihwa family's predicament is one of many being experienced by locals who lost their departed ones through murders.

Some have succeeded in finding their deceased ones through the guidance of the spirit mediums.

For two days, Chihwa and the sub aqua unit were made to meet for a common purpose. Their mission was to bring the deceased back home.

Could he be in South Africa or, as the spirit medium suggests, is at the belly of the majestic Wenimbi Dam?

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe