In a dramatic incident, four women teamed up and beat up a churchmate after a prophet had prophesied that she was a witch, who planted muthi at the church’s shrine, causing teenage female congregants to menstruate early.
The prophet also accused the woman of feeding her husband dog meat.
The dramatic incident happened during a church service at Garikai Masowe Church shrine in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb.
Maggie Chikwara (51), who lives in the same suburb, approached Prophet Arthur Matsika and requested to be prayed for.
In a trance-like state, the prophet revealed that Maggie was a witch who kept a snake in her car and gave her husband cooked vegetables with dog meat.
The prophet went on to state that Maggie planted muthi at the church’s shrine and that the muthi was causing teenage congregants to menstruate early.
When the prophet was done and before he could take a seat, Gladys Muleya (39), being the most influential, stood up and charged at Maggie, while pointing a threatening finger at her, accusing her of being a witch.
Gladys grabbed her before unleashing a heavy blow on her head, while she was kneeling before the prophet.
Maggie’s teenage daughter also joined in the fray and hit her mother with fists.
Faith Gora and Lusymo Ndlovu also took part and took turns to pummel her. They also kicked her.
Maggie bled and sustained injuries on her body. She was saved from further attack by elders of the church, who intervened and stopped the four from assaulting her.
Maggie was rushed to hospital and a medical report showed she was severely injured.
The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the four accomplices.
They appeared in court before Western Commonage magistrate Jeconia Prince Ncube.
Due to overwhelming evidence, they were convicted and sentenced.
The four accused were all sentenced to four months in prison, of which two months were suspended for three years on condition that the offenders do not commit any offence of which an act of violence is an element, for which upon conviction, the accused would be sentenced to imprisonment without an option of a fine.
Another two months were suspended on condition they perform 70 hours of community service.
Gladys and Lusymo will perform community service at ZRP Nkulumane while Maggie’s daughter and Faith will perform community service at ZRP Cowdray Park.