Ray Bande Senior Reporter
TWO snakes — a male and a female cobra — both measuring more than a metre were found at a Penhalonga home last Friday by some apostolic sect spiritualists in an incident that has sent tongues wagging in the gold mining area.
Bande family members and onlookers scurried for cover when the dangerous reptiles, in attempt to escape, wriggled with vigour and swiftness from the six-roomed house. It is strongly suspected that one of Bande’s three wives is responsible for keeping the snakes after acquiring them as charms to enhance her love with the husband as well as ensure that misfortune befalls on the other wives.
Reminiscent of popular Samuel L Jackson’s blockbuster movie, “Snakes on the plane”, The exorcist, Madzibaba Nobert Rwenga of Tsime Reupenyu Apostolic Sect, narrated how he drove out the two snakes from the Bande family homestead. The prophet claimed that the reptiles were the major cause behind the ailment that has been affecting Charles Bande’s second wife. She had been bed ridden for close to three years now.
“I came here from South Africa where I am currently based after I was invited for a different problem. During my short stint here I was approached by relatives of the Bande family who invited me to help them since they believed that their problem had more to do with supernatural causes. They had tried to get help from the Tsikamutandas but failed.
“It appeared to us that they knew the source of their problems as a family. We conducted some prayers at their home and explained to them the source of their problem. I started the process while I was standing outside and only giving instructions. I asked the father to come out of the house, make three steps and stop. I instructed them to dig on the ground right at the position that the father was standing.
“They dug about half a metre and unearthed a bottle which had a paper inscribed the name “Mike” and two other names that were no longer visible. Apparently Mike the second wife’s son is now deceased. There were some concoctions and a needle in the same bottle,” he said.
The youthful Madzibaba Rwenga said he asked his assistants to mix mealie meal and water, conducted some prayers and sprinkled it all over the place.
“It was not long before my assistants who were in the house together with Bande family relatives called me for help. I asked onlookers to conduct a body search on me, removed my yellow garment and went straight inside the house to capture the snakes. One of them bit me twice at the back of my hand and I started feeling dizzy. I was only helped by local apostolic church sect members,” he said.
Bande confirmed that he valued the help that he received from Madzibaba Rwenga.
“There is no doubt about that. The man of God helped us. My wife was sick and there are signs of improvement though I still need to wait for a longer period to ascertain whether it really helped us,” said Bande.
The family neighbour and close friend, who was instrumental in having the exorcists perform their rituals at their home, said the condition of Bande’s second wife has greatly improved. The first wife, Mrs Etty Mutandi, who is accompanying the second wife for medical reviews and taking care of her, also confirmed that the second wife’s health had improved.
“I really cannot say the snakes belonged to someone by name because that is defamatory but we all know who owns them. It is clear to us. I am only happy that she (the second wife) is improving since the exorcism. She could not eat as she vomited blood each time she consumed something but as of today she can at least eat and show signs of strength,” she said.
A visibly fraught Gladys Zindi (the second wife) confirmed feeling better.
“I am feeling better now. I hope my condition will continue improving. I really cannot say much as I am still concentrating on getting better,” she said.
The third wife Sophia Maronge said she was aware that she had been accused of keeping the snakes but denied the allegations.
“A lot has been said about me behind my back. I know they suspect me of all these things simply because I go to Johane Marange Apostolic church while they attend a non-apostolic church. I have no snakes at all. I have nothing to say because my name has been tainted already,” she said.