The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Blast At N'anga's House Kills Five

Photo: allAfrica.com
Harare

FIVE people including a traditional healer died in a mysterious blast in Zengeza 2, Chitungwiza yesterday afternoon. The bodies of the dead were burnt while their limbs were strewn all over the place covering a distance of up to 60 metres.

While the bodies seemed to have been burnt, there was no fire from the blast, which some people suspected could have been lightning.

Body parts like arms, fingers, and pieces of flesh were picked from rooftops and from nearby houses.

Among the five is a commuter omnibus operator identified as Clever Kamunzeya, who was consulting the traditional healer - popularly known as Sekuru Shumba - Speakmore Mandere (24) who came from Chiweshe.

A seven-month-old baby Kelly Chimina who was sleeping in one of the rooms at the house also died in the blast.

Her mother was a tenant at the property.

Two other people who died were not immediately identified. Identity particulars were picked from the scene but no one could verify whether they belonged to the dead.

Three other people were seriously injured while others with minor injuries were also taken to Chitungwiza General Hospital.

The traditional healer had been given a notice to vacate the property by month-end after the property owner expressed reservations over his traditional healing.

More than 12 houses were destroyed in the blast that witnesses said shook properties as far away as a kilometre.

Walls, roofs and windows were destroyed while property worth several thousands of American dollars was also lost.

By early evening people with destroyed houses were seeking refuge from relatives and friends while those returning from work were shocked to see the destruction that had occurred.

More than 500 people gathered at the scene with police and the army cordoning off the area to investigate the cause of the blast.

Witnesses said Mr Kamunzeya whose damaged vehicle was parked could have been consulting the healer.

He was in the company of two women who were severely injured in the blast.

A neighbour whose house was badly damaged said he heard a huge blast and went out to investigate. But he ran away the moment he noticed the damage.

Mr Edmore Mikitayo said the blast caused huge panic that saw some people running from their homes.

Others linked the blast to a marital problem involving a woman who was staying with the traditional healer.

It is believed she had sought a peace order against her husband and had eloped to the n'anga.

Officer-in-charge of St Mary's police Inspector Daniel Badza said investigations were in progress to ascertain the cause of the blast. He referred further questions to his superiors at the scene who declined comment.

A nephew of the healer Mr Emmanuel Chinwadzimba said his uncle possessed supernatural powers.

He said their family believed that he had a mermaid spirit, having been trained by one when he was a young boy.

Residents assisted in retrieving some of the body parts.

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