The mysterious blast which killed five people and seriously injured three others at a traditional healer's house in Chitungwiza could have been a case of sorcery gone wrong, experts said yesterday.
While it has been suggested that a bomb, lightning or gas explosion could have caused the blast, members of the Zimbabwe Traditional Healers Association say there are other explanations for the incident.
Speculation remains rife on the blast, which destroyed the traditional healer's house and damaged 12 others in the high-density suburb of Zengeza 2 in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza.
While traditional healers are known for providing medicines for ailments as well as addressing matters in the spiritual realm, there are some who dare to extend their practice to the dark side.
Registered traditional healer Lovemore Muparadzi said the explosion was most likely the result of a failed attempt to address problems associated with an enrichment medicine (muti) processed using a rare animal called sandawana, which looks just like a mouse.
"That explosion was not caused by lightning or goblins," he said. "It most likely happened because of a sandawana."
Muparadzi explained that sandawana was a rare animal which traditional healers practicing the art on the dark side could use to come up with concoctions to enrich people.
"But this is a dangerous practice and as far as I know, when trying to come up with that prescription, it is not done in a house but in the bush," he said.
He said coming up with the enrichment muti followed strict procedures which when not adhered to had disastrous consequences.
"Those were exactly the effects of Sandawana," he said.
Muparadzi warned against the "get rich fast" mentality which he said led people to seek and get dangerous muti.
He urged people to instead turn to God and work hard to establish themselves in life. Zinatha spokesperson George Kandiyero agreed that the incident was most likely caused by a process which went wrong.
Kandiyero warned members of the public against obtaining harmful traditional medicine most of which was brought from outside the country.
"Buying such muti can be dangerous because people tend not to get the full manual on how it should be used. And if you do not get the full details, it can backfire," he said.
"I agree that it is possibly Sandawana or some other type of muti, which they were dealing with," he said.
Experts were also of the opinion that the young traditional healer, known as Sekuru Shumba and only aged 24, might not have known the impact of what he was doing. Kandiyero warned the public against visiting fly-by-night traditional healers who were not registered with Zinatha.
Zimbabweans await anxiously to know what police investigations will unearth as many people have been left speculating on what exactly transpired inside the doomed house.