25 March 2019

Zimbabwe: Self-Styled Healer in Court

A 23-year-old self-styled traditional healer from Gweru appeared in court for allegedly duping three clients of US$1 500 and RTGS$3 500 after misrepresenting to the trio that he could cure them of HIV and Aids and give them goblins that spit money every day.

Lackshman Mantshontsho of Mkoba 5, Gweru, appeared before Gweru magistrate Miss Beaulity Dube facing three counts of fraud.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded in custody to April 17 for continuation of trial.

Prosecuting, Ms Gracious Rongai told the court that on January 19, Mike Shoko (27), Tichaona Boora (21) and Engelbert Nziradzapatsva (25) allegedly consulted Mantshontsho since they wanted to be cleansed of bad luck spirits and HIV.

Mantshontsho allegedly told Shoko that he could cure HIV and instructed him to stop taking his ARV's before charging him US$1500 and $2 500 for two beasts.

On the same day, Mantshontsho allegedly sold a magic wallet to Nziradzapatsva which he claimed was capable of bringing him money of up to US$800 a day, at a cost of RTGS$300.

Nziradzapatsva allegedly paid RTGS$100 through Ecocash and paid the balance using cash.

Mantshontsho, the court heard allegedly told Nziradzapatsva that he was supposed to go and kill a hippopotamus and draw three litres of blood.

After hearing such a ridiculous task, Nziradzapatsva allegedly gave up and asked Mantshontsho to return his money. The accused told Nziradzapatsva to wait for him outside but he fled through the back door.

On the same day, Mantshontsho allegedly sold a magic ring to Boora at a cost of RTGS$200 claiming the ring could give him up to US$500 000 a day.

Boora was allegedly given some herbs and was ordered to put the ring on and herbs in an envelope.

The court heard that Mantshontsho demanded RTGS$200 for a traditional bag which he said he was going to buy the following week since it was only found in Bulawayo.

Boora, the court heard, allegedly made a follow up on several occasions and when he was called to collect the bag Mantshontsho told him that he needed to consult his ancestors so that they allow him to see the bag.

The matter was reported to the police leading to Mantshontsho's arrest.

Total money defrauded was US$1 500, RTGS$3 500 and two beasts.

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