Misfortune makes strange bedfellows: Churches unite with traditionalists in prayer

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter 

CHURCHES and traditionalists in Chief Mvuthu’s area outside Victoria Falls joined forces in a rare union to pray for rain and appease ancestral spirits in light of environmental disasters that have affected the area.

As part of the activities, the community set a five-day period of “prayer” which started last Thursday and ends today.

The decision came in response to the recent destruction of Ndlovu Secondary School by a storm last month and delays in receiving meaningful rains at a time when most parts of the country were experiencing wet weather.

Some of the villagers who gathered for a prayer session at Ndlovu Secondary School

Heavy rains that were preceded by strong winds last month left a trail of destruction in Ndlovu area and destroyed 10 classroom blocks, an administration block and teachers’ cottages at Ndlovu Secondary School while Ndlovu Milling at the nearby business centre lost 10 tonnes of maize meal. 

A water reservoir servicing Kachechete Ward and a waiting mothers’ quarter at Ndlovu Clinic Ndlovu and a Civil Registry sub-office office, some bridges and roads were damaged.

Several homesteads were also destroyed while some livestock were killed.  Community leaders are convinced something is wrong in the community and on Thursday they gathered scores of villagers and churches together with ihosana (rainmaker/spirit medium) at the school to conduct prayer ceremonies to ask for “disasterless” rains.

Between Friday and today each community, church and traditional grouping is expected to continue with services and rituals for the same purpose.

However, last Friday, a day after the five-day period started, heavy rains were received in the area but the joy was short-lived as lightning struck two oxen in a grazing area.

Mvuthu Village chairperson Mr Paulos Ntini, in whose area the incident occurred, said the community hoped the prayer sessions will help address the challenges.

“People were still in the mood of prayer following Thursday’s meeting at Ndlovu Secondary School and were celebrating the rains on Friday when news came through that two oxen belonging to Sam Dube and Alton Ncube of BH 26 had been struck by lightning,” said Mr Ntini.

“The herd boy had left the cattle in the grazing area to attend to other livestock after a cow had been killed by hyenas. When he returned found two oxen lying dead after the rains that fell in the afternoon.”

Local traditionalists conducted rituals on the scene before Lion Encounter took the carcasses to feed domesticated lions. Mr Ntini said the community was still in shock as several misfortunes have been happening.


Early this year three cattle were also struck dead by lighting while in the grazing area in the neighbouring Chidobe area under the same Chief.

Acting Chief Mvuthu, Mr Bishop Matata Sibanda said the prayer sessions were meant to appease God and the spirits.

“I was shocked when I got a call that lightning had struck two oxen. These disasters have never happened here which is why we had a day of prayer for traditionalists and churches on Thursday, ” said Mr Sibanda.

Hwange Rural District Councillor for Kachechete ward Givemeagain Moyo encouraged the community not to be dissuaded by the Friday tragedy.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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