A self-acclaimed prophet has reportedly died after he asked his followers to bury him alive in the course of spiritual cleansing of evil spirits.
Five members of the family were subsequently arraigned at the High Court in Harare for the murder of the Muzarabani prophet who was invited to their home in the village of Mazonde, Zimbabwe on July 30, 2012 to help them cleanse their house of evil spirits.
Prophet Shamiso Kanyama, had reportedly asked his followers to bury him alive so that he could summon more cleansing powers to heal the family that had been plagued by mysterious deaths.
High Court Justice Owen Tagu heard how on the day in question, Kanyama had been invited to attend the home in the Mazarabani district, which is situated along the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border, by their priest, Zvidzai Muchengeti, according to reports.
Muchengeti said, “The five men had requested the priest to help them clean their home of evil spirits, because it was causing mysterious deaths in their family.
“Responding to their request to perform a healing ceremony, Kanyama had ordered his followers to dig a grave and bury him alive because that was the way he summoned more healing powers to ward off evil spirits.
“However, the plan backfired on the prophet when instead of being resurrected as he supposed, the men dug up the grave again to find him dead.
“Kanyama helped to dig his own grave before praying and jumping inside.”
Muchengeti who has turned State witness, told the High Court that after laying face down in the grave, the prophet directed his followers to cover him with soil.
He added, “He pegged a grave-shaped pit in front of my hut and asked for help to dig the pit.
“Deceased requested to be buried alive so that he would gain power to drive away the evil forces.”
“I warned the men about the danger of their actions, but my advice fell on deaf ears because Kanyama shouted, telling me that I am disturbing his angels, and urged them to continue filling the grave, saying that he would later come out alive.”
Justice Tagu heard how the cleansing ceremony had to be performed on that day because there would be a memorial service for a departed family member on the following day.
Among the five family members who participated in the ceremony and who were consequently arrested for murder were Leanmore Mutero, Tonderai Muswere, Michael Muchengeti, Manasa Mutero and Nicholas Mutero.