File pic: A United Methodist Church reverend has come under fire from family members who accuse her of performing rituals and dividing the family.
The Reverend Lilian Mufute from Mutasa District is at the centre of criticism from her family and some congregants who have witnessed her actions.
Reverend Mufute reportedly dug a simulation grave at her homestead and performed some rituals with her brother-in-law, one Josphat Mufute and a sangoma.
She dug the grave in December last year and a family source said her brother in-law Peter Mufute reportedly suffered a stroke the night the rituals were performed and he died on December 24.
“There is a simulation grave which was dug at her homestead and it was presumably for the late Peter who died on December 24.
“When Peter died, she used rubbles to cover the grave, but vanhu vemunharaunda and relatives had already seen it.
“She usually sends her son and brother-in-law to sangomas ivo vozouya hawo vachiona nekusumwa zvinenge zvaitwa.
Relatives said some of her workers revealed that on the day of the rituals on December 22, she bought pigs and named one of them Peter.
The following day Rev Mufute told her son and in-law that they were going to slaughter one of the pigs, and on Christmas Eve Peter died.
“Some rituals were conducted at midnight before she bought some pigs and took them to her homestead. One of the pigs was named after Peter. She then called one of her workers telling them that they are going to kill a pig. When they arrived, they did some rituals with a sangoma. What surprised the workers is that no pig was killed, but the simulation grave was filled with soil halfway,” said the source.
Peter’s blood pressure shot up and he stroked.
“The family reported the matter to the village head who referred the matter to the chief. She was summoned, but she sent her son and in-law.”
The matter is now in Chief Zimunya’s court while a petition has been sent to the United Methodist Church Bishop, Eben Nhiwatiwa, to address the matter.
Part of the petition from the family reads:
“This petition serves to bring to your attention the issue of one of your church pastors, Rev Lilian Mufute nee Gotora, whose divisive and ritualistic behaviour has literally torn apart the once united Mufute family.
“It has created irreparable damage to the family fabric. We, the undersigned Mufute family members have been quiet for a long time now hoping for a change in behaviour by the so-called reverend, but alas her uncouth behaviour has worsened, degenerating into evil rituals which she spearheads using her son.
A typical case in point is a recent event at Rev Mufute’s rural homestead which left us all shell-shocked, where she together with her son Liberty and Josphat Mufute dug a ritualistic grave at her homestead, following which Mr Peter Mufute (brother to Josphat) fell seriously ill and later died. Rev Mufute, in cahoots with her son, had conducted their rituals at her house.
“She also keeps pigs at her rural homestead, some of which are named after ‘targeted’ close relatives.”