A three-day excursion by eight members of the Apostolic sect in a sacred mountain in Bindura has brought misfortune upon the believers after they invoked the wrath of the ancestors.
Jeta Mountain in Chief Masembura area of Bindura South has long been feared and revered as a sacred place by local people as it is the ancestral home of the Kings of the area.
The mountain bears cultural and religious significance for the Masemburas, being the altar for traditional rites and customs, but all this did not deter a group of 8 Johane Masowe eChishanu apostolic sect members from congregating for a three-day prayer excursion.
Their journey to spiritual upliftment was, however ruined 3 days after their descent as their leader and self-styled prophet Madzibaba Rakeni Gumbira and his wife went insane.
What followed was a clash of two religions that unravelled at Chief Masembura’s court as the unrepentant church members were hauled before the traditional court.
“We went up to the mountain to pray under the leadership of Madzibaba Rakeni and he said this will help us overcome daily spiritual battles. We encountered baboons and cows, but everything seemed normal to me.
“There was a time when a cow came and licked ashes, that’s when I raised my eyebrows, but I just chased it away, my leader said its God’s creation and not worry about it.
“During the preaching sermons baboons continued to make noise, but our leader told us they were listening to the word.
“I forced these men to come here when I heard my brother had gone berserk. They are withholding the truth. The cow being said to have eaten ashes actually licked hot coals of fire,” said the church members.
Incensed by the denials from apostolic sect members over what they encountered, Chief Masembura and members of his court implored the church members to admit their wrongs.
“The ashes you took, are bad spirits and you took them into your home. The cows you saw are the owners of the country, there no cows which travel in groups in this area or eat ashes.
“We have had a long-time telling people not to go into the mountain until we got fed up and told the spirits to protect the mountain on their own. That is why you are here today. It seems you are all in denial that this problem can only be solved through traditional religion, but that is the only way,” he said.
After much bargaining for a true story, amid wild interjections from the insane Madzibaba Rakeni, it is time for the spirit medium to invoke the ancestors for a judgment, amid music, dance and chanting of praise.
“Why did you go into the mountain/ don’t you have mountains of your own? Is this the only mountain? Didn’t you see the clay pots on the mountain….so why do you want to get powers that were sought by others? I want a cow!,” demanded the spirit.
In addition to a cow demanded by the ancestors for appeasement, which will heal Madzibaba Rakeni Gura and his wife, Chief Masembura fined the 8 another beast for the desecration of the mountain, while each of the 8 apostolic sect members who went up the mountain was charged 2 goats.
In the days of old, many vanished for defiling Jeta mountain while recently one person died, incidents which Chief Masembura described as a warning to the people of Mashonaland Central against desecrating sacred places.
The spiritual world may remain a mystery amid ignorance, but empowered with knowledge, it is imperative for diverse religions to co-exist in a peaceful and mutually respectful environment for the untold pain and suffering which at times can turn fatal. -Zbc