There is strong suspicion that a 26-year-old woman from Chief Magombedze’s area in Gutu who slipped and drowned in a river met her tragic end as she tried to wade off a prophet’s attempts to rape her.
Priviledge Mabasa was found firmly clutching the self-styled prophet Benson Mutuzungara’s shirt in her hands when her body was retrieved by the Police from Mutorahuku River on Thursday last week.
A family spokesperson said elders agreed to bury Mabasa with the shirt clutched in her hands after they failed to remove it.
Masvingo Province Police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa confirmed the matter and urged the public to conduct baptizing activities at safe places and in the presence of life savers.
Emotions were high at Mabasa’s burial at Rwambiwa Village under Chief Chitsa in Gutu with her parents accusing Madzibaba Benson of raping and murdering their child.
Mabasa came from Rwambiwa but was married to Brighton Chimbeu of Magombedze.
The late’s uncle and family spokesperson Team Shereni Mabasa said Madzibaba Benson failed to explain why he removed his shirt when he was baptizing the deceased. He also failed to explain why it was his wife Irikidzai Mhlanga who first discovered the floating body in the river.
Efforts to get a comment from Madzibaba Benson were fruitless but in an audio shared by Mabasa, the prophet says the deceased and her sister-in-law Tendai Chimbeu put up at his place on Sunday while waiting for baptism on Monday.
He said that a strong wind blew as he baptized the deceased and she slipped out of his hands, fell into the river and disappeared. He said he reported the matter to the village head and the deceased’s family.
“We suspect that Madzibaba Benson did something to Privilege because she died whilst holding his T-shirt in her hands and Madzibaba cannot explain why he removed the T-shirt.
“We buried her with the T-shirt because we failed to pull it out of her clutching hands,” said Mabasa
Mabasa added that they buried Privilege in a body bag because her body was in an advanced state of decomposition.
A distraught Privilege’s husband Chimbeu said his wife had asked him to accompany her somewhere but did not say where. He said she later left with his sister while he was away to an unknown destination.