IN a chilling stranger-than-fiction story, a Zimunya family which is being troubled by mysterious fires is now living in fear and has called for the intervention of acting Chief Zimunya. The Weekender on Monday visited the Kanogwere homestead in Bvirindi A Village in the company of Chief Zimunya’s entourage.The family was at pains to explain their ordeal.
An evidently distraught Elisha Kanogwere (47) appealed for the chief’s intervention to help the family find a lasting solution to the problem.
Elisha who is the first born in his family said their problems started in 2013.
It began after his 10-year-old daughter, now 13 (name withheld) went into a trance that lasted for more than five hours.
“We first thought it was a medical problem and we visited several medical institutions for help. This went on for months and it got worse when mysterious fires started each time she went into a trance. I stay in Kwekwe in Mbizo and the fires would start each time my daughter went into trance. This went on for years until I decided to come back home. The fires broke out again here last weekend,” he said.
Elisha said the unexplained fires can start anytime of the day. Last week Friday, the fire started at around 4pm, burning the wardrobe in one of the bedrooms. Throughout the weekend the fires were all over.
“On Monday the fire burnt clothes in one of the bags at around 10am. We do not have any clothes to wear or blankets to cover ourselves. We now keep buckets of water in the house to douse the flames,” said Elisha.
He said in Kwekwe he had to change houses three times due to the mysterious fires. He said all the houses he rented were seriously damaged and he had to foot costly repairs.
Elisha said the decision to consult Chief Zimunya was the last option after years of suffering.
He said he approached several prophets for divine intervention, but the fires would only stop briefly.
“Apart from the fire problems, there have been mysterious deaths in our family, including the passing on of my father, Lazarus Kanogwere in 2003,” he said.
Elisha’s daughter said she sometimes see masked people dressed in black laughing at the gate each time the mysterious fires start.
She also explained how the mysterious persons steal money from their wallets.
“I sometimes see people covered in black masks and wearing black clothes standing at the gate and laughing when the fires start. I also sometimes see the zip of my father’s wallet being opened by unidentified things, only to later hear him complaining that his money is missing,” she said.
Chief Zimunya said his Monday visit was meant to physically assess the situation at the Kanongwere homestead before the matter was set down for trial at his court on Sunday.He said the case of the mysterious fires was new in his land.
“Something is amiss in the Kanogwere family and that is what we are trying to unearth. The family said it tried consulting prophets, but there was no solution. It is a sign that this has something to do with witchcraft or goblins. We have sent summons to the family elders to bring them together and solve the mystery,” said Chief Zimunya.
Elisha’s mother, Elizabeth Konogwere, who was frail and evidently disturbed by the strange happenings, said the mysterious fires started when her son came back home.
“I really do not know what is going on. These things, however, seem to be following my son and we hope Chief Zimunya will help us as we are now living in fear,” she said.