EIGHT self-proclaimed prophets from the Vadzidzi vaJeso Apostolic sect drowned yesterday at Mazowe River in Rushinga after they fell into a trance and stampeded into the river.

Mashonaland Central deputy police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Naison Dhliwayo yesterday named the now deceased as Nickson Singano (29), Peter Marera (31), Tendai Marera (28), Alexeio Makombe (26), Tichawana Katiyo (32), Isaac Dokora (21), Lanciot Dokora (34) and Chriswell Kunyengerera.

The incident took place at around 2pm at the Hungumwe River which lies at the confluence of Mazowe, Tsvinje River where a group of 30 prophets fell into a trance during a ritual ceremony and stampeded into the river, resulting in their drowning.

Congregants managed to rescue the other prophets, but the eight were already dead.

Dhliwayo warned religious groups to desist from playing in, or near water bodies.

“We are warning members of the public to desist from playing near, or in water bodies as they risk losing their lives because water bodies contain dangerous creatures like crocodiles or hippopotamus which can attack them to death,” Dhliwayo said.

– NewsDay