A self-styled prophetess from Kutenda kwaJehovha Apostolic church has been arrested for ordering the exhumation of the body of a three-month-old baby in Madziwa whom she claimed would resurrect after her prayers.
Pelagia Chingwena (35) ordered the reburial of the body after her prayers and rituals came to naught.
Mashonaland Central police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Naison Dhliwayo said the bishop of the church Tamuka Chiboiwa (43), the Chingwena, the deceased’s parents and church members gathered and prayed for the corpse the whole night.
The baby died at around 3 am on November 16.
“Soon after the baby’s death, a message was sent to Chiboiwa of Musiiwa village under Chief Mutumba in Madziwa.
“He contacted Chingwena of the same village who started praying and speaking in tongues,” said Ass Insp Dhliwayo.
“She claimed to the bishop that the baby was not dead. Chiboiwa immediately contacted the deceased’s parents advising them not to bury the baby until they arrived.”
The bishop, prophetess, and other congregants went to Arda Farm and arrived at 4 pm only to find the baby already buried.
Ass Insp Dhliwaypo said the prophetess started praying and fell into a trance before ordering church elders to exhume the corpse insisting that the baby was alive.
It is reported that the body was taken home and the prophetess spent the whole night trying to resurrect the baby, but she failed.
The body was reburied on November 17 at around 10 am. The same day, ZRP Mvurwi was informed that a body was exhumed at Arda Farm in Mvurwi.
Police went to the homestead of the father Robson Mutazu and found the body reburied.
Investigations revealed that the baby Chipo Mutazu had passed away the previous day.
Chingwena, Maria Chirata (61), and Esteli Chitsamba (41) were arrested for violating a grave and body in contravention of Section 110 and 111 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
Ass Insp Dhliwayo warned people against exhuming bodies unlawfully. Herald