Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent—
A JOHANNE Marange Apostolic Sect member from Gutu in Masvingo province nearly killed his pregnant wife when he allegedly enlarged her birth canal using a home-made knife when she went into labour. The incident occurred in Chamba village under Chief Chiwara area last week but the matter only came to light on Friday evening when Nyevero Dumbu, 34, was rushed to Majada Clinic after her condition deteriorated.
Dumbu was forcibly rushed to the clinic by a team of village health workers as her husband’s sect does not allow members to seek treatment at health institutions.
Provincial Medical Director, Dr Amadeaus Shamu, said he heard about the matter and investigations were underway. Mutereri Chandafira, 62, is alleged to have gone on to use a needle and thread to stitch his wife’s bleeding wound after the home delivery. Dumbu’s mother, Margaret Dumbu, said she was disturbed by the way her daughter was made to deliver by her husband.
She said the new born baby was in good health but the mother was not well. “Sometime last week my daughter went into labour and her husband, for some strange reasons, decided to enlarge the birth canal. He took a home-made knife and ordered my daughter to lie down facing upwards with her legs apart. He then cut on both sides of her womanhood, in an attempt to enlarge the birth canal. After the delivery, everything went bad,” she said.
Chandafira however said he did not use a knife but a razor blade to enlarge the canal. He said his other five children like the latest had all been delivered at home and his wife did not go for antenatal care. Chandafira said he faces ex-communication by his Church after health workers forcibly took his wife to the clinic.
“I had no choice when the health workers came and forcibly took my wife to the clinic. I’ll definitely be ex-communicated for going against the church rules,” he said.
Chandafira said Johanne Marange members were not allowed to seek treatment at health institutions hence their wives delivered at home. “It’s unfortunate that this time my wife had difficulties after her delivery but through prayers, she’ll be fine,” he said.
Chandafira said he was assisted by a traditional midwife, also a member of his church, only identified as Mbuya Mafukidze, an elderly woman from the same area.
He said after the delivery, he gave Dumbu holy water but did not have money to buy eggs and milk needed to take with the holy water.
“I didn’t mutilate my wife as claimed. I was assisted by a traditional midwife from Magombedze Village. I gave her muteuro (holy water) but I delayed as
I didn’t have money to buy eggs and milk. When I got those things, the wound had gone bad,” said Chandafira. Sources said Dumbu had to be rushed to Majada Clinic and was later transferred to Gutu District Hospital where she was admitted.
Masvingo provincial police spokesperson inspector Charity Mazula could not immediately comment on the matter.