Codelia Mondela, Court Reporter
THREE fake prophets from Bulawayo allegedly defrauded a man of more than $7 000 after they hired a midget to pretend to be a tikoloshe and demanded 20 head of cattle from him as payment to spare his son’s life.
George Manyoka (30) of Emakhandeni suburb, with two accomplices who are still at large, pretended to be prophets who had healing powers to cure Mr Khumbulani Mkhwananzi’s son of a mental illness.
The trio allegedly planted multi-coloured charms in Mr Mkhwananzi’s house and made him believe the charms were evil and had been brought by witches who caused his son’s illness.
Manyoka was not asked to plead to fraud before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Nyarai Ringisai.
Ms Ringisai granted him $200 bail and remanded the matter to February 2.
For the State, Mr Alfonce Makonese alleged that the trio defrauded Mr Mkhwananzi of $7 425 in October last year.
“Between October 21 and 31, the three connived and misrepresented to Mr Mkhwananzi that they were genuine prophets who could conduct prayers and a cleansing ceremony to heal his son from a mental illness,” Mr Makonese said.
“They planted weird items in Mr Mkhwananzi’s yard and lied to him saying there was a tikoloshe in the house which was causing his son’s illness.
On October 23, they brought a midget who was stark naked and he remained outside Mr Mkhwananzi’s house while the three entered. The midget who was pretending to be a tikoloshe started talking from outside threatening to kill the complainant’s son if Mr Mkhwananzi did not take 20 cattle to its homestead in Chipinge.
The trio allegedly pretended to be busy praying inside the house while talking to the tikoloshe.
The court heard that Mr Mkhwananzi was made to believe that the tikoloshe was real and its wishes had to be fulfilled.
Mr Makonese said the three charged Mr Mkhwananzi $7 000 for the 20 cattle.
“He paid $ 5 000 and transferred $2 425 via EcoCash which included transport money for the three to travel to Chipinge and perform the cleansing ceremony. Instead the three didn’t go to Chipinge but converted the money to their own use,” Mr Makonese said.