Truth, dare or you die! Choice-of-three is what two elderly women were given by their children who accused them of witchcraft.
Joshua Bhebhe and his cousin Edica Mutero from Gokwe forced their mothers Erita Bhebhe (76) and Jessy Mutero (age unknown) respectively to attend a church service where they were made to drink water which marked the end of their lives.
Soon after drinking the water and holding the prophet’s “holy” stick, they collapsed and died at Madzibaba Wechishanu Wenguwo Tsvuku Church. Prophet Pira, the church leader and custodian had initially said if the women drank the water they would die if they were witches but live if they were not.
The tragedy happened, they died. With their parents dead, the two cousins tried to hide the matter out of shame and guilt.
“Joshua and Edica tried to cover up the issue after realising that their mothers died at church. They took them home leaving each one of them in her kitchen hut,” said a family source.
But the striking resemblance of their death stories became suspicious and their grandchildren smelt a rat.
“The grandchildren, realising that there was something wrong, told neighbours who then confirmed them dead and alerted other family members.
“The other children, hearing what had transpired prior to their mothers’ deaths reported the matter to the police and their corpses were taken for post mortem in Bulawayo.
The results revealed that the two women died of poisoning,” added the family source. That led to the two cousins being taken for questioning by the police and they revealed everything.
“Joshua and Edica were picked up by police for questioning and they revealed that their mothers died after drinking water which was given to them by Prophet Pira,” added the source.
Sensing danger, Prophet Pira fled and his whereabouts are unknown. Villagers told B-Metro that the two families (Bhebhe and Mutero) were at loggerheads because of the issue.
Edica also fled after his mother’s burial because his siblings vowed never to forgive him for his part. Joshua who remained behind narrated how their mothers ended up being taken to Pira.
“My daughter had been ill for some time so I decided to seek help from Prophet Pira,” he said.
“Prophet Pira prayed for her and prophesied that there were witches in the family therefore we had to bring some family members. I invited my mother and aunt to our church and when we got there the prophet told them they were witches, but they denied.
“He then told them that he would make them drink holy water and if they were witches they would die instantly and that is what happened,” he said.
Joshua said he was still in a dilemma after what happened as he did not understand why Prophet Pira ran away.
“Prophet Pira ran away and that leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions and worse the poison issue makes it more complicated.
“We are no longer on talking terms with my siblings except for one sister who phoned saying she had forgiven me,” said Joshua.
Erita Bhebhe’s grandchildren now live alone and the eldest is Elson Mutero aged 18. Elson revealed that their uncle Joshua did not care or help them with anything.
“After granny’s death, uncle Joshua does not come to visit us or help us in any way, we just fend for ourselves and our mother works in Chivi and rarely comes here,” he said.