Satanism on the prowl in Harare
This message appeared recently on a web site: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHie, I am Jeffrey Chirombe, I am a student at the University of Zimbabwe, I want to join Satanism to solve problems and become rich.
“I have problems with my girlfriend and I want her back.”
Another message read: “I want these local meet-ups because I want to be a Satanist.
“I’m ready for initiation. I want to use all the power at my disposal.
“I also want to meet Satanists in Chitungwiza as soon as possible.
“I just can’t wait. HAIL SATAN.”
The Internet meet-up site openly encourages Satanists or worshippers of the devil to converge in Harare. The site has a waiting list of 14 people who all express a keen interest to dabble in the occult and worship the devil.
Satanism is a subject that raises a lot of debate in Zimbabwe, yet those who practise it rarely come out in the open. But it has of late become apparent that the practice is alive and is slowly establishing itself in Harare.
Recently, numerous people in the city reported horrendous encounters that many concluded were linked to Satanism. Wikipedia defines Satanism as related belief and social phenomena that feature the veneration and admiration of Satan or similar figures.
Satanism is openly practised in some countries around the world and in Africa, and its headquarters is believed to be in Burkina Faso. In Zimbabwe, Satanist sects operate in disguised syndicates that pry on unsuspecting individuals and incorporate them into their occult worship.
Last week, The Sunday Mail learnt of a mysterious and horrifying death of a Chiweshe woman who had been attracted to a Borrowdale house by an offer of working as a maid.
A close relative of the deceased woman, who chose to remain anonymous, said they suspected her niece died after encountering Satanic worshippers.
She said the niece died within 24 hours of entering the house.
“My niece, who had come to visit her sister in Highlands, met a woman who offered her a job as a maid at a house in Borrowdale,” said the woman.
“She obviously thought it was an attractive offer, so she immediately complied and spent the night at the house.”
The woman alleged that while at the house, her niece witnessed bizarre incidents, including one of a snake that was spitting money. She also claimed the niece saw a congregation of people that was applauding while one of the members was sucking blood from a baby. The niece managed to escape from the house the following morning.
“My niece explained that she went to bed late that night,” said the woman.
“She could not sleep as indescribable creatures that had vampire-like teeth tormented her and planted their teeth in her back, chest and abdomen.
“She sustained three wounds and when she escaped to our house, she collapsed that same morning.”
The woman said they took her niece to Parirenyatwa Hospital where she was admitted and died the following day. Nurses at the hospital confirmed treating the woman, but admitted that the nature of her wounds were rather mysterious.
“She came here seeking treatment and I can confirm that she had wounds whose origins we failed to determine,” said one nurse who refused to be named.
“Unfortunately, we could not save her life as she succumbed to her wounds.”
Another Harare woman last week told The Sunday Mail that she has had to endure two years of mental and psychological torture from demons that openly identified themselves as agents of the devil.
“It started in 2007 and it is still affecting me up to now,” she said.
“I attended a prayer meeting at our building in Harare and this pastor (of a popular church, name supplied) put his hand on me and said he had planted a blessing on me.
“Two days later, I started hearing voices in my head telling me that the time to fulfil the blessing had come.
“To my utter shock and bewilderment, this voice said to me: ‘Come and worship the devil, the time is nigh. We are not God’s people, but antichrist’.
“From that day, the voice kept tormenting me.
“It could torture me for 24 hours a day as I could not sleep, eat nor rest and my head would whirl and spin.”
The woman explained that she had to take a six-month sabbatical from her job as her physical and mental capacities had become derailed. She also revealed that she had sought help from many local and international pastors, but the problem still persisted.
The woman said a certain international pastor who visited Zimbabwe last year and preached in Harare called her out from the crowd and told her that she was being tormented by demons.
“He called me out of the blue and I went to the healing area and he prayed for me,” she said.
“For a moment I had the feeling that the demons had left me permanently, but the demons returned immediately and started to torture me again saying: ‘why do you want to expose us?’”
She added that she was now praying vigorously and the demons were changing the tone of their subject.
“The demons still torment me everyday, but I try to pray hard,” she said.
“My pastor has told me to remain strong because God has a purpose for everything that happens to one’s life.”
A few days ago, a young girl shocked listeners on national radio when she revealed that she and three other girls had been given rings that enabled them to source food.
Many listeners who phoned on the programme said they believed Satanism existed.
A senior pastor from the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Pastor Wellington Chiomadzi, said it was common for Satanists to lure people into their sect by promising them favours.
“The work of the devil is all about deception,” he said. “Satanists attract people by offering them jobs, riches, and even love. That is why some people enter into the sect willingly and only realise that they have been incorporated into the sect when it is too late.”
Pastor Chiomadzi said people fall prey to such sects because some devil worshippers sometimes infiltrate the church. He, however, said Satanism was in some instances misconstrued by people who blame their unfortunate circumstances on the practice.
President of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association Professor Gordon Chavunduka said Satanism existed and needed to be countered by traditional methods.
“Spirit mediums should be called in to carry out rituals to remove the evil spirits,” he said.
“The treatment varies from individual to individual depending on how one is possessed.”
He said Satanism was a new phenomenon, as traditional African societies did not practise it.
“Satanism destroys society and it has no place in the African culture,” he said.
Whichever way one looks at it, Satanism remains a veiled subject with none claiming to be authorities on the issue. But the proliferation of Internet sites inviting people to join the sect points to the existence of the practice in Zimbabwe.