PELTING PRESECUTION

A pol­ter­geist that throws hot stones is mak­ing life a mis­ery for a Bu­l­awayo fam­ily

Fortean Times - - Strange Days -

Ly­dia Man­jengwa, a widow with eight chil­dren, has been forced from her house near Bu­l­awayo in Zim­babwe and made home­less af­ter be­ing pelted by large “hot stones” thrown by in­vis­i­ble as­sailants. The lo­ca­tion of this ap­par­ent pelting pol­ter­geist per­se­cu­tion is Man­jengwa Vil­lage in Buhera dis­trict. A jour­nal­ist from The Man­ica Post vis­ited the fam­ily at 1:30pm on 27 June. Mo­ments later Fu­ture Mashiri (35) and her brother’s wife Tafadzwa Mat­ev­era (19) – both with ba­bies strapped on their backs – emerged from ad­ja­cent rock out­crops where they had rushed for cover from the rain­ing stones. The yard was strewn with wa­ter buck­ets, plates, pots, and other house­hold uten­sils dam­aged be­yond re­pair and use. Kitchen shelves had been bro­ken and roofs shat­tered. Fresh and healed scars of burns were vis­i­ble on most of the fam­ily mem­bers. The stones were too big for a per­son to throw around with such fre­quency

The kitchen shelves had been shat­tered and roofs scat­tered

with­out be­ing de­tected. The fusil­lade only ceased when strangers vis­ited. The stones were al­legedly pass­ing through walls with­out leav­ing holes on the out­side or burn­ing the grass thatched roof.

“We had to run away be­cause we were be­ing pelted with the hot stones,” said Fu­ture Mashiri. “This place is not hab­it­able. We have be­come the laugh­ing stock of the whole vil­lage and no­body is pre­pared to give us refuge and food. It started on 9 May. The stones fol­low us ev­ery­where we go and we are be­ing asked to leave peo­ple’s homes as we con­tin­ued to be pelted with the hot stones. We have sought so­lu­tions from seven prophets and a tra­di­tional healer, but it was all in vain be­cause the at­tack has not ceased. We can­not hide as the in­vis­i­ble at­tacker is al­ways in hot pur­suit. We are all in­jured and our house­hold prop­erty was dam­aged. We do not sleep at all; we spend nights in moun­tains, with th­ese lit­tle ba­bies. It’s so tough and painful to spend cold evenings in the open. All we need is a rest and last­ing so­lu­tion to this prob­lem. Our mother [Ly­dia Man­jengwa] has gone to Makumbe Mis­sion to look for one prophet we were re­ferred to.”

Ly­dia re­joined her na­tive Man­jengwa fam­ily in 1996 fol­low­ing a quar­rel with Mad­himbe Mu­ton­dondo Mashiri, who later died in 2001. The Man­jeng­was, who are the vil­lage heads, gave her a por­tion of land to live on. The fam­ily is now di­vided over the strange oc­cur­rences, amid sus­pi­cion that a kins­man pos­sesses gob­lins. This

sus­pi­cion was backed up by one Madz­ibaba Washy in his ‘prophetic ut­ter­ances’.

Mr Te­dious Man­jengwa (70), Ly­dia’s con­stant com­pan­ion, said it was em­bar­rass­ing that the fam­ily was not work­ing to­gether. “This is our home and she is our sis­ter, and as the Man­jeng­was we su­per­in­tend this homestead and fam­ily. What is hap­pen­ing here is trou­bling me; it is giv­ing me sleep­less nights. I am look­ing for some­one who can use what­ever pow­ers to un­pack the whole mys­tery, and if pos­si­ble, send th­ese mys­te­ri­ous hot stones back to the sender. I want the per­son re­spon­si­ble for th­ese ter­ri­ble things to be named and shamed. I sus­pect some­one in this fam­ily is up to no good. This is an is­sue we should be putting our heads to­gether as a fam­ily, but it is only my­self and Ly­dia show­ing con­cern.”

Vi­ola Kobe, wife of Te­dious Man­jengwa, re­peated an ac­count by one of the prophets. “The spirit of an iden­ti­fied fam­ily mem­ber [name sup­plied] spoke through aunt Ly­dia,” she said. “It first iden­ti­fied it­self, and ad­mit­ted to be­ing re­spon­si­ble for throw­ing the stones, ar­gu­ing that it wanted a hu­man head to sac­ri­fice and en­hance a kombi busi­ness. The prophet told this fam­ily that the so­lu­tion was from within. The prophet left in a huff be­cause the fam­ily went on to hire other prophets be­fore ex­haust­ing what he had in­structed.”

A rel­a­tive, Mr Jeal­ous Mapin­gire, said at first he doubted the Man­jeng­was’ ac­count un­til three stones were thrown at them. “I saw one huge stone be­ing thrown at Moses Ma­sunga’s homestead where they had sought refuge,” he said. “When I touched it, it was hot like it was com­ing from a blast fur­nace. I gath­ered the stones with a view to burn them be­cause they are evil. I still have the stones at my house be­cause I still want to de­stroy them. Imag­ine if such stones could hit a child, the child would die. The fam­ily has been os­tracised, no­body wants to en­ter­tain them for fear of be­ing pelted. I won­der what kind of magic, be­cause the stones were so heavy and you would not ex­pect such stones to rise on their own.” Bu­l­awayo 24 News, 1 July 2017. From time to time, Fortean

Times has car­ried very sim­i­lar ac­counts of para­nor­mal stone pelting, most of­ten in Africa. There was a par­tic­u­larly de­tailed re­port of a case in Machakos, Kenya, in 1982, with pho­to­graphs [ FT44:36

40]. Sub­se­quent cases were re­ported from South Africa in 2004 [ FT189:10] and Hale­sowen, West Mid­lands, in 2006 [ FT215:12].

ABOVE: Farai Mashiri with a pot that was dam­aged be­yond re­pair in one of the episodes. BE­LOW: Women and chil­dren of the Man­jengwa fam­ily sit out­side their home. OP­PO­SITE PAGE: An­other fam­ily mem­ber, Sekuru Man­jengwa, holds up one of the stones thrown by the in­vis­i­ble as­sailant.

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