A TRADITIONAL healer from Gweru who has been “detaining” two minors for the last four years after their parents failed to raise two beasts as payment for treating them yesterday said there were some rites that must be performed before she could release the children.
The inyanga, Ms Juliet Mpofu, popularly known as Gogo Maphilisa has been staying with the two minors, aged 11 and 15 since 2013 when their mother, Ms Simangele Zimba, handed them over so that she could treat a rare body and foot disease that was afflicting them.
Gogo Maphilisa said the two minors were not the only “patients” she has kept at her house for such a long period as there has been others whom she had kept for more than 10 years.
Ms Zimba recently sought police intervention for her to reunite with her children but later backtracked and said she would allow Gogo Maphilisa to briefly keep the kids as she looked for money to buy the required beasts.
The kids have also told the police that they were more comfortable staying with Gogo Maphilisa than their mother who divorced their father and has since remarried.
In an interview yesterday, Gogo Maphilisa said she had no problem releasing the kids but there were some traditional rites involving an all-night vigil that the parents should organise as part of welcoming their children back.