Chief told he is off­side

... chief’ s ac­tions de­scribed as‘ off side’

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Weekender Re­porter

THE United Bap­tist Church, the re­spon­si­ble author­ity at Biri­iri High School, which was in the eye of a Satanism storm, has come out guns blaz­ing at mem­bers of an apos­tolic sect who held an un­sanc­tioned cleans­ing cer­e­mony at the school at the be­hest of the lo­cal tra­di­tional lead­er­ship.

A mys­te­ri­ous ail­ment has been af­fect­ing fe­male learn­ers at the United Bap­tist Church-run in­sti­tu­tion. The af­fected learn­ers’ legs would sud­denly start shiv­er­ing, leav­ing them bed-rid­den.

Re­cently at least 28 learn­ers were re­port­edly af­fected and a cleans­ing cer­e­mony was held at the mis­sion un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Act­ing Chief Sau­rombe. It was dur­ing the de­liv­er­ance rit­u­als when one of the girls al­legedly ut­tered the names of a UBC cleric and four se­nior teach­ers as the Satanism ring­leaders at the in­sti­tu­tion.

How­ever, the church through its spokesper­son and sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Mr In­no­cent Dube, said it did not sub­scribe to the cul­tic ac­tiv­i­ties that were forcibly done at the school.

“The move was ig­no­min­ious. United Bap­tist Church be­liefs have no al­le­giance to the oc­cult prac­tices of ‘Ma­pos­i­tori sect’ who forcibly stormed our sta­tion with­out any per­mis­sion from us. They car­ried out their cleans­ing rit­u­als in an un­wel­comed fash­ion. De­spite the tepid re­sponse they got at the sta­tion, they called a few stu­dents to per­form their cleans­ing rit­u­als. The event was very dis­grace­ful as it vi­o­lated our ba­sis of faith.

“Biri­iri Mis­sion is a pri­vately owned prop­erty which be­longs to the United Bap­tist Church and no one has the right to tres­pass into our bound­aries. We do not ad­vo­cate the no­tion of un­der­tak­ing unau­tho­rised en­try into our premise re­gard­less of the ranks peo­ple may oc­cupy. While we re­spect our vis­i­tors, it is not within their ju­ris­dic­tion to force­fully get into the sta­tion to deal with is­sues in a man­ner that goes against our faith,” said Mr Dube.

He added: “Our doorsteps should al­ways be neigh­bourly and see­ing to it that the cul­ture of our civil­i­sa­tion co­in­cides with our brother’s cul­ture to en­able us to have a friendly co-ex­is­tence. The civil­i­sa­tion of our cul­ture should not be a stum­bling block to other broth­ers’ ways of ad­dress­ing mat­ters. Time shall come when progress of com­mu­ni­ties shall be judged nei­ther by the splen­douur of their shops nor by the pop­u­la­tion of their res­i­dents, but by the well-be­ing and dis­po­si­tion of their peo­ple. We are neigh­bours by ge­og­ra­phy and by cul­tural affin­ity. There­fore we should preach peace ev­ery­where.

“If peo­ple have a case against any of our mem­bers in the mis­sion, they are sup­posed to in­vite the ac­cused out­side with­out in­ter­fer­ing with the mis­sion’s set-up. Mem­bers can be sub­poe­naed as wit­nesses out­side the mis­sion sta­tion. Peo­ple should re­spect the school as well as the re­spon­si­ble author­ity and when there are is­sues, peo­ple should fully utilise the rel­e­vant struc­tures as guided by the sta­tion head. It is not proper to frog­march the mis­sion res­i­dents as well as our stu­dents.”

On the al­leged im­pli­cated mem­bers, Mr Dube said they do not hold cases against them un­til suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence is ob­tained.

“We, how­ever, con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate if there can be any one of them with such a dev­il­ish prac­tice. How­ever, if deemed present, the re­spon­si­ble author­ity will not at all con­done such be­hav­iour. We will take nec­es­sary steps to get rid of them from the sta­tion.”

Mr Dube said the ail­ment af­fect­ing the fe­male learn­ers at the school was not unique to Biri­iri High School as other schools across the coun­try also had sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences be­fore.

“The disease is be­lieved to be com­mon among fe­male learn­ers, which is also the case with Biri­iri stu­dents. The ail­ment is be­lieved to be a psy­cho­log­i­cally con­ta­gious vi­ral con­di­tion. How­ever, such a disease is not unique to Biri­iri High School alone since board­ing schools and day schools around the coun­try have also grap­pled with that un­timely chal­lenge.

“In the ugly face of such a chal­lenge, the re­spon­si­ble author­ity, United Bap­tist Church head of­fice has not been just watch­ing from Harare as pub­lished in your re­cent edi­tion. We have never folded hands on this mat­ter. The of­fice has been ad­dress­ing both the spir­i­tual and med­i­cal di­men­sions.

“How­ever, we could nei­ther sound a siren nor sound a bell as an alarm to no­tify the passers-by and tra­di­tional lead­ers to come and wit­ness our in­door ac­tiv­i­ties. The fact that peo­ple did not know what was hap­pen­ing in our sta­tion does not guar­an­tee any­one to tres­pass our bound­aries. The fact that we did not in­vite any­one to wit­ness our in­door ac­tiv­i­ties should not be con­sid­ered as a breach to the law.”

He said the church’s chair­man, Rev­erend Austin Mab­hena, and vice-chair­man Rev Irvine Moyo had con­ducted in­ter­views with stu­dents and mem­bers of staff to es­tab­lish the source of the prob­lem.

“Pas­tors and church mem­bers from nearby church dis­tricts such as Mhakwe, Rusitu, Mutare, Ndima, Chipinge and Chi­man­i­mani were asked to con­verge at Biri­iri for prayers. Some of the stu­dents were healed. Bishop Dr Joshua Dhube, one of our church ad­vi­sors and re­tired church chair­man, con­ducted a spir­i­tu­ally en­rich­ing week­end re­vival and a num­ber of stu­dents gave their lives to Je­sus Christ,” said Mr Dube. Pas­tors from nearby church dis­tricts, he said, have been com­ing in their large num­bers to pray for the stu­dents and staff. The re­spon­si­ble author­ity also de­clared Fri­day as a fast­ing and prayer day for Biri­iri Mis­sion. This was fol­lowed by an all-night of prayer as a na­tional event at the sta­tion. Many stu­dents were de­liv­ered.

The ed­u­ca­tion board mem­bers led by Mr Collen Mtisi have been meet­ing too in a bid to have the prob­lem ad­dressed.

Mr Dube said all af­fected stu­dents had been med­i­cally ex­am­ined.

“Af­fected stu­dents were re­ferred to the hos­pi­tal and a num­ber of them were cured. The ges­ture is in line with the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion’s ex­pec­ta­tion that if a stu­dent is ill, he/she shall be re­ferred to a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner.

“We de­ployed med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers to the school and were led by one of our hos­pi­tal doc­tors, Dr Mu­gari, to try and res­cue the sit­u­a­tion. The doc­tors had time with our stu­dents and some were helped.

“Hos­tels were dis­in­fected to try and kill the path­o­genic el­e­ments, which also helped to some ex­tent. Par­ents were al­lowed to take their chil­dren for fur­ther med­i­cal at­ten­tion, while the church also de­ployed a well-qual­i­fied nurse to help the stu­dents,” said Mr Dube.

CON­DEMNED . . . Mem­bers of the apos­tolic sect ex­or­cise al­leged Satanism de­mons at the school with­out per­mis­sion from school author­i­ties

UN­DER FIRE . . . Chief Sau­rombe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.