Great de­bate about spate of fires

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SOCIETY - Brian Chitemba Re­li­gious Af­fairs Act­ing Ed­i­tor

IN AFRICAN Tra­di­tion Re­li­gion, No­vem­ber is a sa­cred month. In those 30 days, mar­riages are not per­mit­ted. In­deed, just about all other ri­tu­als and cer­e­monies are pro­hib­ited. The be­lief is that break­ing this tra­di­tion can lead to dis­as­ter on a per­sonal, com­mu­nal or even na­tional level.

No­vem­ber 2018 has been par­tic­u­larly dis­as­trous for Zim­babwe.

Scores of peo­ple have per­ished in hor­rific road ac­ci­dents; and a spate of fires have de­stroyed build­ings and other as­sets worth tens of thou­sands of dol­lars.

It started in Rusape where 50 peo­ple died when a Smart Ex­press bus sideswiped a Bolt­cut­ter bus on No­vem­ber 8, 2018.

Barely a week later, 33 peo­ple died — some of them burnt be­yond recog­ni­tion — when fire en­gulfed a Brook­lyn Ex­press in West Ni­chol­son near Gwanda.

As the coun­try was still mourn­ing th­ese tragedies, fire gut­ted the pop­u­lar Glen View fur­ni­ture com­plex; and a day later an­other fire broke out in Kadoma, raz­ing down a lead­ing fur­ni­ture and cloth­ing line.

It was not over. Last week, fire de­stroyed six ve­hi­cles in Mbare. Then there were also fire dis­as­ters in Bu­l­awayo at Mpilo Hospi­tal, and at a po­lice sta­tion in Beit­bridge.

Now just about ev­ery­one is won­der­ing what ex­actly is go­ing on. Did the na­tion do some­thing “wrong”, some­thing that tra­di­tion­al­ists say should not be done in No­vem­ber, and now we are pay­ing for it? Or is it just co­in­ci­dence and a sign of the fire sea­son just be­fore rains wash the coun­try?

Po­lice Na­tional Spokesper­son, Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba, has been quoted in­di­cat­ing there is noth­ing su­per­nat­u­ral about the tragedies.

She said ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tions pointed to the ex­plo­sion of a faulty gen­er­a­tor as the prob­a­ble cause of the Glen View fire, while the Mbare in­ci­dent may have been the re­sult of mis­chief by a pair of chil­dren.

The fires in Bu­l­awayo, Kadoma and Beit­bridge, Snr Asst Comm Charamba said, were likely caused by elec­tri­cal faults.

But Righ­teous­ness Re­vival Min­istries founder Pas­tor Tawanda Chikeya says God could be an­gry with those who have turned their backs on Him.

Cit­ing Hosea 8:14, he says when the peo­ple of Is­rael built palaces and tem­ples for idol­a­try, God was dis­pleased and re­moved His pro­tec­tion.

“In Zim­babwe many peo­ple are cults (have been started), in­clud­ing some we call prophets; some are witches and wizards op­er­at­ing as peo­ple of God. Some of the peo­ple in au­thor­ity, they are also play­ing the same cul­tic games.

“We de­stroyed the al­ter of God in Zim­babwe and all are wor­ship­ping Mam­mon. There are some se­cret al­ters in this na­tion in moun­tains, in wa­ter and grave­yards. Th­ese (false gods) are be­ing wor­shipped and re­ceive bet­ter sac­ri­fices than the Cre­ator.

“We are lost as Zim­bab­weans. So fire and ac­ci­dents and all eco­nomic hard­ships are be­cause of evil al­tars raised by pas­tors, com­mu­nity lead­ers and na­tional lead­ers. We need a spir­i­tual clean-up of our land.”

Tra­di­tional healer Sekuru Elisha Mu­tanga at­tributes the dis­as­ters to a “Satanic face which ap­peared on the Vic­to­ria Falls”.

In a Face­book post last week, he urged Zim­bab­weans to de­nounce the Satanic voices and pray to God ei­ther through ATR or Chris­tian­ity.

“Let’s all stop the voice of Satan which is caus­ing road ac­ci­dents and strange fires. I want to warn all those in­volved in Satanic ac­tiv­i­ties that they will be pun­ished,” warns Sekuru Mu­tanga.

“All the prob­lems will soon be over be­cause the God/Mwari of our an­ces­tors has in­ter­vened and those who did noth­ing wrong have been lib­er­ated. May the God of all na­tions bless Zim­babwe.”

In a re­cent prophetic word for Zim­babwe, Bu­l­awayo-based preacher, Prophet Ian Ndlovu said a group of witches were caus­ing prob­lems for Zim­babwe via their ri­tu­als at Satanic al­tars.

Coun­cil of Is­lamic Af­fairs in Zim­babwe chair Sheikh Ish­mail Duwa says the ac­ci­dents are due to hu­man neg­li­gence and have noth­ing to do with Al­lah.

“Peo­ple can­not be care­less and then blame God for the ter­ri­ble ac­ci­dents. Care­less driv­ing re­sults in ac­ci­dents and there is no spir­i­tual ex­pla­na­tion to that.

“We don’t be­lieve that th­ese dis­as­ters are hap­pen­ing be­cause we are in the month of No­vem­ber. It doesn’t mat­ter whether it’s No­vem­ber or Jan­uary, ac­ci­dents do hap­pen. It’s just Al­lah’s time; if He al­lows it then there is noth­ing hu­mans can do about it.”

As the coun­try was still mourn­ing fol­low­ing th­ese tragedies, fire gut­ted the pop­u­lar Glen View fur­ni­ture com­plex

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