Zimbabwe: Mugabe and the Medium

There is sometimes a bit of humour hidden beneath the sharp rocks in a dark, seemingly insurmountable abyss. Zimbabwe is no exception…


A True Story


Not long ago, in the middle of yet another fuel crisis, which the Zimbabwean government blamed on sanctions…(but then it is a government of blame: they blame empty shelves on business, the mess in their country on imperialism and their power failures on monkeys)… they were approached by Rotina Mavhunga, a 35-year old Sangoma (spirit medium, for the non-locals).


Rotina told them, that when she became possessed by the Spirits of the Forefathers, she could cause the finest diesel to come forth from the rocks. She produced a sample of her magic, which the Central Mechanical Equipment Department declared as pure. Mesmerised, she was accompanied by some of the ministers who took off their shoes and knelt or crouched at her feet as she, filled with the Spirits of the Dead ancestors, manifested the precious liquid as quite a magnificent fountain.


She was rewarded handsomely by her adulating ministerial followers:  5 billion dollars and a farm.


Then…well then…the truth came out. What her ‘feat of magic’ really was, was diesel bought in Zambia and then piped to the rocks from where it cascaded beautifully. A crude swindle it may have been, but Mugabe and his equally gullible henchmen were taken in – suckered, scammed, conned, hoodwinked!


The highly embarrassed government had her arrested (naturally). Her defence in the magistrate’s court was that it was not her that swindled the entire cabinet. She shifted the blame to one Changamire Dombo, a 17th century Rozvi Empire leader who, according to Rotina is so powerful that his power reaches into the 21st century.


I suppose if the Zimbabwean government can blame their swindles on 17th Century Imperialists, then Rotina could probably blame her swindle on 17th Century Spirits too 😉


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