A false prophet in Muzarabani, Zimbabwe, died after instructing his followers to bury him alive so that he could generate enough powers to cast out demons.
A local court heard how some members of a family came to their priest Zvidzai Muchengeti, asking him to help them chase out the evil spirits ravaging their home. ‘Prophet’ Shamiso Kanyama was subsequently invited to conduct the cleansing ceremony … and he told them that his ability to chase out the spirits will surface only if he is buried alive.
Muchengeti told the court that Kenyama helped to dig his own grave before jumping into it. Lying face down, he ordered his followers to fill up the grave with sand, promising that he would come out alive.
Eyewitness Joseph Taderera told the court, ‘I warned the men about the danger of their actions, but my advice fell on deaf ears because Kanyama shouted, telling me that I am disturbing his angels, and urged them to continue filling the grave, saying that he would later come out alive.’
But after he failed to come out as promised, the family dug the grave up and found him already dead.
Five members of the family who participated in the ritual have been charged with murder.