A TRADITIONAL healer known as Mambo has given Harare City Council (HCC) sleepless nights as they are afraid to remove him from a shrine which he erected on council land.
At face value, the place, in Harare’s Kuwadzana 1 township looks like an ordinary car park but upon close scrutiny one will discover that it is actually a “sacred” shrine.
Conveniently placed adjacent a permanent police roadblock, the traditional healer’s wooden cabin that forms part of the shrine is left untouched even by the general public.
Police officers at the roadblock do not blink twice at the shrine while residents in the area use a bus stop just near it.
“Saka munondiudza shuwa kuti n’anga iyi yatotadza kubviswa pairi ipapo nekanzuru? (Are you telling me that the council has failed to evict the traditional healer?) Where is the enforcement in all this?” he quizzed councillors.
The place where the shrine is located, in a make-shift car park is to be used by the city for other purposes.
According to residents in the area, Mambo is known for his claims that the shrine should not be defiled as it is sacred to him.
Residents say the traditional healer has been operating at the site for more than a year without any disturbances from HCC.
Some people claim that he is mentally ill but surprisingly enough, you can see clients going into his structure whether for consultations or to assist him with something,” Tendai Chitagu said.
Another resident Elizabeth Jonga said while the traditional healer has only been at the spot for a while, the shrine is usually busy in the evenings as people are afraid of the stigma attached to consulting traditional healers.
“These people only started working at the car park in recent months but it can be quite busy. Some of the cars you see parked near-by or the clothes that people will be wearing tell you that they are from wealthy backgrounds.
“People have problems and I think this man helps them otherwise they would not come at all,” Jonga said.
While the traditional healer’s assistant only referred to as Dread could not divulge much before consulting with the n’anga, he said his boss has been helping many people.
The dread-locked young man said Mambo gets clients from as far as Malawi because he is an authentic helper.
Dread said Mambo who lives in Tynwald works mostly on referrals as he does not believe in advertising his trade.
The assistant added that for a client to be attended to they have to pay a “consultation fee” of one packet of cigarettes, 1kg of rice and one bottle of opaque beer — saying that Mambo is very specific with the gifts.
He added that the couch upholstery business at the front of the shrine is used as a cover-up for those who do not want to be identified by the public.