The mad-scramble within President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF to control the frail and mysterious leader of a secretive religious sect, Madzibaba Wimbo, is intensifying — with the 94-year-old now living under 24-hour guard by soldiers armed to the teeth, who have made his shrine a no-go area.
This comes as some of Mugabe’s top securocrats, including police chief commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and army chief of staff Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, are said to be locked in the vicious battle to control the enigmatic prophet.
Wimbo — the head of the Mount Darwin-based Johane Masowe Vadzidzi Vajesu Church — is famed for having allegedly foretold 60 years ago that Zimbabwe would be led by a man with the name of an angel, Gabriel, with the prophecy allegedly coming to pass when Mugabe, whose middle name is Gabriel, took power from the British in April 1980.
In a statement to the Daily News yesterday, Madzibaba Wimbo’s family claimed that the soldiers who are guarding him on a 24-hour basis have increased their security at his shrine, completely cutting off the family from having any access to him.
Wimbo’s son, Exnevia Gomo — a medical professor — also accused Ishmael Magodi, Zex Pamacheche, Shepherd Chingwena and Edison Mukohwa, who are the prophet’s so-called four church prefects, of having abducted Wimbo on June 29 last year to further their interests as well as the political motives of some Zanu PF bigwigs.
“The four, because of their closeness to Wimbo, made contacts with senior politicians and government officials and fed a lot of bull to the politicians,” Gomo said.
“It is not surprising that today there is a military base just a few hundred metres from VaWimbo’s homestead, and that there are military personnel in the shrine, purportedly to guard him.
“From whom against, we don’t know.
“It is true that VaWimbo has great bearing on the political landscape in the country. This bearing, and the ability to see the future was taken out of context by the four with the deliberate intention to over-politicise the church for the furtherance of their political ambitions and cover their corrupt activities,” he added.
In July this year, Mugabe went to the extent of holding a lengthy meeting in Bindura with Wimbo’s family and his security chiefs, in a bid to get to the bottom of, and to resolve the long-running “abduction” saga of the popular prophet.
This was after the nonagenarian had been petitioned to intervene in the matter, following the alleged assault of high-ranking police officers related to Wimbo by the soldiers guarding him and his shrine.
Mugabe subsequently set up a ministerial committee headed by State Security minister Kembo Mohadi to try and break the impasse over Wimbo, and to investigate the claims of thuggery by the soldiers at the shrine.
Gomo said yesterday that it was disturbing that despite Mugabe’s visit and the subsequent meeting which had called for his father to be returned home, Wimbo remained “abducted