Freak snake stories on the rise in Zimbabwe

Reading time 2 min.

If you want to make quick money but at considerable risk just grab a
snake and fly over to Zimbabwe. In the last three weeks a strange phenomenon has been occurring where people claiming to be prophets have been swindling unsuspecting and suffering Zimbabweans of their hard earned cash.

On Wednesday, a 27 year old man, Vincent Mashaire was found with a huge
snake stashed in his jacket at Avondale shopping centre in Harare. Mashaire was masquerading as a prophet at Avondale shopping centre as he approached unsuspecting people telling them that there was a dangerous snake at their homes and that he has supernatural powers to have it removed.

One woman who Mashaire targeted got suspicious and reported the man to
the police. The police then searched Mashaire only to find a live snake in his jacket.

Police say the man had intended to safely sneak the snake into the
woman’s house and pretend to remove it in the cleansing ceremony and
later demand “huge amounts” for the work done. But Mashaire told police that he intended to take it to his rural home where he was to burn it and use the ashes for ritual purposes.


The incident follows the discovery of a man at the oldest township in Harare, Mbare who was found with a snake in his bag. He claimed he inherited the snake from his late grandfather in 1985, suggesting that the venomous reptile would have been in his possesion for the last 24 years.

He was arrested and appeared in court facing charges of contravening
the Parks and Wildlife Act and the snake was taken to Parks and
Wildlife authorities.

Cobra travelling on a bus

And only a week ago in an incident that shocked travelers at
Beitbridge Border Post, an approximately 1,5 metre long cobra sent a
bus crew and passengers scurrying for cover after it was discovered
inside a Gweru bound bus.

Zimbabwean Police with the help of their South African counterparts
had to throw teargas into the bus which forced the snake out before it
was killed. It is not known if the snake was intentionally carried into the bus.

Flying in a winnowing basket

In June reported on a self witch in Zimbabwe Regina Sveto 21
who claimed to have flown naked in a winnowing basket for 120km. The case attracted a lot of interest from the public who filled the
courtroom to hear the proceedings and take a glimpse of the woman.

She was handed a wholly suspended one-year prison term by a magistrate.
During sentencing, Sveto went into a trance again while in the dock. She regained her composure after guards rubbed salt on her face and hands.

The woman claimed she had “flown” from Murehwa, some 120km east of
Harare, with her father-in-law and an aunt – both of whom she accuses
of being witches. Their winnowing basket aircraft taxied off from a graveyard at their rural home with a sole aim to kill her brother-in-law. Read More…

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