6 Children Die After River Baptism

6 Children Die After River Baptism
Published: 2016 June 09 00:28:01 (1858 Views)


SIX children died following an early morning baptism session in a stream by a self-styled prophetess in Sadza, Mashonaland East Province, on Monday.

The tragedy occurred at Mutorahuku Stream in Muriwo Village under Chief Neshangwe at around 5am.

The victims — two boys and four girls — have been identified as Blessed Muvadi (12 months), Tinotenda Dzuke (3), Shamiso Pfumbidza (4), Tafadzwa Dzvuke (5), Patience Pfumbidza (9) and Emmanuel Dzvuke (7).

Two suspects — Maud Dzvuke (30); the prophetess and Jane Ruvinga — have since been arrested in connection with the case.

Said Chief national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba: “On 7 June 2016, at around 0500hours, two female adults aged 30 and 34 years took with them nine juveniles for baptism at Mutorahuku stream under Chief Neshangwe. During the baptism, one of the juveniles aged four years ran away from the stream and met one Tony Kondo (17) who noticed that she was shivering due to coldness,” she said.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the juvenile narrated the matter to Kondo who then rushed to the stream to check on other juveniles.

“Upon arrival, he noticed that six juveniles were seething froth from the mouth. After realising the condition of the children, the self-styled prophetess started speaking in tongues as if she was possessed and ordered Kondo to ferry the juveniles to her shrine for prayers,” she said.

She said the six juveniles died at the shrine while the other two were ferried to Sadza District Hospital where they were admitted while in serious condition.

“After realising that the children were dead, the culprits, Maud Dzvuke and Jane Ruvinga ran away from the scene but they were later arrested. They are being charged with culpable homicide,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

She said police was deeply concerned with the loss of innocent lives.

“We would like to warn members of the public to desist from engaging in dangerous practices under the guise of freedom of worship. The law will descend heavily upon them. May the souls of these innocent children rest in peace,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

Two senior medical doctors asked to explain what could have caused the children’s death refused to offer their opinions insisting that the postmortem would reveal the cause of death.

“No, no, no. I can’t speculate on the cause of death of those children. The postmorten results will show what caused the children’s death,” said one of the doctors who declined to be identified for professional reasons.



- Herald
Tags: river, baptism, minor, children, ,
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