Friday, March 19, 2010
Witchcraft in a modern world.
By Walter Nyamukondiwa in Chinhoyi
A Chinhoyi woman recently died in mysterious circumstances after complaining of severe stomach pains and later acting like a fish before spending two nights in a bathtub filled with water.
Tamari Seremwa (37) of Kamedza Primary School in Gambura Village under Chief Magonde in Makonde District spent last Saturday night and the whole of Sunday in water.
She would intermittently gulp the water and then spew it out like a fish.
Hospital medical superintendent Dr Collett Mawire confirmed the strange incident.
She only came out of the tub after Chief Magonde reportedly summoned her to his homestead to discuss her predicament.
However, she did not make it as she died soon after being discharged from hospital.
Seremwa’s death has set tongues wagging over what really happened.
A woman who saw Seremwa when she was at the hospital said the latter had confessed to being intimate with a man who had been "fixed" by his wife. The practice is known as runyoka or "fencing" in many circles.
"She would say the man’s mother had warned her not to hang around the man indicating that he had been fixed with runyoka by his wife.
"She regretted not listening to the man’s mother," the woman said.
Seremwa, the woman said, was complaining of suffering from extreme heat and dehydration whenever she got out of the water.
Runyoka is a "safety lock" applied on both men and women to enforce fidelity.
It is said that a person "fences" his/her spouse so that they do not have sexual relations with another person. Indulging in intercourse results in inexplicable illnesses that normally lead to death.
A nurse at the hospital said: "We had to run around to get water after commiserating with the pain that she was going through.
"It was a strange sight that we failed to diagnose but we had to try but we had to help her all the same."
She said whenever water levels in the tub were low, Seremwa would splash water all over her body and writhe like a fish out of its natural habitat. At the time of writing, the body was awaiting a post-mortem.
"It is an issue with circumstances that we cannot really comprehend in medical terms but which has caught the attention of everyone," Dr Mawire said.