For some reason, I have always shelved discussing the ever increasing incidents of Zimbabweans being found in possession of serpents in their homes or vehicles. Early this year, a woman driving a pricey car dropped a giant dead python by the roadside in Harare’s Borrowdale area. To me, it was some remote issue with mythical overtones and explainable in many ways.

However, I am compelled to chew over the matter after my experience in the capital last Wednesday. A smartly dressed gentleman approached me as I sat in the serenity of Botanical Gardens. He had a foreign accent and indicated that I was highly favoured to have an encounter with him. Being thirsty for information, I had to strike a balance between risking involvement with a professional conman and acquisition of vital information. I gave the sweet-talking man audience against my better judgment for half an hour.

In brief, it turned out, the man was one of the new breed of ‘doctors’ with advertising stickers everywhere selling money-spinning juju. He spoke in the most enticing and glowing terms even leaving me his ‘business’ cards. He had rings selling for $50, which, according to him, would bring the buyer a fortune. Now, what further shocked me was his repeated statement that the rings were infinitely ‘safer’ as compared to snakes which he noted were a troublesome way of spinning money.

This issue, brethren, of Zimbabweans being found in possession of serpents is fast becoming a norm. Hardly a month passes without something of the sort being reported in the media. Shortly before the Borrowdale woman story, the month of February saw a mamba and a dead python being found at the gate of a certain house in New Lobengula, Bulawayo. In March, scores of residents mobbed a house in Chitungwiza, Unit E after a serpent had allegedly escaped from a room.

Sometime last year in Harare, the driver of a spanking brand new Toyota Hilux dropped a huge snake at the Copa Cabana rank and crushed it as he sped off. The media recently covered the shocking story of a Gweru woman who wept uncontrollably after her slithering reptile was crushed by a bus. Some business people have struggled to extricate themselves from any wrongdoing after the unhomely creatures were found in their vehicles.

It has been the case in most instances that most alleged snake owners have battled to dissociate themselves from the scary creatures after they were found in their vicinities. The Borrowdale woman is reported to have left in a jiffy after dropping the enormous dead reptile. Some have tried to hide behind the façade of the reptiles having strayed into their yards.

Others have claimed that engine heat might have attracted the cold blooded creatures after the vehicles were parked. Innumerable reasons have been thrown forward in attempts to explain away the inexplicable presence of the scary reptiles in human homes. However, the Gweru woman surprised all and sundry when she made no secret of owning the serpent. People stood astounded as the woman breathed fire demanding that she be given back her snake alive by the bus driver.

While a variety of explanations have been proffered to explain the snake-craze, it is apparent that there is more to it than meets the eye. The matter boils down to a deadly cancer that has filtered into our society, namely instant-gratification. People no longer want to adhere to the Biblical principle of eating from the brow of one’s sweat to acquire wealth. It would appear that Zimbabweans have taken a leaf from quick-fix juju approaches synonymous with African movies in pursuance of luxury. People want it here-and-now. Against Biblical precepts, people are now at home with wealth acquired through unnatural means.

What is even more disturbing is that this quick-fix syndrome has not only permeated the secular world but it has also wriggled its way into the supposed Christian churches. Everywhere you go everything is now marked by the word instant. Whether houses, cars or babies the watchword now is instant. The Biblical truth is that, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathers by labour shall increase.” (Proverbs 13:11) It appears we have become people who are bent on driving the slickest cars and living in the leafiest suburbs at whatever cost. It is common place to find men as young as 23 living the dream and owning mansions today courtesy of these super natural means.

My friends, “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked, whatsoever a man sows, the same shall he reap.”(Gal 6:7) When God said, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat” (Gen 3:19) he meant exactly that. These instant quick fix ideologies are of the Evil One’s making. It is a mockery of that which God commanded for anyone to acquire wealth they never labored for. It is really the making of Satan in his typical opposition to GOD to provide people with antagonistic alternatives to Biblical principles. There are no shortcuts to what God commanded. You work first then you thrive. Wealth without work is the devil’s principle.