The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) admitted recently their uncoventional methods may have caused the Zengeza explosion which killed five people wounding more than 13.  

The ZINATHA industry which comprises of sangoma healers and so called reformed n’angagrew exponentially in the past 12 years following economic decline.

A top ZINATHA member and popular Harare n’anga, Lovemore Muparadzi, linked the blast to an enrichment medicine (muti) processed using a rare animal called sandawana, which looks like a mouse. “That explosion was not caused by lightning or goblins. It most likely happened because of a sandawana.”

ZINATHA healers have for decades held that sandawana is a “very rare animal; especially its fur/skin, has unbelievable powers. Its hair becomes agitated if it comes into contact with maize flour or water. It turns water into a red liquid and it makes a raw tomato ripe within 5 minutes of the tomato coming into contact with a single strand of hair. This animal is revered in Zimbabwe and other African countries where it is believed to bring it’s owner endless good fortune.”

Of sandawana sangomas claim, “This is available to make you rich than ever, you apply it every day, it will attract all the rich people to you so that you can do business with them. Apply when going to meet high rich people they will automatically accept you.”

Muparadzi said the practice was very dangerous such that it was not recommended to be done in a house. He said the practice is usually discharged in the bush.

However ZINATHA’s spokesman George Kandiyero — whose mentor is the late Prof Gordon Chavunduka — said he was ruling out supernatural powers as the cause. This took place after publicly agreeing with Lovemore Muparadzi, his ZINATHA colleague.

“My line of thinking is that it could be a bomb because there is nothing yet linking it with supernatural powers. We haven’t had time to really see to it because this whole week the police were doing their investigations. This issue has made a lot of news and it portrays a very bad image on traditional healers, this has brought a lot of disrepute into our sector because this blast involved a traditional healer.”