In a bid to ensure that his debt is paid, a Zimbabwean traditional healer is reported to have held two minor children for four years because their mother failed to pay for the treatment the witch doctor gave them.
The kids, now aged 11 and 15 were aged 7 and 11, respectively when their mother, Ms Simangele Zimba handed them over to the witchdoctor popularly known as Maphilisa in 2013 so he could treat them from foot disease.
The traditional healer who is insisting on a payment of two goats is taking great care of the children`s upkeep and as such the children are now refusing to go back to their family.
Maphilisa confirmed that he was detaining the kids over non-payment of the bill. “The kids are in good health. I healed them. They are going to school. All I want is payment for the job I did. Just two goats,” he told Zimbabwe`s online publication, H-Metro.
Police in the area are now negotiating with both the traditional healer and the children who are refusing to reunite with their mother.
According the children’s mother, Maphilisa had initially indicated he would “admit” the kids for only two months so that he monitors the healing process before releasing them back to their mother.
She said it was unfortunate that she failed to raise the money to buy the goats hence the impasse.
The mother said she only reunited briefly with her kids last Friday at Gweru Rural Police Station when Maphilisa was summoned to the police station.
“Just imagine meeting your kids after four years at a police station? It’s very painful.
Maphilisa who claimed he stayed under water for four years from where he emerged with healing powers, said he was happy that following the intervention of police at Gweru Rural Police Station, Ms Zimba agreed to pay for her services.
“The kids’ mother also agreed that I stay with them while she looks for money to make a down payment in appreciation of what I did for them,” he said.