Panic has gripped villagers in Mazvihwa area in Zvishavane, Zimbabwe after children who were herding cattle reportedly stumbled upon a talking tree stump.
The incident, which has left tongues wagging, occurred on Thursday in Gwemombe Langani Village under Chief Mazvihwa.
The stump is said to be only talking to children and women. According to a witness the "talking stump" was first discovered by some boys who were playing soccer while herding cattle.
"When their plastic ball rolled near the stump, one of the boys who had rushed to pick it up was forced to abandon the ball and run for dear life when he heard an intimidating male voice coming from the stump. The boys later fled the scene leaving the cattle unattended when they discovered that the voice was coming from an old tree stump near where they were playing," said Mrs Fadzai Mufari, who claimed to have seen the talking stump.
Mrs Mufari who stays a few kilometres from the place where the "talking stump" is located said she could not believe the children's story when they stormed her homestead seeking refuge.
"I could not immediately buy their story but when they insisted, we then went to the scene as local elders. When we arrived at the scene in the company of the boys we were so disappointed and, Mr Machona, who was among the elders who were present, threatened to beat up the boys as we all concluded the boys were fooling us after nothing unusual was discovered at the particular stump. Instead there were more stumps at the scene but the boys kept on singling out one stump although nothing came out of it," she said.
Mrs Mufari said she was then shocked when two local women came to her homestead on the same day claiming that they had also witnessed the stump talking.
"The two women indicated to me that the stump was talking to them like a male person proposing love. I then accompanied them to the scene and was shocked when the stump started talking. The voice was hoarse and it kept on proposing love to us while threatening that there will be no rain if we turned down its proposal. What is however frightening is that the stump only talks to women and children," she said.
Mrs Mufari said they have since approached the village head and he is expected to approach Chief Mazvihwa.
"The problem is that men are not taking the matter seriously because they are getting second hand information. The stump only talks to women and children. If women or children are accompanied by any male adult, there is nothing from the stump," she said.
Chief Mazvihwa confirmed the incident when he was contacted yesterday. He, however, said he was yet to visit the scene after getting a report from some villagers.
"I got information to that effect but the problem is that all my aides are men and the stump is said to be only speaking to women and children. It's really a mystery in my area and I am hoping to visit the scene," he said.
Chief Mazvihwa said the talking stump could be an angry spirit.