A man who was 'locked' in 2008 after bedding a friend's wife and spent the last five years enduring excruciating pain from mysterious ailments, is now a free man.
Romanisi Mukura who betrayed his close buddy's trust and slept with his wife several times was set free at a cleansing ceremony held last Thursday in Muwi Village in Headman Landmine Madongoda's area of Nyanga.
He paid four beasts with a total value of $1 600 to Marunguto Tafirenyika as compensation for the illicit affair. The aggrieved Tafirenyika whose marriage to Christine Kadete, is now on the rocks had initially demanded eight beasts, but Headman Madongoda intervened and slashed the compensation to be inline with provisions of the Traditional Leaders Act.
Although Tafirenyika had long 'fenced' his wife's forbidden fruit from trespassers, Mukura was not initially caught in the snare because he was using condoms. Luck ran out when he stopped using condoms and opted for unprotected sex.
In an interview with The Weekender at his shop in Nyanga on Tuesday, Tafirenyika said he set free Mukura after he was given the money he had demanded. He said he had no hard feelings, but indicated that there were grey areas he was sorting out with his in-laws over the case. When asked how exactly he had "locked" Mukura, Tafirenyika spoke in riddles.
"That is my secret and, after all, if I tell how I do it, the juju will lose power. However, when I unlocked him, I begged with my ancestors to set him free for I had been paid what I demanded. In the event that he was going to default there was no way I was going to remove that curse because sleeping with someone's wife is as bad as murder. His days were numbered," he said.
As a result of the curse, Mukura had swollen thighs, stomach and private parts. He also developed a fontanel (nhova) which caused him severe headaches and non-stop sweating. Tafirenyika was also not at liberty to disclose how he unlocked Mukura, but Headman Madongoda whose aides were present when the cleansing ceremony occurred disclosed everything.
"When he was handed over the money he appeared as if he talking to his ancestors telling them to set free Mukura from the curse since he had been paid everything that he had demanded. He drank some traditional beer and spit the contents on Mukura's face. After that he gave Mukura some concoctions, which were in the form of tree roots.
"When he was handed over the first muti, Mukura was told to bath with the concoction under a tree after which he was ordered to speak on top of his voice telling the tree that the curse he has must be left here. He was also given two concoctions which he was also going to bath with using the same method," he said. It was not yet clear whether Mukura had improved since he failed to visit the headman's house on Tuesday as per instruction, but the traditional leader said his health had greatly improved. "He was supposed to be here to give his testimony, but I don't know what happened.
"However, I telephoned him on several occasions and he told me that he had greatly improved since the day of the cleansing ceremony. He wants this chapter to be over because he has endured a lot of pain," said Headman Madongoda. He said this was his first time to deal with such a case at his courts, saying it was an eye-opener. "We have learnt a lot of lessons from this encounter. First, it is dangerous to sleep with someone's wife or husband. Married people should be trustworthy. Secondly, 'locking' people is not good because of many reasons. This can cause death and whenever someone dies avenging spirits will come out.
"In the vent that Tafirenyika was going to die before unlocking Mukura what was going to happen to Mukura? This creates more problems than solutions," he said. Headman Madongoda said Mukura had travelled the length and breath of this country to get treatment from renowned traditional healers, but none of them were able to remove the 'lock'. It needed the owner himself to end what he had started.