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8 Zimbabwe 'Prophets' Drown in Holy Stick Searching Ritual

FILE: Members of an Apostolic Christian Church group gather for a prayer meeting on the outskirts of the capital Harare, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (AP)

Eight people believed to be prophets have drowned in Zimbabwe while attempting to retrieve a holy stick from a flooded river in the country’s Mashonaland Central province.

According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, the “prophets” from an Apostolic Faith group known as Vadzidzi VaJeso, were taking part in a ritual to select a baptist in Rushinga communal lands.

The newspaper quoted the region’s provincial development coordinator, Timothy Maregere, as saying all the deceased were men and their bodies have been retrieved.

The Herald said only two of the prospective baptists survived. The deceased have not yet been identified.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was unavailable for comment as he was not responding to calls on his mobile phone.