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By Staff Reporter

A HARARE woman kept two lizards in her handbag thinking they would bring her financial bliss.

The unidentified woman from Harare's Kambuzuma suburb told friends her husband sent the lizards from South Africa "to spin money" in Zimbabwe, the official Herald newspaper reported.

The woman's lizards are said to have drawn a large crowd at the Kambuzuma 5 Shopping Centre, before a self-styled prophet from the eastern border town of Mutare sprinkled the lizards with a concoction following which they died.

The prophet, according to the paper, accosted the woman and insisted that she open her bag. After much resistance, the tearful woman finally obliged as the crowd swelled.

"The prophet said the creatures in the woman’s bag could cause an accident if she travelled with them on the bus," the paper said.

"A crowd then gathered thinking the two were involved in a domestic dispute. But on discovering what the two were arguing about, they pressed the woman to open the bag.

She took out a smaller bag, which was inside her handbag, and — to the utter shock and amazement of the gathering — two monitor lizards crawled out.

"We were shocked, to say the least," said a Mrs Yeshiva, who was at a nearby market said.

A local businessman then bought four litres of paraffin and diesel with which he attempted to burn the creatures, but they crawled out of the fire — to the further disbelief of the crowd.

About 30 minutes later, the prophet, who comes from Mutare but was visiting his brother, asked for some water and salt and began praying.

He later sprinkled the water onto the lizards following which they died.

The woman, who was visibly shaken by the event, said the lizards were young and small when they were brought from South Africa.

"My husband said we would be rich if we kept feeding them with mealie-meal," she said.

But the lizards, she said, were becoming a nuisance as they grew bigger.

"I could not leave them alone at home because they would always try to crawl out of the house. So I carry them around in my bag," she said.

The woman said they lived a relatively good life with the money sent to her from South Africa by her husband, but said she personally did not believe the lizards were bringing in any riches."

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