By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
A SELF-STYLED prophet was Wednesday dragged to court for illegal possession of a two-metre-long African rock python that he used as part of his paraphernalia to fake exorcisms.
The endangered snake species is valued at US$5 000.
Chusi Bhunu (31) of Village 2, Binje farm, Doma in Mhangura, appeared before magistrate Tapiwa Banda for plea recording, but the court indicated it didn’t have jurisdiction over such matters.
The case was then rolled over today, Thursday, when Bhunu is expected to plead before a provincial magistrate.
He faces a charge under Section 45 (1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, which relates to “found in possession of specially protected animal species without a permit.”
The state led by Review Nikisi said on 3 May this year Bhunu, who is also a member of the Bible Fellowship Apostolic Ministry, was approached by Farai Makumbi who was seeking prophetic healing for his sick wife, Neria Makumbi.
On the same date, at around 8 pm, Bhunu proceeded to Makumbi’s homestead at Plot 47, Jechenene, Doma in Mhangura to perform a healing session for the ailing woman.
It was heard in court that Bhunu was carrying on his back a black traveller’s bag.
As he got into his would-be clients’ yard, the ‘prophet’ took out a green sack containing the snake from the bag before placing it outside the house.
However, two family members, Takemore Chando and Edmore Revesai spotted Bhunu hiding the sack and confronted him over the suspicious luggage.
After failing to gather courage and give a satisfactory answer, Bhunu bolted from the scene and vanished into the darkness, leaving his ‘tools of the trade.’
The following morning, Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority game rangers were alerted of the python.
Acting upon the tip-off, the rangers arrested Bhunu who indicated to police how he duped people performing fake miracles using the python.