Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A desire to get rich quickly through crooked ways turned nasty for a gospel musician after a “traditional healer” he paid for rituals of multiplying money turned out to be a con-man.
Clive Barangiro, famed for compiling Apostolic Faith Mission church hymns in “Mimhanzi” series, was taken to a cemetery where ‘rituals’ to make him rich were performed, a Harare magistrate heard on Monday. Barangiro is the man behind 1990s hit “Kuguma Kwaswedera” that was popular on television programme “Psalmody”.
The musician fell prey to the “traditional healer” after responding to an advertisement placed by three alleged fraudsters in a local newspaper. He lost more than $2 000 in the process of trying to get rich quickly.
Elison Kapako (32), Learnmore Maisiri (34) and Ashley Marunya (26) have since appeared in court charged with fraud.
The prosecutor Mrs Idah Mateke-Maromo alleged that sometime in December last year, the trio placed an advertisement in a local newspaper indicating that Kapako, whom they referred as ‘Dr Chikaunda’, had the powers to make people rich and provided contact details.
On December 4, Barangiro called the given numbers and Kapako invited him to Mbare.
Barangiro met Kapako who was in the company of his accomplices and they drove to an open space where Kapako and Barangiro disembarked.
Kapako, the court heard, ordered Barangiro to surrender $50 on the pretext he wanted to perform some rituals, saying the money would multiply to $50 000.
Barangiro complied and gave Kapako the money which he blew and put in a bag.
It is the State’s case that Kapako ordered Barangiro not to eat at home on that day, but instead should buy food from an expensive outlet and keep the receipts, an act he said was part of the initiation to make him rich.
He was ordered to return the following day and when he turned up they went to a house in Mbare that was said to be Kapako’s office.
In the house there were herbs all over the floor which were spread on a white cloth, the court heard.
Barangiro was ordered to go out and bring some soil taken from an intersection.
When he came back with the soil, he was told to put it in a bag and Kapako covered the bag with a white cloth and they all went outside.
They later went back into the room and when they opened the bag, it was full of money.
Barangiro was told that his ancestors had given him the money which he was supposed to use after some rituals had been performed.
On December 6, Barangiro went back to Kapako’s ‘office’ and was ordered to smear sand on a sheet of paper. After doing so, there appeared some words inscribed, “Mwana wangu homwe wakaiona panodiwa kuti ugeze nezviuru zvitatu zvamadhora isu tinoda mvura yacho ndiyo yatinoda kushanda nayo. Tisu vadzimu vako.”
Barangiro was later told that his ancestors wanted $3 000 and he managed to raise $1 500.
On the same day at around 7 pm, the trio picked Barangiro at a service station in Mbare and proceeded to Glen View cemetery.
Upon arrival, Kapako and Barangiro disembarked and went to a certain grave where Barangiro was told to kneel and listen to the voice of his ancestors.
Barangiro said he heard a voice instructing him to follow instructions from Kapako and not to argue with him.
The voice later told him to put $1 500 on top of the grave and to sprinkle some soil on it.
He was told to bring the balance of $1 500.
Kapako allegedly remained at the grave and took the money before lying to Barangiro that it had turned into a stone, which he instructed him to keep in a safe place as it would transform into money.
On December 8, Kapako called Barangiro and instructed him to send the balance and he sent $500 through Ecocash.
Kapako later called Barangiro demanding $350 which he said was meant for buying goats for a ceremony purportedly requested by his ancestors before the stone could turn into money.
Barangiro became suspicious and made a report to the police, leading to the arrest of the suspects.