THERE was drama when a Bulawayo-based prophet was forced to flee for his life after a gang armed with pistols and machetes stormed his church service while threatening to shoot him.
The incident occurred on Sunday last week in West Nicholson, Matabeleland South province when Archbishop Emmanuel Mutumwa leader of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu was confronted by the gang baying for his blood.
The eight-member gang is believed to have been friends of a gold miner from Gwanda who recently d!ed in a road accident on his way to Bulawayo.
The gang reportedly stormed the service and tried to attack Archbishop Mutumwa as revenge after he prophesied the gold miner’s death.
The gang approached Archbishop Mutumwa at around 5pm and instructed him to end the service saying he should follow them as they did not want the members of the church to be caught in the crossfire.
According to a source when ArchbishopMutumwa and some members of the congregation asked why they were being asked to leave early, one of the gang members reportedly drew a gun from behind and pointed it at Archbishop Mutumwa’s face.
The others then ran to their vehicles to get machetes.
Sensing danger, Archbishop Mutumwa fled in his car. The gang pursued him for about 30 kilometres and tried to force him to drive into a bridge, pointing a gun at him the whole time.
“He was (Archbishop Mutumwa) chased by the gang for about 30 kilometres along the Gwanda-Beitbridge highway.
“He later sought help from police officers and soldiers manning a roadblock near Makhado Business Centre. He narrated his ordeal to them and they later sought help from police officers from Gwanda Town who later escorted him to Bulawayo.
“Archbishop Mutumwa is now living in fear of being harmed by the suspects after they vowed to kill him.
“The suspects also harassed some church members accusing them of supporting the prophet. He went into hiding soon after he reported the matter to the police,” said the source who is a senior member of the church who witnessed the incident.
Contacted for comment a seemingly traumatised Archbishop Mutumwa confirmed the near tragic incident.
“It is true that a gang armed with pistols and machetes stormed and disrupted my church service while threatening to shoot me and later attacked church members with machetes. They chased me for about 30 kilometres while trying to shoot me. They only retreated after they failed to catch up with me.
“I am glad that I am safe, and that no one else was injured during the melee.
“I reported the matter to the police and they are investigating it.
“Violence is never the answer, and we should all respect each other’s beliefs and opinions,” said Archbishop Mutumwa.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said she had not yet received the report of the incident by the time of publishing. B Metro