By Runesu Gwidi
A self-styled prophet has been jailed for one year for torching and destroying a house in Masvingo’s Clovely suburb, while trying to kill a goblin he said was behind the mysterious sickness of a woman who stayed there.
Jacod Chiruvo (23) was initially slapped with 30 months in jail by Masvingo magistrate Mr Takawira Mugabe for malicious damage to property at the end of a full trial, but Mr Mugabe suspended nine months for five years on condition of good behaviour and a further nine months were suspended on condition the prophet pays the owner of the house $25 000 for the destruction caused by the fire.
Chiruvo denied the charges against him saying he accidentally set the house on fire while trying to burn a goblin that was causing problems.
He claimed that the goblin in question was a “spiritual husband” of the woman he was trying to help when the house caught fire.
It is alleged Chiruvo was hired by two Masvingo women, Priscilla Chimombe (20) and Yvonne Bhake (32) to cleanse a house they were staying in Clovely suburb, which they believed was haunted by evil spirits.
On August 21 last year Chiruvo went to the house at night and told the two of the presence of a goblin he said was causing Chimombe to fall sick mysteriously.
Prosecutor Mr Edmund Mapope told the court that Chiruvo then prepared an unknown concoction, which he mixed with petrol and sprinkled it in one of the bedrooms at the house in an attempt to kill the goblin.
There was an explosion after Chiruvo sprinkled the concoction in the bedroom and the whole house caught fire resulting in widespread damage to the house, which was valued at $150 000.
The owner of the house, who was receiving medical attention in Britain made a report to police upon his return and Chiruvo was arrested.