In a matter some may find farfetched, a woman from Hurungwe District in Mashonaland West claims to be tormented by a spirit of a dead freedom fighter who died in 1979.
The woman says she is being haunted by the spirit of Cephas Sibanda, who was a ZANLA fighter who died with five others and were buried in Gutu District in Masvingo.
The woman named Chadzamira said during the spiritual manifestation, Sibanda is able to talk and can narrate what troubles him.
It may sound even weirder but CITE also managed to speak to Sibanda’s spirit through Chadzamira.
Sibanda desperately wants his remains to be exhumed and reburied at a farm, a farm that government authorities must allocate to him.
Chadzamira has been to Zanu PF offices, and engaged war veterans and other leaders about this matter but authorities are failing to honour Sibanda’s request.
Authorities do not understand how they can give land to ‘bones of a dead person.’
In an interview with CITE, Chadzamira disclosed Sibanda’s spirit manifested in her in 2020 when she and her family were still in Gutu.
This was after she had incidentally stepped on his grave while looking for cattle that had gone astray in the bush.
“We had lost cattle and we were looking for it in the bush when I stepped on Sibanda’s grave in August 2016. I started having dreams about him then on September 7, 2020, that’s when Sibanda manifested himself in me,” she said.
“Sibanda spoke to my husband and asked him for his permission to allow me to go to his rural home.”
Chadzamira said after her husband consented, they, with some other comrades from Gutu, made the trip to locate his mother.
However, Chadzamira parted ways with the comrades after some challenges who told her to continue.
“I then went with my husband to Zanu PF Harare headquarters where we met some other comrades who we went with to Sibanda’s home. When we met his mother in Karoi, she denied knowing him saying he was her sister’s child and not hers,” she said.
“We returned back home but my husband gave me money and advised me to go back to his mother. I went back with other comrades and that’s when she agreed he was her son.”
After meeting Sibanda’s mother, Chadzamira said she was given money to work on processing Sibanda’s documentation including the burial order.
Sibanda was also declared a provincial liberation hero posthumously by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on June 3, this year.
In the declaration announcement, Sibanda’s body was supposed to be exhumed and reburied at Hurungwe under Chief Chindu headman Mazerenganwa.
But now the challenge Chadzamira cites is that Sibanda yearns for land where he wants to be buried.
Part of Sibanda’s request is that she must also stay in that land as his way of thanking her for helping his spirit.
“However, the problem is officials don’t want to agree to those demands,” Chadzamira said.
In an interview with CITE’s Breakfast Club, Sibanda’s spirit, which spoke through Chadzamira, said he died with other comrades on their way to an assembly point.
“In 1979 after the ceasefire, we were heading to assembly points when we asked some women who usually cooked for us to prepare food for us but they added poison. The six of us died. In 2016 that’s when I manifested in this woman and spoke to her in 2020. I asked her husband for permission to use her to enable me to go to my rural home in Karoi, Hurungwe,” he said.
Sibanda said he was able to go to his mother, Esnat Sibanda.
“I want to be given land where they must bury me. This woman who has helped me must stay there. That will be my token of appreciation because I don’t have anything to thank her with but they don’t want to give me, saying, ‘Havapi mabonzo akafa’ (They can’t give land to dead people),” he said.
Sibanda asked for assistance in relaying his request to top officials because their subordinates were not acting on the matter.
“It’s not a matter of the authorities not believing the woman because there is documentation about me including burial orders but the comrades continue saying she can’t give land to her. They say she is not a war veteran nor a comrade and that she’s young. But I am here, I am the comrade and I am here speaking. Even comrades in Gutu know me,” said his spirit.
“My request is for me to be given land and be buried. They have been lying to me for a long time now and my bones where I was buried are almost protruding, as my grave is now just a metre from the ground. They must hurry and bury me then I rest this woman. She has a husband and family to take care of. She must work for her family.” Sibanda said he did not want to be buried at the provincial hero’s acre as he does not trust authorities.
“They may take that land away from this woman when I have said she must stay there. I will really appreciate your help. I now want to rest and so must this woman. have used her for a long time now please!” pleaded his spirit.