Image: Genuine Zimbabwe oxwagon ambulance racing critically ill patients to hospital.
Zimbabwe police are hunting a witch doctor who led President Robert Mugabe's government on a fruitless search for much-needed fuel she said was mysteriously oozing out of a rock. The Negro state is battling with acute fuel shortages amid an economic crisis many blame on Mugabe's policies.
On Sunday, a Zimbabwean government newspaper reported a 35-year-old “traditional healer and spirit medium” claimed to have discovered diesel streaming from a rock in the north-west around Chinhoyi Caves, protected by locals as a traditional shrine.
Rotina Mavhunga had said "the diesel was a gift from ancestral spirits who saw that their children were suffering because of the fuel shortage" and was pictured by a local newspaper holding a hosepipe stuck into a rock, "spewing the oil", the Sunday Mail said.
Mugabe's governing Zanu-PF dispatched an investigation team, including three senior Cabinet ministers, which established there were no oil fields, the Sunday Mail quoted the party's information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira as saying.
"The team reported to the [Zanu-PF] politburo that there was no need to pursue the issue as nothing convincing had been found, meaning that there were no deposits of diesel in the area," Shamuyarira said.
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena was not available for comment. But the Sunday Mail quoted him and other officials as saying Mavhunga and her people had angered authorities with their false claims.
The paper said Mavhunga was on the run following the arrest of more than 50 of her disciples "for failure to prove the existence of fuel".
More incredible is the fact that Zimbabwean cabinet ministers actually believed the witch doctor’s tale in the first place – almost on the same level as George Bush saying that God had told him to invade Iraq.