HARARE – To his vast family, Aaron Mhukuta — aka Madzibaba Wimbo — is just a father and cleric, but for some in President Robert Mugabe’s highly-superstitious Zanu PF party and government, the 94-year-old holds the key to the fellow nonagenarian’s succession.
Hence, there is a scramble and beeline of sorts to court the “enigmatic character”, in the vain hope that he can give an instant indication as to who will take over from the veteran leader.
Having correctly predicted Mugabe’s rise to the throne in 1957, Mhukuta has emerged as some sort of a cult and instant hit as followers, and Zanu PF bigwigs believe he is on the cusp of making “another pinpoint prediction” that could shape the 92-year-old leader’s topsy-turvy succession debate.
Among those reportedly seeking the Bindura-based faith healer’s help — and having had a painful outing there the last time — include Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other politicians opposed to his takeover.
The absurdity, if not bizarreness, of the story, meanwhile, is not only in the factional scramble for a 94-year-old, but that even Mugabe’s pseudo intervention in Wimbo’s alleged abduction has failed to produce results.
But such as is the Zanu PF leader’s affliction — with all things superstitious and just when he did by allowing a whole Cabinet to go, and engage “diesel n’anga” Rotina Mavhunga — that when he visited Mashonaland Central province he came out unstuck.
And when the Daily News on Sunday sought to hear it from Mhukuta’s family — who claim a desperate faction linked to Mnangagwa and led by brigadier general Douglas Nyikayaramba — is out to profit from their nonagenarian father’s supposed powers.
“According to his official documents my father was born on December 25, 1922 here in Mashonaland Central and received Godly visions and started seeing angels when he was seven years-old,” one of his sons Abinashen Gomo said.
Gomo said by that time Wimbo was not a member of any church and only got to be baptised by the then leader of Johanne Masowe in 1935.
He started prophesying in 1945.
A close relative of police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri, Wimbo is said to have grown up without his mother after she died the day he was born.
“I was not yet born at the time but we are told that he then predicted in 1957 that someone with the name of an angel would be the country’s leader after independence.
“We have no reason to doubt that the man really speaks to God because as we grew up in the 1980s we used to see people with various illnesses including the mentally ill getting healed,” Gomo said.
His family also revealed that each time the country holds elections, Wimbo makes it a point to command his church, Johanne Masowe Vadzidzi Vajesu to pray for Mugabe’s victory.
“Since he formed his own church in the early 1980s, it is a tradition that we all pray for Mugabe to win elections. It is a church doctrine that we support the government of the day and he prays almost every day for the president,” Gomo said further.
“He has always been amazing because at times he makes prophecies without informing anyone that he is sending a prophetic message. He would just pretend to be telling a story and often we would realise it was a prophecy when things he would have said begin to happen.
“It happened when he predicted the coming of the US$ as far back as 1992 after one of our relatives David Muvhuti, had brought with him some greenbacks from the then Zaire (now DRC) where he was working.
“We were all surprised to see $100 because it was the first time we had seen the currency so we gathered to have a glimpse of it but when he (Wimbo) saw it, while he was seated on his shrine, he immediately called us and told us that the money would be used for gambling in the country,” Gomo said.
He added that his family and the church only realised that it had been a prophecy in 2008 “when people began to ‘burn’ money and the subsequent official introduction of the US$ by government”.