A 22-year-old traditional healer, who is also a member of Zion Church in Chadiza district, has died after allegedly being buried alive by his church members.
Eastern Province Commissioner of Police, Geza Lungu, says James Sakala of Mpeta Village in Chief Maguya’s area was allegedly buried alive by his church mates, Lawrence Daka a Pastor, Pearson Phiri and Patrick Daka, all of Mtali village in Chief Mwangala’s area in District Chadiza.
Mr. Lungu told Breeze FM News that the incident occurred on Sunday when Sakala allegedly went to administer traditional medicine at Zion Church at Mtali village as he was practising as a healer besides his faith.
The Police Commissioner said after a Church Service at Zion Church around 14 hours on Sunday, Sakala allegedly went into his spirits and told the Church members to dig a sizeable grave for him to be buried to demonstrate how his powers to rise from the grave works, which practise he is believed to be doing often.
He explained that some church members refused but that Sakala insisted and went ahead to personally dig some shallow grave using a hoe he borrowed from the nearby house.
After this process, Sakala voluntarily jumped into the said grave and shouted at the Church members to bury him so that they can witness the resurrection.
He says church members still refused, but one of the Church members by the name of Innocent Phiri stated that he had witnessed Sakala being buried and resurrecting to life, and that on the basis of the assurance, the trio decided to bury the victim alive in the sizeable grave of approximately two meters deep.
He says Church members later started singing in the hope that Sakala would resurrect, but to no avail.
Mr. Lungu adds that members then decided to try and rescue him by way of un-burying him and only to discover that the victim was failing to breath, an indication that he had suffocated.
He says Police visited the scene of crime of about 45 kilometres away from the police station and that upon inspection of the body, it was found to be in a bad state as it was believed to have been exposed to sunlight and heavy rains while waiting for the Police to arrive.
He says the body has been buried and the grave has been marked awaiting postmortem and that a manhunt for the three suspects is underway.
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