Eight persons who claimed to be prophets have drowned during a ritual ceremony while trying to retrieve a “holy stick”.
The prophets, who were from the Vadzidzi vaJeso Apostolic sect, drowned in a river in Rushinga, Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe, on Saturday.
According to local media, the prophets were competing to retrieve a “holy stick” in the deep waters of the river during a ritual to select a baptist.
The prophets were said to have fallen into a trance during their annual Passover ceremony and stampeded into the river, resulting in their drowning.
The provincial development coordinator for Mashonaland Central Province, Timothy Maregere, who confirmed the incident, said that their bodies had since been retrieved.
“The group consisted of 10 ‘prophets’ and only two survived,” Maregere said.
Mashonaland Central deputy police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Naison Dhliwayo, on Sunday, named the deceased as Nickson Singano (29), Peter Marera (31), Tendai Marera (28), Alexeio Makombe (26), Tichawana Katiyo (32), Isaac Dokora (21), Lanciot Dokora (34) and Chriswell Kunyengerera.