Juliet Mpofu, who goes by Gogo Maphilisa, a self-styled traditional healer from Gweru is alleged to be holding two minor children as collateral for a debt after their mother failed to pay two beasts for services rendered. The mother, Simangele Zimba (33), handed the children over in 2011, when they were aged 7 and 11, so that they could be treated for a rare foot disease. However, she failed to raise the money for the two beasts, resulting in Gogo Maphilisa holding on to the two children, pending settlement of the debt.
Gogo Maphilisa is reported to be taking good care of the children, sending them to school and taking care of their basic needs such that the kids are now reportedly no longer interested in reuniting with the mother. The matter has been reported at Gweru Rural Police Station and they are negotiating with Gogo Maphilisa to facilitate the release of the kids.
When asked about the issue, Gogo Maphilisa said:
The kids are in good health. I healed them. They are going to school. All I want is payment for the job I did. Just two beasts.
The payment of the two beasts is a matter of principle. It is also a matter of principle that children should wear good clothes, eat good food and attend school. I will, however, not release them as long as payment is outstanding.
…The kids’ mother also agreed that I stay with them while she looks for money to make a down payment in appreciation of what I did for them