Zimbabwe: Semi-Naked Sisters Cause Stir

Harare, Zimbabwe — ZHOMBE twin sisters have shocked the community by moving around semi-naked, claiming to be following a religious cult that seeks to "restore" what was practised in the Garden of Eden.

According to ZBC News, the sisters, Memory and Patience Ncube, were members of a group that broke away from the Seventh Day Adventist Church to form a cult in Bulawayo in 2004.

The group members were arrested and spent a month at Khami Prison.

While other members disappeared after the arrest and subsequent incarceration, the twin sisters and their two relatives reappeared in Zhombe to continue with their "religion" in their rural home.

Memory and Patience, who call them-selves King David and King Solomon respectively, have since formed their own sect called the Davidic Kingdom of Eden Sect.

According to villagers interviewed by ZBC News, the twins have divorced their husbands and abandoned their families, claiming they want to concentrate on their religion.

But the community has been stunned by the way they move around doing their chores, clad only in their under-gar- ments.

The twin sisters also move around carrying bags of sand and stones on their backs and five litre containers filled with soil to "show their strength and resilience, as it is considered necessary by their church".

Their shoulders are said to have become dark as a result.

The two, interviewed about their semi-nudity, quoted from the Bible to stress their point on how the world would revert to the Old Testament period towards the coming of Jesus.

The women's father, Kraalhead Ndlabambi, long ex-communicated from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, was shocked and speechless.

But he has formed his own church, the Seventh Day Adventist branch, insisting no one can claim sole rights to the name.

Meanwhile, the Zhombe community which referred to the twins as "angels" expressed dismay at their behaviour.

They said although they have tried to help the women, their efforts have been in vain, for even when traditional leaders apprehended them and tied them up,they still returned to their ways.

The area chief has also condemned the women's actions, blaming them for last season's poor yields.

The twins' weird behaviour follows an incident in January 2006 when police in Harare arrested two identical twin brothers, Tafadzwa and Tapuwanashe Fichani who went around Mt Pleasant wearing kilts covering only their private parts.

Although the Fichani twins were initially fined and released after paying an admission of guilty of $25 000 each, they were re-arrested for indecent exposure for their nakedness.

The "terrible twins" later appeared in court and sent for mental checks before they were convicted on their own plea and fined $300 000 each or five days in prison.