Man dies after taking concoction

A HAIG PARK man suspected of stealing $600 000 from his employer collapsed and died recently, hours after he was taken to a self-styled faith healer by his employer and made to drink a concoction to prove his innocence.

Takesure Julius was pronounced dead on arrival at Parirenyatwa Hospital after complaining of a severe headache and dizziness minutes after he had drunk the concoction.

Police have arrested the faith healer, Catherine Chirodzero, whom they are charging with murder.

It is alleged that on October 8, Julius was given $600 000 by his employer, Miriam Mutopa, to hire a truck to ferry maize from her farm in Chihota.

The following day, Julius is alleged to have failed to hire the truck, prompting the employer who was in Chihota, to return home to check on what had happened.

Julius is said to have told his employer that the $600 000 she had given him the previous day had been stolen.

Police reports indicate that Mutopa, who is a member of the Apostolic sect, consulted Chirodzero after Julius denied anything to do with the disappearance of the money.

Chirodzero is alleged to have told Mutopa that Julius knew something about the stolen money.

She told Mutopa to bring her employee to church the following day.

Julius was brought to church on that particular day but denied stealing the money when quizzed by the faith healer.

It is alleged the two were asked to go back home and bring with them soil from Mutopa’s house, which they would use to carry out a ritual that would prove Julius’ innocence.

Chirodzero told the police that when the two had brought the soil last Saturday, she poured it into two clay plates.

She later mixed it with some water which she poured from a bucket and asked the two to hold the clay plates.

The prophet then prayed before she ordered them to drink the soil and water mixture.

It is alleged a few minutes later, Julius complained of a headache and dizziness.

He is said to have confessed to the prophet that he had converted the money to his own use after his condition deteriorated during the church service.

Mutopa later took Julius home but his condition worsened that Saturday night.

He was then rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police have collected samples of the water believed to have been consumed by Julius for forensic testing.

There are suspicions that police could have been given the wrong water to conceal any evidence of suspected poisoning.

"A number of investigations will be conducted including an autopsy that will ascertain the cause of death but at the moment the prophet is in our custody," a senior police officer said.