Spare the rod and spoil the flock!…Prophet uses violence to discipline congregants

Prophet Simabyu Shiri in police custody

PERHAPS he was being Biblical after all. For Proverbs 26:3 says “A whip for a horse, a bridle for the ass and a rod for the fool’s back,” but some of the congregants would have none of it, and reported to the police a Kwekwe prophet who was in the habit of “disciplining” them leading to his arrest.

Prophet Simabyu Shiri (35) of Springs of Living Waters Ministries who was allegedly in the habit of assaulting members of his ministry including some of his security team, if they did what he deemed wrong, found himself at loggerheads with the law after some congregants reported him to the police.

The congregants alleged that the beatings have been going on for a while with congregants choosing to remain mum about it as they never saw it as abuse, but believed it was acceptable, coming from the anointed man of God. All hell broke loose, however, when, at a date unspecified, the prophet allegedly assaulted Ms Violet Ndhleleni (54) after accusing her of spreading falsehoods about him. During the “disciplinary action” Ms Ndhleleni made an audio recording which then leaked and drew the ire of the public.

Ms Ndhleleni and two others made reports to the police leading to the arrest of the youthful man of the cloth. He has since appeared before Kwekwe magistrate Ms Mildred Matuvi facing charges of assault. He was remanded out of custody on US$50 bail. According to court papers, apart from Ms Ndhleleni, Peace Tapfumaneyi and Takudzwa Dube who are both members of his security team also filed assault charges against the short-tempered clergyman. Court papers revealed that, at a date unspecified, the two bouncers were slapped several times by the irate clergyman after their department leader accused them of not following church protocol.

In the audio which is doing rounds on social media platforms, Prophet Shiri is allegedly heard bragging about how he has disciplined other congregants. The woman who had been dragged to the church court by fellow members only identified as Mai Ndhlovu and Mai Mutema, was slapped several times for trying to explain herself with the prophet claiming that she was being disrespectful by answering back.

“You are speaking while I’m speaking, that is disrespect. I beat people who disrespect me, ask Toto, I beat him up when he came here and spoke nonsense,” the youthful clergyman could be heard saying.

This was followed by thunderous sounds of slaps which silenced the hapless woman. He is also heard threatening her with supernatural powers.

“I have the power to curse anyone. God gave me the power to curse using my mouth and if I curse you there is nothing you can do,” he could be heard saying.

The youthful prophet even went personal on the woman. “This is why you don’t get married. Who do you think would marry someone who talks too much like you. This is exactly why your husband left you,” he is heard saying.

The development has divided opinion in the community with ardent followers defending the prophet while others say he was wrong in assaulting congregants. “How can someone that young beat up an elderly woman. It’s like beating up his own mother. We cannot allow that to happen while we watch, we call upon relevant authorities especially community leaders to deal with this issue,” said a resident in a message on social media.

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