IN an unprecedented incident that left tongues wagging, a mob from Sizinda suburb in Bulawayo reportedly ran amok and beat up a local pastor whom they accused of being a satanist.
Pastor Aaron Mumba of Shiloh International Ministries is lucky to be alive after his former church mates and some residents manhandled him. The incident happened last week.
According to an eye witness who requested anonymity, the drama began when the pastor's neighbours and former church mates approached him and ordered him to leave Sizinda because he is leading a satanism church in the area.
The eye witness, who is also neighbour to the pastor, said the allegations infuriated the "man of God" who called his congregants over the issue.
"The accusation did not go down well with the pastor who called his church deacons and approached the neighbours and former church mates on why they are accusing him of running a satanism church," said the witness.
He said hell broke loose when the mob and the pastors started exchanging harsh words before the mob started assaulting the man of the cloth.
"The mob started beating up the pastor before his young brother tried to rescue him but was also caught in the cross fire after the mob beat him up as well," said the eyewitness.
Another eyewitness who only identified himself as Trevor, said the scuffle almost turned tragic after one person, who was part of the mob, was pierced with a knife brought out by the pastor to defend himself.
"An ambulance was called to give first aid to the injured man but the ambulance guys refused to attend to him saying he should report the matter to the police first," said Trevor.
The source said the pastor had only his "gods" to thank after passersby and congregants later rescued him and his under-fire younger brother from further beating.
The bashed Pastor Mumba, who is well known in the suburb as Pastor Pepe, confirmed the incident which has become the talk of the suburb. The visibly worried pastor said indeed he was involved in some skirmishes with some residents who accused him of running a dreaded satanist church.
"The incident was just caused by people who are jealous. When they see some people prospering they then assume and conclude that the person is into witchcraft or satanism," Pastor Mumba said.
The pastor, who also denied that there was a person who was injured during the skirmishes, challenged those who doubted his church to prove that indeed he is into satanism.
"They must prove it to us that we are satanists. They must report us to the police if we are doing something which disturbs their lives. If people want to see what we are doing they must come to our church and we are willing to give them our discs so they see for themselves that we are not satanists," he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo were fruitless as his mobile number was not reachable.