A WOMAN who claimed to be a chief usher with the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries of Prophet Walter Magaya was last month found dead in a Botswana prison and is believed to have committed suicide.
PHD is one of the fastest growing churches in Zimbabwe, with many attracted by claims that its leader and founder can perform miracles.
Miracle crazy and prosperity chasing individuals have failed to resist the PHD prophet's miracles and teachings on how to become rich.
The chief usher was identified as Chipo Chakanyuka, 25, from Harare and was arrested in Botswana while trying to sell rough pieces of the world's most precious stones, diamonds, illicitly.
Chakanyuka had managed to smuggle the rough diamonds into the country through the Ramokgwebana border post together with a friend who was arrested when her luck ran out.
Wamorena Ramolefe, the Public Relations Officer with Botswana's Department of Prisons, confirmed the suspected suicide at the Francistown State Prison.
However, Ramolefe could not be drawn into discussing the matter at length, referring further questions to the police.
Superintended Lebalang Maniki of Francistown Central Police Station confirmed the incident saying the deceased is from Zimbabwe.
Maniki said investigations into the incident which has left the prison community dumbfounded are ongoing.
Informed prison officers who talked on condition of anonymity since they do not have authority to speak to the media said a middle aged lady was found hanging in the prison cell's toilet by other inmates.
"It was around 3pm when the inmates who were sharing the cell with the deceased reported to the prison officials that the Zimbabwean national had hanged herself using a headscarf," said an anonymous prison warder.
Prison warders described the deceased as an ever joyous lady and always claiming that God protects her from all adversaries.
"She was in possession of T-shirts inscribed PHD Ministries and countless bottles of holy oil with the face of Prophet Walter Magaya," said another prison warder, adding that the deceased claimed that she was a chief usher at the PHD Ministries in Harare.
Chakanyuka, who was arrested by Tshesebe Police late last month, appeared in the Masunga magistrates' courts on allegations of unlawful possession of precious stones.
She was remanded in custody by magistrate Goratile Moremi after the prosecution described the deceased as a flight risk. – The Voice