RESIDENTS of Pumula South in Bulawayo woke up to the strange spectacle of a dead snake wrapped in black cloth and stitched with red thread on its side.
The snake believed to be a black mamba, approximately one metre long, was discovered by Ms Liana Muparadzi, at the gate of her home at about 6AM.
Although the snake was dead, it set superstitious tongues wagging in overdrive.
Astonished residents claimed that the snake could have been a product of witchcraft sent to harm Ms Muparadzi because of cloth around it.
Some daring residents moved the snake around and observed that it was carefully stitched on its side with red thread while a black cloth was wrapped around the serpent in two different parts.
Some even claimed the reptile could be the so-called “money spitting snake” which according to urban legend, makes individuals rich through black magic.
However, one resident said people were just being superstitious as the snake looked like it had been dead for days.
Ms Muparadzi said she was at a loss for words.
She said she got worried the previous night as her dog barked incessantly.
“I had no electricity at the house so I had just sent my child to go to our neighbours and ask what time it was. As she was about to leave the house, I observed that there was something that looked like a snake at the gate. I ordered my child to backtrack as I advanced with a hoe. It was a snake but when I drew closer to it, I got worried that it wasn’t moving and more shocking was that it was wrapped in a black cloth,” said Ms Muparadzi.
“My mind raced as I tried to understand what could have happened, how it ended by my gate, who could have dumped it. I also connected the snake to noise that our dog made all night long as it barked non-stop for the better part of the night.”
She said she alerted neighbours before dragging it away.
Ms Muparadzi said what gets her worried is that the snake was found at her house when her child is writing Grade Seven final examinations.
When Chronicle visited the scene, scores of residents had converged.
Some of them questioned how the snake was carefully stitched.
“This doesn’t make sense; we have heard some of these stories that people own snakes but we just downplayed the stories as myths. But today we have come across this snake which leaves us very worried about its origins and how it ended up being there. We can speculate and all, but this is just a clear testimony that some people practise witchcraft,” said one of the residents.
Residents called police and local councillor Alderman Siboniso Khumalo to witness the spectacle.
“The councillor came together with the police and council rangers who took it away. They placed it in a sack before they left with it,” said a resident.
Mr Mbongeni Ncube, a traditional healer in the area said in African culture, such a snake represented supernatural danger.
“However, such danger can be averted if certain rites are followed. I’m willing to assist the family in overcoming this,” he said.
A pastor who declined to be named said it was clear someone was being mischievous.
“There is nothing to worry about here. It is obvious someone is just playing on residents’ superstitious beliefs. I advise them to just pray and forget about it,” said the pastor.