THE FAMILY of a 20-year-old Chinhoyi girl, who last week claimed she was possessed by the spirit of her late father and dug up the yard and garden at the house where she said he had stashed his loot more than 13 years ago but found nothing, has abandoned the search.
The family went on a rampage last week, digging the yard of a house in Chinhoyi where the dead man used to rent with his family before his arrest. They were searching for his loot but called it off after going on a wild goose chase.
The girl’s father, Vincent Matope Gavi, was arrested and convicted for robbery in 2008 together with two accomplices after robbing a foreigner of US dollars and South African rands and died in prison eight years later and was buried in Rafingora in 2016.
His brother, Mr Nomore Gavi, confirmed the family had given up the digging as they now seek to consult a self-styled prophet on the way forward.
“We are still convinced that the money is still somewhere in that the place as directed by the late through his daughter, Melissa and also confirmation by a local prophet,” he said.
Mr Gavi who still believes the loot was stashed at the house and claimed the spirit of his dead brother was looking over his family and he believed the daughter was channelling the spirit.
He added that the difficulties in locating the money could have been as a result of the presence of the police officers whom he said were previously said by the prophet as a barrier to progress.
The daughter, Mellisa Mutandwa, accompanied by Nomore and other family members last Wednesday went to the house near Chikonohono Clinic, apparently in a trance, where she started scrounging the ground searching for the buried fortune.
Upon realising the family was digging, the owner of the house, Ms Anna Liwanga Lukupa, restrained them as it was dark, but the group defied her and continued searching for the loot before Ms Lukupa alerted the police, leading to the arrest of the family.
Speaking to The Herald, the deceased’s widow, Nelia Mutandwa, said she did not doubt what the spirit said, saying her daughter was still a toddler when her husband was arrested.
“She then came here in the trance and started digging in search of the said money in company of her uncle Nomore Gavi who is also my late husband’s brother. I was then informed that my daughter, brother-in-law and other family members who had accompanied her were arrested by the police for unlawful entry,” she said.
As a family, she added, they had respected the dead’s spirit by searching for the money.
Mellisa also told the family that her father had bought several properties before his arrest which he would reveal to the family when his spirit visits the family again
He said after the first incident, they later engaged Ms Lukupa over the said hidden fortune for them to continue with the search. Mellisa Mutandwa who spent a night at the police cells for unlawful entry following the hullabaloo, told The Herald that she did not know how she had walked from her home to the were the loot is said to be stashed, as she was possessed.
“I only remember waking up from what I feel was a dream, having destroyed part of a maize feed as they say I was looking for the money. My mother told me that my late father’s spirit had spoken through me directing the where the money was,” she said.
The family had earlier been told by a local self-styled prophet that the issue would attract media and police attention. By Thursday, the home where the loot is believed to have been stashed was heavily guarded by members of the police while efforts to locate the fortune had yielded no results by yesterday.
Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove professed ignorance over the matter and referred all questions to Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi who could not be contacted yesterday on whether the state would confiscate the loot once found but some police officers at Chemagamba Police Station confirmed the incident and said the search had yielded nothing.