Prayer Session Turns Sour As Soldiers Severely Torture Two Men Who Were Praying:
In a tragic turn of events, a prayer session turns into a torture session. Two men were beaten up by soldiers while praying on a mountain top at the Resthaven Christian Retreat and Conference Centre 25km north of Harare.
On 13 December, Takudzwanashe Mudenga and Perfect Khumalo went to a mountain at the Resthaven Christian Retreat and Conference Centre to pray.
The mountain that is popularly known as ‘prayer mountain’ is located next to Harare Quarry an area where there is gold mining.
According to iHarare, Takudzwanashe Mudenga who narrated the unfortunate incident on his Facebook page said when they arrived on the mountain top and prepared to read the bible three soldiers emerged from the bushes.
“As usual, we were talking about Jesus and everything that we wanted to pray for as we meandered our way up to the hilltop. Upon arrival, I grabbed my phone and started swiping sideways looking for the Bible app to read a few scriptures and encourage each other before we started praying.
“Unexpectedly, I heard the breaking of twigs as three uniformed soldiers emerged from behind the bushes. The formation with which they were advancing towards us told me something was off. One of them was swinging sparkly handcuffs in his hand, while the second one was busy unwinding a rubber sjambok and the third military officer was not armed, Mudenga wrote on his Facebook page.
One of the soldiers then asked the two boys what they were doing on the mountain top and why they chose that particular spot.
When the two responded that they were on the mountain to pray the soldiers then ordered them to sit down and empty their pockets.
“…‘Hello, boys, what are you doing here?’ One of the soldiers inquired. ‘We are here to pray, Sir,’ I responded. ‘Why here?’ He asked. ‘Because it’s a convenient place without noise or other disturbances’,” I fearlessly replied.
“Come, sit here!” The soldier holding a sjambok yelled. Like sheep, we hoisted ourselves down to the spot he had designated. Suddenly, we were ordered to empty our pockets and put our cellphones away from us. “Manje, chibvisai hembe murare pasi makabatana uye makatarisa pasi!” [Now, remove your shirts and lay face down close to each other!] He snarled again.
Takudzwanashe Mudenga said the soldiers started torturing them with a whip beating them mercilessly telling them that it was their turn to die for Christ.
“Jesus died for you and it’s now time to die for him,” the officer continued. “Say, Jesus, I am dying for you!” We recurrently repeated his words as the whip went up and down our naked backs. Seeing their determination, it reminded me of how the Pharisees mercilessly tortured the character of Jesus as portrayed in the passion play.
“We squirmed, screamed and groaned but our voices could not be heard anymore. These men were certainly on a mission to kill and to destroy. The whips could be felt smacking and shaking the ribs. “Your Jesus got you in trouble, today,” they repeatedly said those words and two soldiers took turns on us, he said.
The three soldiers then threatened to push Takudzwanashe and Perfect down the edge of a cliff before they abandoned that plan and frog-marched them down the hill.
Takudzwanashe remembers thinking that he was about to die at the hands of the soldiers.
“All I wanted was to call my brother say, “Bye, we had a good time on earth. Remain in Christ.” But probably in the hands of the men who were trained to kill, I was not going to have that chance. I kept on asking myself, “What kind of Zimbabwe was this?”
When they arrived at the foot of the hill the two men were given another thorough bashing this time around they were naked.
“At the foot of the hill, there was a huge rock on which we were told to lay face down again. However, were had to remove all our clothes now. They began assaulting us as if nothing ever happened on the summit of the hill.
“Amid all this, I didn’t need to be reminded anymore who Jesus was, but I willfully shouted, “Jesus, you are the king!” Now the whip was landing on any part of the body open for business. I remember checking Perfect lying by my side only to see his head squashed under a soldier’s boot. It was horrendous! He cried as the sjambok ripped open his skin. Nothing could make him feel better except seeing the whip back on my bums. That was the only moment of relief.
The three soldiers continued beating and torturing the two men as they lay on the ground and were later released battered and bruised.
“You guys have been enjoying the show without me, it’s my turn now,” the officer watching the parameter said as he seized the sjambok. “I am going to whip them, then we go. You, how many whips do you want?” The question was directed to me. “I don’t know, Sir,” I replied. “No, give me a number!” He howled. “Two,” I answered. “Good. Two multiplied by two twice gives eight, boss,” the other soldier shouted. Perfect having noticed the trap I had just plunged myself into, he quickly said his figure was three. They all roared in laughter as they shout, “Fifteen” simultaneously.
“The two-striped officer whipped me twice and Perfect thrice like we had agreed but the other two objected our dismissal. Therefore, took over and battered us like stubborn oxen beneath the yoke. Then the words we dearly wanted to hear came out. “Wear your clothes and run!” I swiftly pulled my trousers up, grabbed my belongings and dizzily followed the path leading to where Perfect went.” Takudzwanashe said.
The two victims filed a report at Braeside police station.