Just about everyone in Zimbabwe loves Christmas. Including criminals.
The holidays are prime time for burglaries and other serious crimes, and every year the police issue several public statements around this time of year to help the law-abiding citizens reduce the likelihood of being targeted by criminals.
Apart from the police, and the odd dose of mob justice, this year criminals also have to contend with a stern warning from Mr Martin Madzura, better known to Zimbabweans as Madzibaba Gamba.
The self-styled prophet has made a name for himself with his “back-to-sender” antics, where he says he literally sends curses boomeranging back to their source.
Madzibaba Gamba has promised “hell” to festive season party poopers.
“Criminals do not go on vacation … Instead, they will be out in full force as they take advantage of the merrymaking. Just like the criminals, I am not taking a holiday break since I will be fighting crime,” Madzibaba Gamba has declared.
Madzibaba Gamba says he has charms that can put thieves in a sticky situation, literally.
“Using my charms, I can ring-fence homes and properties and those that break in might find themselves in a situation in which they might fail to find their way out of the homes they would have burglarised.
“It is known that many thieves have been caught roaming aimlessly at crime scenes after I had ring-fenced homes. I am warning criminals to stay away from their evil deeds.”
Sekuru Kamwelo Banda, a traditional healer, says he, too, has something in store for those who would seek to ruin other people’s festivities.
“The deadly effects of traditional charms, when they are used to punish those that commit crime, are known.
“We have had instances in which cattle rustlers and other criminals have died in mysterious circumstances, with some bellowing like bulls.
“This is a warning to those that break into homes. We have ways of dealing with them and we patiently await them.”
Perhaps the grinches who are thinking of stealing Christmas will consider this fair warning.