By Br. Alfonce Kugwa
An alleged mentally challenged woman entered the Uganda Martyrs Mission Church in Gokwe and profaned the house of prayer. The woman who is alleged to be mentally unstable got in to the church, locked herself in, placed her mobile phone and handbag on the alter and performed what is considered to be abomination of the holy place. The incident happened on 21 March 2023.
According to the Director of Shingai Pastoral and Training Centre where the Church of Uganda Martyrs Mission is located whose Parish Priest is Fr. Benjamin Moyo, Fr. Norbert Matongo, said the woman entered the Church and pulled down everything including the tabernacle which she broke into pieces. She strewn the holy communion all over in the Church that everything was in a mess. The woman also pulled down the stations of the cross. Fr. Matongo said they had to break the door in order to gain entry into the Church.
“A certain lady entered the Church around midday on 21 March 2023. She locked herself from inside and started to destroy first the tabernacle emptying all the blessed sacrament in two ciboriums and scattering it all over. She then broke the tabernacle into pieces and started pulling down everything on the altar and the lectern. All the Stations of the cross were also pulled down. The glasses that covered the 12 of them were shattered. We had to break the door in order to enter the Church while the woman was busy and in tantrums,” narrated Fr. Matongo who was still shocked by this woman’s courage.
The woman attacked everything bearing the images of Jesus.
The woman claimed to have been sent by God quoting Jer.1:4 which says; “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
In trying to establish her identity, Fr. Matongo said they later on learnt that the woman was a member of the Zimbabwe Christian Church (ZCC) and had come from the ZCC shrine (paDurawall) nearby where she had gone to seek for some help. Fr. Matongo said they reported the matter to the police who came to pick her up. When the woman appeared in court, she said her actions were a result of a dream that she had been having for three years now every month of March.
The court therefore recommended that she receives psychiatric examination by a Doctor before the court resumes on 4 April 2023. The Church is since closed for use till the proper cleansing according to Catholic practice that is done through fasting and prayer for three days before the blessed sacrament can be reconstituted.