Prophet 'counsellor' persuades Zim man NOT to jump off bridge: Report

2017-05-07 13:17
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Harare - A man teetered on the railings of one of Zimbabwe's most famous bridges for three nail-biting hours, threatening to jump off - but was talked down by a follower of one of the country's popular "prophets", a newspaper reports.

The 25-year-old man was from Gutu and wanted to throw himself off Birchenough Bridge after a misunderstanding with his sister who he was visiting at the time, says the Manica Post.

The newspaper published a picture of the man sitting on the edge of the rails overlooking the murky waters of the crocodile-infested Save River far below.

A witness told the newspaper: "Members of the public and the police tried to convince [Daniel Muzvive] not to kill himself but to no avail."

"Police officers got under the massive bridge in a bid to find alternatives to assist Muzvive in the event that he threw himself [off]," the witness, who was not named, was quoted as saying. The arch of Birchenough Bridge rises 70m above the water - though it's unclear exactly what part of the bridge the man was trying to jump off from.

Eventually a passer-by stopped and started counselling Muzvive, according to the report. After three hours, he eventually agreed to get down. The Manica Post said the passer-by was an official in Prophet Walter Magaya's church. Magaya is currently one of the most popular and prominent "prophets" in Zimbabwe, whose exploits receive wide press coverage and whose public services often attract bigger audiences than any political rally.

Last month the former head of the State Procurement Board Charles Kuwaza committed suicide by jumping off the ninth floor of a building in Harare, the state-controlled Herald reported.

Cases of suicide were on the up last year in economically-troubled Zimbabwe, China's Xinhua news agency reported on Friday, quoting the New Ziana agency. A police spokesperson told the agency that men committed suicide as a result of stress "which was related to bread-winning roles as well as general expectations by society."

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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