In a shocking case that has sent shockwaves through Chimanimani, a local church bishop stands accused of unspeakable abuse against his own son.
Joseph Nemaramba, a paraplegic young man, was discovered in a deplorable state after two years of captivity in a locked room.
His father, Namatai Nemaramba, a bishop in the Zion Sabbath Christian Church, is now facing serious allegations of neglect, abuse, and even spiritual exploitation.
Joseph Nemaramba, 21, was rescued by the community, led by Acting Chief Saurombe, after years of isolation.
He was found in a malnourished and injured state, unable to speak or walk.
Joseph’s aunt, Mrs. Susan Mukocheya Nemaramba, had not seen her nephew for years and had feared he was dead.
“He went to school with my son years ago and then shockingly became paraplegic. From then onwards, he was kept indoors. He stopped talking. He was not allowed to have visitors or enjoy fresh air.
“Over the years I would ask my grandson about Joseph’s whereabouts. I was told that Joseph was now staying in Harare, but also concluded that he might have died and was buried secretly.
“I am actually the one who tipped off Acting Chief Saurombe about the issue because one of Namatai’s daughters accused me of bewitching her brother,” said Mrs Mukocheya Nemaramba.
After his rescue, Joseph was immediately taken to Biriiri Mission Hospital and later transferred to Mutambara Mission Hospital for medical care and psychological counselling. Thankfully, his condition has improved, and he is now able to converse with doctors and is learning to walk again.
“I still have chest pains, but I am now feeling better. I am now learning to walk at the physiotherapy ward,” Joseph said.
The Manica Post reports that Bishop Namatai Nemaramba later confessed to holding his son captive for two years and causing his illness.
He claimed he believed that keeping Joseph isolated would enhance his spiritual powers and attract more church members.
He even surrendered church items allegedly used in rituals that caused Joseph’s condition.
However, he later alleged that he made the confession under duress, adding complexity to the case.
Acting Chief Saurombe strongly condemned the inhumane act and called for condemnation from all sections of society.
The community is planning to retrieve additional tools of the trade allegedly used in the abuse.
Village Head, Stephany Nemaramba, expressed disbelief over the treatment of Joseph, stating that the room in which he was kept captive was always locked.
The Zion Sabbath Christian Church sect members also expressed shock and disappointment in their bishop’s actions, calling for his resignation.
“Joseph is recovering well. His condition could have been much better if he had been exposed to proper medical care early.
‘‘It is disheartening to know that someone that we respected and acted as our spiritual father would abuse his own child like this.
“He is not worth being a leader and should step down from the bishop’s position. It is clear that he was using his son for rituals to increase his flock. We feel cheated and betrayed,” said Mr Mukuche.
While the matter has been reported to the police, Namatai Nemaramba has not been arrested as of yet. Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Norbert Muzondo, confirmed that they are yet to receive the report.
Acting Chief Saurombe has adjourned the matter to this Sunday, and further legal action is expected.
This heart-wrenching story sheds light on a man of God’s alleged descent into darkness, as the community grapples with the shocking abuse suffered by Joseph Nemaramba during his two-year captivity.
The search for justice and accountability continues as authorities investigate this disturbing case.