Eight self-proclaimed prophets have drowned during a ceremony in a river in Rushinga, Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe.

The prophets from the Vadzidzi vaJeso Apostolic sect drowned on Saturday, October 30. The incident took place at around 2pm at the Hungumwe River when the prophets fell into a trance during their annual Passover ceremony and stampeded into the river, resulting in their drowning.

According to local media, the prophets were competing to retrieve a “holy stick” in the deep waters of the river during a ritual to select a baptist. The provincial development coordinator for Mashonaland Central Province, Timothy Maregere, who confirmed the incident, said that their bodies had since been retrieved.

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