Saturday, October 27, 2007

MIRACLE FUEL THAT MADE A MOCKERY OF MUGABE!

By Jan Raath in Harare.

When Nomatter Tagarira, a spirit medium, claimed that she could conjure refined diesel out of a rock by striking it with her staff, ministers in Robert Mugabe’s Government believed that they might have found the solution to Zimbabwe’s perennial fuel shortage.

After witnessing her apparently miraculous gift they gave her five billion Zimbabwean dollars in cash (worth £1.7 million at the start of the year but now worth one seven-hundredth of that) in return for the fuel. Ms Tagarira was also given a farm, said to have been seized from its white owner during Mr Mugabe’s lawless land grab, as well as food and services that included a round-the-clock armed guard on the rock in the district of Chinhoyi 60 miles (100km) from Harare, the capital.

More than a year later officials realised they had been duped. Ms Tagarira is now in custody, awaiting trial on charges of fraud or, alternatively, of being “a criminal nuisance”. Details from court papers published this week said that over 15 months, until July this year, Ms Tagarira convinced Cabinet ministers, ruling party heavy-weights and top army and police officers that by striking the rock with her staff she could produce enough fuel to supply the country for 100 years.

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