ELIZABETH CHATUVELA, Senanga
EVERY minute, hordes of Senanga residents and those from surrounding areas are seen flocking to the house of Bishop Gilbert Nalumino to set their eyes on Mufalali Mufalali, the man whose family claims to have â€˜resurrectedâ€™ from the dead.
Mr Mufalali, 47, who is said to have died and buried on November 1 last year, has impelled shudders in a number of Senanga residents, following claims of him having come back from the dead on February 7 this year.
Although many people still have doubts about his identity, including the police who are yet to get the DNA test results, Mr Mufalali has already reunited with his â€œwifeâ€ Namate Namitondo, 39, and the five children the latter claims to have had with the former before his alleged death.
The reunion, which is being aided by prayers from Bishop Naluminoâ€™s church, Apostolic Foundation Ministries International, seems to be yielding fruit, although the truth about the duoâ€™s relationship is yet to be established because Mr Mufalali has not yet fully recovered his memory.
The only thing he remembers is that his father, a Mr Kabalube, who is in his 80s, allegedly sold him in Kaoma at the time he (Mr Mufalali) was very sick.
However, people close to Mr Mufalali, who include Bishop Nalumino, say the victim has explained to them that he was allegedly sold at a named farm in Kaoma where he was being paid 50 ngwee per day.
This story has infuriated Senanga residents who are â€˜thirstingâ€™ for Mr Kabalubeâ€™s blood, prompting the police to keep the old man in custody.
According to Bishop Nalumino, irate residents on Thursday last week beat up Mr Kabalube after he reportedly admitted that he sold his son in Kaoma because he needed money.
BISHOP Nalumino with Mufalali and wife his Namate.
â€œMr Mufalali has repeatedly said he was sold at a named farm in Kaoma, and when he first attempted to escape, he was beaten by the foremen, and he sustained a broken tooth in the process.
â€œBut the more he tries to recall what happened next, the more he gets confused. So for now, we are not allowing people to ask him questions until he fully recovers [his memory],â€ Bishop Nalumino says.
The clergy, who is temporarily staying with Mr Mufalaliâ€™s family, recalls that while he was preaching on Sunday February 7, his wife Mwangala, announced to the congregants that the man they had buried last year had come back.
The bishop explains that upon seeing Mr Mufalali, he recognised him, despite him appearing like a mad person.
It was then that Mr Mufalali was taken to church by his daughter Namasheke, 14, and wife Ms Kamitondo, as his [Mr Mufalaliâ€™s] mother is a member of Bishop Naluminoâ€™s church.
â€œWhen I saw this young man, I immediately recognised him and when I called him by his names, he responded and came where I was. However, his [Mr Mufalaliâ€™s] father and mother are still saying he is not their son,â€ Bishop Nalumino says.
Bishop Nalumino says the whole thing seems to have something to do with black magic, commonly known as mutukule in Lozi.
He explains that his family has encountered a number of strange things ever since they started looking after Mr Mufalali.
â€œThis whole scenario is an act of black magic, where witches or wizards like using items like a banana stem for their rituals. For an ordinary eye, one will be able to see the image of their late relative when in the actual sense, there is literally something else,â€ he says.
Bishop Nalumino adds that Mr Mufalali is slowly regaining his memory and is now able to identify people he associated with, including one of the pastors from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, who recently visited him.
He is confident that Mr Mufalali will soon fully recover his memory.
And Ms Namitondo, who claims to be have been married to Mr Mufalali until his â€œdeathâ€, says the result of the DNA test will not change anything because she has already accepted the man who has returned from the dead as her husband.
She is convinced that Mr Mufalali is her husband because of the scars on his head and on the back, which she claims to have remembered very well.
â€œThey can go ahead with the [DNA] test but whatever the outcome, I have already moved on with this man [Mr Mufalali] because he is still the same man I married,â€™â€™ she says.
She explains that Mr Mufalali traced his family after he identified his daughter who was by the roadside with her friends, on February 7 this year.
She says on the material day, her daughter Namasheke who rarely goes to the roadside, just felt the edge to go there and buy some fritters and sugar.
While by the roadside, Namasheke who was not present at the time of the interview, met her father who touched her by her hand and called her by her name.
Ms Namitondo further said her daughter, who was jittery at first, later composed herself after realising that the man standing before her was actually her father.
â€œSo, when my daughter brought him home, I was equally scared to see the man we buried standing before me. However, after I checked for the special marks on his body, I realised that he had not died after all. I will forever thank God for bringing him back to us, as we had even gotten used to the fact that we would never see him again,â€ she narrates.
Ms Namitondo also says what was found in the coffin after the police exhumed Mr Mufalaliâ€™s alleged remains on Friday were not human remains.
She says it was discovered that the jacket which the husbandâ€™s body was allegedly dressed in before burial, was this time around folded and placed under the head of the exhumed body as a pillow.
And Mr Mufalaliâ€™s 12-year-old son Mubita says there is no way he can fail to recognise his father.
Like his mother, Mubita says his father had a special mark on the back of his head, which he sustained after fighting with his mother.
The boy says he is happy that his â€˜best friendâ€™ is back to life.
And Western Province commissioner of police Charles Lungu says police have gone ahead to conduct a DNA test because the result of the blood test cannot determine a personâ€™s relationship with another.
Mr Lungu says the blood samples collected from Mr Mufalali, his father and daughter, have proved a group O blood match.