Eight self-proclaimed prophets from Vadzidzi VaJeso Apostolic sect drowned while competing to retrieve a “holy stick” in Mazowe River.

The incident which claimed the life of eight people happened on Saturday at around 2 pm at the Hungumwe River which lies at the junction of Mazowe and Tsvinje rivers.

According to reports reaching iHarare,  ten prophets were involved in the ritual competition to select a baptist when they drowned.

However, only two of the ten prophets survived, states media reports.

The bodies of the deceased have since been retrieved.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has named the now deceased as Nickson Singano (29), Peter Marera (31), Tendai Marera (28), Alexeio Makombe (26), Tichawana Katiyo (32), Isaac Dokora (21), Lanciot Dokora(34) and Chriswell Kunyengerera.

The police warned members of the public to desist from going near water bodies.

In an almost similar development, three villagers from Mapanzure communal lands in Masvingo disappeared in July after plunging into a pool during a ritual ceremony.

The three villager were performing rituals on the banks of  Musogwezi River before they jumped into a pool along with two other villagers who were rescued after a prayer session led by Pastor Amos Chituru (49) of Manyangadze village in Mutasa.

The villagers are alleged to have been in a trance when they plunged into the pool.