A Windhoek man who lost his household furniture, clothing and linen after his wife threw them out believing that the items are harbouring demons, is appealing to Good Samaritans for help.
The man, who is a civil servant, said his wife was admitted at the psychiatric unit of a local hospital last week, while the children are in the care of family members. The hospital says the woman is in a “confused state”.
The woman also refused to eat or drink during the past week claiming she was fasting.
The once happy family of six is now living apart following the incident and admission to hospital of the mother. The woman’s strange behaviour prompted the man to take her to the hospital with the assistance of the police. The man, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he found the house bare when he returned from a work-related trip out of town.
According to the man, the strange behaviour surfaced in 2013 when his wife of 12 years started throwing their belongings away one by one claiming they had “line of curses”. This was after the woman and her younger sister, who was suffering from a mental problem at that time, became members of a Pentecostal church to get help.
“She felt the church was helping her but she started developing problems. She said there was a spirit and that God told her to leave her job,” said the husband. “She told me she was fulfilling God’s wish and doing what the Almighty wants. During the same period his wife also dropped her Masters’ studies that she was pursuing with a local tertiary institution, he said.
The man also told Namibian Sun that his wife said God tells her through her prayers and dreams that she must break things that have a line of curses.
“Before the kitchen was emptied out, I took her to the hospital as far back as 2013 and called the church. They said it was against their laws to throw food away while there are people starving, or breaking things in the house.”
He added that when his wife was admitted to the psychiatric ward for the first time, she refused to take medication because, as she said, her Lord did not want her to and thereafter she started throwing away clothes.
Last month the man travelled out of town on a work-related trip and one of his wife’s friends called him to ask what was happening at their home as the windows had no curtains. When he returned home he found the house bare.
However, the man also said his wife’s behaviour had normalised during 2014 but that she relapsed this year.
“Her singing is non-stop and loud,” said the man who added that when his wife starts to read the Bible she will read from Genesis to Revelations.
The man took Namibian Sun on a tour of the house.
“She threw out everything. There was a fridge there. I found it outside in the yard but I brought it back in the house,” said the man and added that his wife throws out the valuables when he is not around.
He said at one time the wife refused to go into the kitchen. She brought pots and a portable stove to the bedroom and started to cook the meals in the bedroom. However later, she began to throw out everything.
“I found this blanket and some clothes including the children’s school uniforms thrown in the riverbed next to the house and brought them back,” the emotionally distraught husband said and added that he now sleeps on thin blankets on the floor.
“It is not easy to lose property. It’s bad. I don’t know where to start. My salary is small that’s why I am asking for assistance,” the man pleaded.
Head of Chaplain Namibian Police in Khomas Region Warrant Officer Hafeni Mwaningange who is dealing with the matter expressed concern about some churches.
“I am not 100% sure if the church is the cause but I think it could be depression and the charismatic churches,” he said.
He urged government to do something immediately.
“I don’t have a problem with Namibia being secular state or freedom of religion but I have a problem with how it is regulated. There should be control and requirements (on churches and pastors) just like with other professions,” said Mwaningange.
Appealing for help from Good Samaritans, Mwaningange said he is worried that if the woman comes to her senses and is released from hospital and finds the house empty and told that she was responsible, she might lose her mind permanently.
“My appeal is to Good Samaritans to assist this man in any way they can. He has children, a house and other needs to take care of and his salary is small.” Interested members of the public who wish to help can go through Mwaningange’s office. He can be reached on 0812703726.
WINDHOEK SELMA IKELA