The business, science behind ritual killings

The murder of Thabelo Mazolo in Zimbabwe inspired Bruce Ndlovu, the author of the article reproduced below, to dwell on the phenomenon of ritualistic murders, muti or muthi murders as they are called in Southern Africa. The staggering details of recent murder cases in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are shocking. The author is to be commended for his frankness to expose and discuss these heinous crimes which have no place in the 21st century.  

Warning: the following article contains many graphic details as to how these murders are committed (webmaster FVDK). 

Murder economy: The business, science behind ritual killings

The suspected ritual killer, Tawana Ngwenya (right) and his disillusioned father, Buzwani Ngwenya (left).

Published: June 21, 2020
By: Nehanda Radio – Bruce Ndlovu

“You must cut yourself and spill your blood onto a mirror,” the message to Tawana Ngwenya reportedly read. “Gaze into the mirror and say out loud that you are selling your soul for riches. After that you must open the door for my boys to go out.”

The messages, from a South African sangoma, were allegedly part of a chain of instructions to Ngwenya, messages that allegedly led him to take the life of Tawana Mazolo at Matsheumhlophe, Bulawayo.

The messages were witchcraft delivered digitally, as the unknown sangoma, from his lair somewhere in one of South Africa’s nine provinces gave Ngwenya instructions on how to spill blood and in the aftermath, prepare for a life of riches.

The details of the alleged murder are gruesome. Half of Mazolo’s body, from the waist down, was missing while her breasts and palms were cut off. On the surface, the tragic killing of Mazolo already looks like a ritual murder. The grizzly details suggest that this indeed is the case.

After all, every once in a while, the pages of publications in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries drip with the blood of innocents murdered at the altar of self-enrichment.

There was the case of Edmore Rundogo, whose dismembered remains were found in Maun, about 500km from Botswana’s second city of Francistown.

Rundogo had left his home in Lobengula West (Bulawayo) in search of a better life in Botswana. Instead of the proverbial greener pastures on the other side of the Plumtree border, he had found machete-wielding men who savagely murdered him, ripping his heart out.

The five killers also cut off his hands, feet, privates and took part of his brains. The killers, after being told by the traditional healer that had hired them that they had killed the wrong person, had then tried to burn his body.

South of the Limpopo, there was the case of 10-year-old Masego Kgomo, a schoolgirl who was still alive when Brian Mangwale ripped out her womb.

During the course of his trial for murder, Mangwale would change his story three times, a fact that the courts took as evidence that he had no remorse for his actions. In one of the three accounts he claimed that he and a group of friends had taken the young girl to a traditional healer in Soshanguve, who gave them a concoction to drink before he dragged the crying Masego into a room.

The girl was still crying when the traditional healer returned with her 10 minutes later and started sprinkling something on her body.

Mangwale claimed the medicine man had then returned with a knife and a clay pot and ordered Masego to lie down on a bed.

When she refused, she was forcibly held down while the traditional healer stabbed her in the stomach, put his hand inside her body and removed something that looked like a ball, which he put into the clay pot. He also removed her left breast.

Mangwale told the magistrate he heard the others had wrapped the child’s body in plastic and drank muthi before dumping her body in the veld on the instructions of the traditional healer.

While his testimony kept changing, the courts were convinced that Kgomo had died after meeting the nasty end of Mangwale’s knife. A life in prison sentence was handed to the killer.

Body parts are big business in Africa, but particularly in South Africa where trade in human body parts is lucrative. In the race to get rich in places like the City of Gold, Johannesburg, some believe that the key to getting their hand on all that glitters is taking a shortcut.

Many Zimbabweans, like Mazolo, can trace their gruesome ritual death to powerful sangomas south of the Limpopo. While Ngwenya was the one allegedly wielding the instrument of death when Mazolo took her last painful breath, this is not always the case.

Middle men, like in the case of Mangwale, are usually the ones that handle the dirty work. According to South African scholar Louise Vincent, certain gangs specialise in killing people for the harvesting of body parts only.

“It is believed that certain murder gangs specialise in muthi killings. Unlike human sacrifice where death is the express purpose of the act, in muthi-related killings, death is an anticipated and accepted by-product of the garnering of human organs but it is not the main aim.

Indeed, it is often preferred that the victim remain alive during the process. When body parts, including internal organs, are removed while the victim is still alive it is believed that the power of the resultant medicine will be greatly enhanced. Depending on the wants of potential customers, the instructions that the sangomas give specifics.

“Sangomas seldom do the killing themselves. The order will include not only specifications as to which particular body part or parts are required — testicles for virility purposes, fat from the breasts or abdomen for luck, tongues to smooth the path to a lover’s heart — but the very specific manner in which they are to be collected.

“The use of human body parts for medicinal purposes is based in the belief that it is possible to appropriate the life force of one person through its literal consumption by another. For this reason, a victim is often carefully chosen — not just any person’s penis as a cure for male infertility, for instance, but that of a man with several healthy children.”

Those who grew up in Zimbabwe urban areas will recall how the shadow of ritual murder has never been far off the horizon. Some, no doubt, know of the stories of businessmen who are said to have suddenly turned rich after they lost a spouse or a child. That child, or any other loved one, is assumed to be the blood sacrifice that was necessary for their businesses to turn a sudden corner.

Such perceptions of course, may be nothing but jealous rumour, but they are not helped by actual cases like that of Robert Tazvireva, a bottle store and general dealership owner in Magunje who allegedly instructed Samuel Mushonga in 2017 to murder his own sister so he could enhance his business.

After Mushonga had allegedly fatally stabbed his sister and hacked off her head, he delivered it to Tazvireva who told him to hide it in a nearby bush. Such instances, have helped convince many that businesspeople profit from the spilling of blood.

“‘If the business is not doing well, get a boy or a girl’s head — someone who has a future — and your business will have a future too,” said Dr Gordon Chavunduka time president of the Zimbabwean Traditional Healers Association, once said.

Those who grew up in Bulawayo in the late 90s will remember the myth of men who reportedly drove around the city with a blood sucking frog, looking for unsuspecting victims to profit from.

While such urban legends have never been confirmed, they are an entertaining reminder that people live on the constant lookout for people trying to profit off their ritual sacrifice.

“I recall vividly growing up in one township in Zimbabwe. This was just when public transport in the form of the Toyota Hiace taxi had just been introduced in the country,” says Fanuel Hadzidzi of Gender Links.

“At that tender age, we were scared to death by the stories doing the rounds in the township of the disappearance of children. We were told how kids were being lured by strangers who promised them some sweets.

“The next thing, their bodies would be found in the bushes with some body parts missing. Rumours were that businesspeople were taking the children’s heads for instance to Durban in South Africa and were trading them off for the taxis. Weren’t we all scared!”

With claims of human body parts sold by vendors on the streets of South Africa and other countries, it may be a long time before ritual killings lose their lustre to those trying to make a quick dollar.

Source: Murder economy: The business, science behind ritual killings

The Limpopo River Basin (Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe). Source map: The Economist

What the **** is goin’ on in Ogun State, Nigeria? Alarming increase in ritualistic murders!

Killing for ritualistic purposes is rampant in Nigeria. In most states, ‘money ritual’ is a well-known phenomenon. I have already reported many cases on this site. In many states ritual murders are being committed. Reporting on these cases is erratic. Not always there is a follow-up, informing the public of any arrest made, or – in case suspects are arrested – whether they are put on trial, and what the outcome is.

Unfortunately, ritualistic murders or murders for ritualistic purposes are not rare in Ogun State, in Nigeria’s southwest. This year alone I already reported various cases, my most recent postings were on April 27 and March 15

Below I’ve listed four cases which happened during the past few months. Mind you, these are cases which have been reported. How many cases go unreported? To be correct, the fourth case, a seven-year old boy who was murdered for ritualistic proposes by his mum and step-father was already reported on April 27, from a different source. It does not make it less serious. I’m afraid ritualistic killings in Ogun State will continue, as they will in other states. How to end this barbaric practice?
(webmaster FVDK).

Notorious cultist arrested in Ogun State, confesses to killing three

Published: June 3, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

A notorious cultist, Adewale Adeoye, popularly known as 16, has confessed to killing no fewer than three persons since joining the Eiye cult.

Adeoye made the confession on Tuesday when he was paraded alongside 30 others by the Ogun State Police Command for different crimes.

The Commissioner, Ogun State Police Command, Kenneth Ebrimson, who paraded the suspects at the command headquarters in Eleweran, Abeokuta, accused them of involvement in cultism, armed robbery, murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Ebrimson said Adeoye, who has been on the wanted list of the police in connection with cult-related killings in Ijebu-Ode and its environs, added that he was arrested alongside five others at their hideout in Ijebu-Ode.

He said two locally-made single-barrelled pistols, one double-barrelled pistol, 11 live cartridges, assorted charms and Indian hemp were recovered from them.

Adeoye told newsmen that two of his victims were the killers of the leader of the Eiye confraternity in Ijebu-Ode, identifying them as Vandan, Koledowo and Abas.

He said he had been arraigned twice for similar crimes between 2012 and 2017.

He said: “I have been arraigned twice.

“I was first arraigned in 2012 and regained my freedom in 2015 because the complainant did not show up in court and they could not find anything incriminating against me.

“A few days after, the police came for my arrest again and kept me in custody for another two years before I regained my freedom again in 2017.”

Adeoye said he was the fourth in command in the confraternity in 2017 and later became the second in command a year later.

When asked if he renounced his membership of the cult after his arrest, he said: “I have not renounced my membership.

“They didn’t give me the chance because they told me that they would kill me if I renounced my membership.”

Source: Notorious cultist arrested in Ogun, confesses to killing three

AND

Ogun State:
Pastor seeking ‘power’ to grow congregation killed by native doctor for ritual

Published: May 27, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

A Pastor, Kalejaiye Ezekiel, who went to seek traditional power, has been killed by the same native doctor from whom he sought help.

According to available information, the pastor said he needed the power to draw worshippers to his church.

The Ogun State Command has since last month arrested the native doctor, Isiaka Ogunkoya, for the murder of the pastor.

The 48-year-old native doctor has also confessed to killing Ezekiel.

Ogunkoya told policemen mid last month: “The Pastor came to me for power so that his church would  grow.

“I used the opportunity to use him for my personal job.

“I mixed some sleeping solution for the pastor to drink and he slept off moments afterward.

“As he dozed off, I  picked a knife and slaughtered him.

“I am a native doctor and I have helped so many people, including pastors who want their congregation to grow, in the area.

“This particular incident happened because I personally needed human parts for a particular concoction that I wanted to prepare for one of my clients in Isoyin.

“When the Pastor came, saying that he wanted power so that his congregation could grow, I used the opportunity to kill him and used the needed parts for the concoction.

“I gave him some solution to drink and he fell deeply asleep and that afforded me the time to slaughter him and cut out the parts I needed for my concoction.

“I know I have done wrong, but I want forgiveness because if you go around and ask about me, people will tell you that I am a good person.

“This one just happened the way it did.”

The spokesperson of the Ogun State  Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the native doctor was arrested by policemen on routine stop and search duty along Isoyin Road.

Oyeyemi, a Deputy superintendent of Police, said Ogunkoya would be profiled to know how many people he may have killed in the same manner.

He said the native doctor would be charged for murder at the end of investigation.

Source: Pastor seeking ‘power’ to grow congregation killed by native doctor for ritual

AND

Ogun State:
Human parts dealers go violent after customers fail to pay N1m for ‘fresh hand’

Published: May 21, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

Alleged human parts dealers in Ogun State last week went violent following the failure of three of their customers to come up with the N1 million agreed for the supply of a “fresh human hand”.

According to available information, after the customers failed to pay for the human hand, the human parts dealers lured them to a bush, where they had them beaten thoroughly for a couple of days before releasing them on May 17, 2019.

According to the spokesman of the Ogun State Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police Abimbola Oyeyemi, the development led to the arrest of four persons involved in the deal.

Oyeyemi, in a statement on Wednesday, said the operation, carried out in conjunction with the Ogun State Security Outfit, So-Safe Corps, also led to the recovery of the fresh human hand.

The Command’s spokesman, who identified the buyers of the fresh human hand as Matthew Idosu, John Feyisetan and Samuel Adegbola, said they were arrested alongside a 40-year-old herbalist, Michael Itomu, by operatives of the Police and So-Safe Corps at Idi-Iroko in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state for being in possession of a fresh human hand.

He said the suspects, through Idosu, had contracted someone in Abeokuta, the state capital, who promised to get the human hand for them for N1 million for money rituals.

Oyeyemi said in the statement: “On delivering the hand, the dealers demanded the agreed N1 million, but the money was not readily available; this led to a serious scuffle between them and they angrily took away the duo of Samuel Adegbola and John Feyisetan into a bush, where they thoroughly beat them before they were released on May 17, 2020.

“It was the action of those, who supplied the hand, that made the whole secret to leak out and which eventually led to their arrest.”

He said following a tip-off, the Idi-Iroko Divisional Police Officer, CSP Sunday Opebiyi, detailed his detectives in collaboration with men of the So-Safe Corps to ambush the suspects, leading to the arrest of three of them in Owode-Yewa, adding: “Their arrest led to the arrest of the herbalist in the early hours of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.”

Oyeyemi said the fresh human hand had been taken to the Idi-Iroko General Hospital for preservation, adding that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Kenneth Ebrimson, had ordered the transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation.

He said: “He also directed that other members of the syndicate, who provided the hand, should be hunted and brought to justice.”

Source: Human parts dealers go violent after customers fail to pay N1m for ‘fresh hand’

AND

Ogun State: Mum, stepdad kill boy for ritual, bury him in upright position with parts missing

Published: April 26, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

Operatives of the Ogun State Command have arrested three persons, including the mum and stepdad, of a seven-year-old boy in the state, Pelumi Apalaya, for allegedly killing him for ritual.

The spokesman of the Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, revealed this in a statement on Saturday.

According to the police, those arrested were the boy’s mum, Adetutu Apalaya; her husband, who is the boy’s stepdad and a herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye; and his friend, Fatai Sefiu.

Oyeyemi said in the statement that the boy, who lived with his mum and stepdad until he died in Abigi area of Ogun State, reportedly slumped and died on the spot without being ill.

This was said to have aroused the suspicion of some neighbours who trailed Apalaya, Ogunleye and Sefiu to a bush, where the corpse of the boy was reportedly buried in a mysterious way.

The incident was then reported at Abigi Police Station, with the Divisional Police Officer, SP Tarkighir Joseph, leading a crack team to track down the suspects in Iwopin area of Ijebu Waterside, Ogun State on Wednesday.

The three suspects led the policemen to where Pelumi was buried.

There, it was discovered that the victim was buried in an upright position with some of his parts removed.

Oyeyemi said: “On interrogation, the second suspect, Fatai Sefiu, told the detectives that the boy was actually used for ritual by the stepfather (Ogunleye) in connivance with the deceased boy’s mother.

“He stated further that the couple had reached a conclusion before he was co-opted into the business.”

He stated that Apalaya initially denied knowledge of her husband’s plan to use Pelumi for ritual, but later admitted to the crime, adding: “She was dumbfounded when asked whether or not she followed them to the bush where her son was buried and the mode of burial of the boy.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson, has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.”

Source: Ogun: Mum, stepdad kill boy for ritual, bury him in upright position with parts missing

Nigeria, Rivers State ritual killing: University undergraduate, accomplice to die by hanging

A gruesome murder; a gruesome verdict. 

Warning: the article below contains graphic details which may shock the reader (webmaster FVDK).

Rivers Ritual Killing: University Undergraduate, Accomplice to Die by Hanging

Published: May 14, 2020
By: This Day (Nigeria)

Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has sentenced one Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike to death by hanging for the killing of an eight-year-old Victory Chikamso, a female for ritual purposes in 2017.

Also sentenced to death alongside Dike is one Ugochukwu Nwamairo, his accomplice who reportedly requested for the supply of the human body parts for money ritual.

Also, an ex-police sergeant who allegedly aided Dike’s escape from prison at night after his detention, Johnbosco Okoronze got one year imprisonment, for aiding and abating escape of the murderer.

Dike, a 200-level Physics student of the University of Port Harcourt, (UNIPORT), on August 18, 2017 allegedly strangled his victim who was also his niece and primary two pupil of a private school in Port Harcourt.

Dike perpetrated the act in his (Dike’s) room at Eliozu community, in Obio/Akpor Local Government of the state, where he also removed the vital parts of her body.

Chikamso’s body parts such as, breast, private part, fingers, ear, heart, eyelid, among others, were discovered missing when the remains were found with Dike.

He was on his way to the community central crash bin at midnight to dispose of what was left of the body of the child when he was apprehended by men of the community vigilante and was handed over to the police.

The duo, Dike and Nwamiro were found guilty of the two-count charge of conspiracy and murder levelled against them.

Sentencing them, Justice Enebeli pronounced that Dike should be hanged on his neck until he dies, while Nwamiro should be hanged on his leg until he dies (upside down).

The court explained that it decided to sentence the ex-police sergeant to just one year jail term because he has already served two years in prison from the time he was arrested, adding also that he has been dismissed from police force, since the case began.

He noted that Nwamairo’s conviction and sentence was based on Dike’s evidence-in-chief and voluntary confession/ statement on four different occasions that, the second defendant (Nwamairo), had requested the body parts of a little girl, including the heart for financial independence.

The court ruled that the prosecution proved his case beyond reasonable doubts, insisting that counsel to Dike, Lezina Amegwa “in his written address did not deny the fact that his client committed the murder but said he was not in his right frame of mind when he committed the act, meaning that he was mentally deranged and insane.”

The court verdict caused panic and serious outburst among Nwamairo’s family members who were present when the judgment was delivered.

His wife collapsed and was carried away by other members of the family present while one of the brothers, was noticed shouting on top of his voice, insisting that the brother was innocent of the crime, adding that the judgment was wrong and would be appealed as they cried profusely.

Speaking to journalists shortly, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Chidi Eke, described the judgment as landmark, adding that “it has brought about justice for the state, the family of late Victory Chikamso and the soul of the departed.”

However, counsel to Nwamiro, Mr. John Ndah expressed displeasure over the judgment and assured that it would be appealed.

As for Dike and his lawyer, Amegwa, it is all over with the case.

“We may not appeal the matter because of the circumstances in the judgment,” they concluded.

Source: Rivers Ritual Killing: University Undergraduate, Accomplice to Die by Hanging

It would be recalled that Dike escaped from police custody, using the darkness of the night to run away from the cell of the State criminal investigation Department, the night he was arrested and was re-arrested in Jos, Plateau state, two weeks after.
Source: 
Undergraduate, accomplice to die by hanging in Rivers (The Nation, May 13, 2020)

Uganda: successful surgery of boy rescued from ritual sacrifice

Warning: the article reproduced below contains graphic details of the heinous crime committed (webmaster FVDK).

Successful surgery of boy rescued from ritual sacrifice

The victim, Robert Mukwaya – ‘Doctors are confident in helping him improve.’

Published: February 25, 2020
By: Uganda Christian News

Robert Mukwaya suffered severe spinal injuries in 2014, it was thought he would never walk again. 

He had been resting in his grandmother’s kitchen in Mukono district when a witch doctor heartlessly dragged him out of the room and stabbed him in the neck, leaving him with a spinal damage and feet permanently facing down.

Robert was left paralysed, but the surgery he had on 20th February, 2020 at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Salt Lake City, USA might change his story.

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian charity organisation founded by Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga issued a statement saying the young man’s surgery was “all success.” 

He had a “big operation on his hip, foot and hands” among other areas. 

“More prayers for healing,” the statement read. “He has done very well this brave and strong miracle gem! His post operation recovery is longer, but doctors are confident in helping him improve.”

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries helps child sacrifice survivors and their families rebuild their lives and overcome the trauma. The organization has helped over ten victims since its creation in 2009. 

In an update shared online, Ms Anne Mitchell who interacted with Robert in USA before his Thursday surgery had this to say:

“Robert was unfortunately cut in his neck by a witch doctor. He was left with many issues especially in walking and using his arms. He was left a partial quadriplegic. Hopefully his surgery can allow him to walk and move much better. He will need considerable rehabilitation, but Robert is a wonderful resilient boy. Praying for the best outcome possible.”

Since 2014 Robert has undergone a series of operations, all aimed at seeing him walk again. In 2017, he has surgery performed at the John Hunter Hospital in Australia.

“On that day I left him alone at home and went to the church to pray, when I came back I found him laying on a mat in a pool of blood,” Robert’s grand mother, Yowani Nakiwala told Transterra Media earlier. “His neck was almost falling off, the doctors worked on him and dressed him with a collar around his neck.”

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga told Transterra Media: “The condition we find them is quite sad, those that die, we find their bodies completely a part – they cut the head and drain the blood – They can cut the stomach and take the organs out of their bodies. They are shocking incidences, shocking pictures. Those that survive need huge medical attention.” 

“Children are sacrifice because there is a growing belief that when you sacrifice a child, you get wealth, you get protection, you get healing and this belief which is a lie has spread all over the country and there has not been a tiger reaction from the Government or from people concerned to be able to educate masses that you don’t have to kill a child to get wealth or you don’t have to kill a child to get protection.
Wealth comes from hard work, protection comes from God and because people are desperately poor and desperately in need of wealth issues, there is a witch-doctor in the community who claims to bring healing, to bring joy and happiness and blessings – the people go to that person and they are lied and they are sent for body parts of children,” Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga said.

Source: Successful surgery of boy rescued from ritual sacrifice

Nigeria: two men behead eight-year-old boy for ritual in Niger State (2017 article)

Published: September 1, 2017
By: Dan Atori – The New Telegraph (Nigeria)

Police in Niger State have arrested two men said to be notorious ritual killers terrorising Bakajeba community in Paikoro Local Government Area for beheading an eight-year-old boy. The suspects, Abdulrashed Aminu (25) of Lupa and Ismaila Mohammed (27) of Makera in Paikoro Local Government Area, were arrested by the Inspector General of Police (IG) Special Tactical Squad attached to the Abuja-Minna Road.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Babaola Adewole, told our correspondent that the suspects were arrested for beheading Hassan Abubakar (eight) for ritual purposes. It was also learnt that one of their accomplices, identified as Ibrahim, is still at large and the operatives have intensified efforts to apprehend him.

The suspects, now being detained at State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Minna, had taken the police to the spot where the headless body of the victim was buried in a bush path.

They were apprehended about 9p.m. last Saturday at Minna-Paikoro Road junction during a stop-and-search. Aminu and Ismaila, according to the PPRO, confessed to the crime. They told detectives during interrogation that they cut off the boy’s head with two sharp knives.

The victim’s, Abubakar Shuaib, said his son was last seen on August 26 when he took a kettle of water from the house to give to an unknown person waiting outside. Adewole said the suspects would be after investigations.

He said: “Enough of ritual killers in the state. We will continue to apprehend them till they change to better people in the society. “We are on top of the situation and we are equal to the task. Lives of the citizens must be protected by the police.

“Niger State is one of the most peaceful states in the country and we will resist any attempt by bad people to take over the affairs of the state. It will not happen; our men are intact, ready for any eventualities.” The victim’s body, according to Adewole, has been released to his family for burial.

Source: Two men behead eight-year-old boy for ritual

Zambia: Pathologist testifies in ritual killing case

Scroll in the section ‘Zambia’- under ‘African countries’ on the home page (dropdown menu) – for related articles. 

Warning:  the article below contains shocking details of the crimes committed.
(webmaster FVDK)

Published: August 23, 2019
By: Zondiwe Mbewe   (News Diggers)

A State Forensic Pathologist has testified in the Lusaka High Court that after examining the body of an unidentified victim, he found an opening below the rib cage with the heart and liver missing, while the ears and penis were cut off.

The witness further testified that victims in the suspected ritual killings case died from blunt force head injuries before their body parts were mutilated.

Mubanga Mucheleng’anga was testifying in the matter in which a 30-year-old man of Lusaka is accused of murdering seven people in suspected ritual circumstances.

Nickson Tembo, a street vendor of house number 143/13 in Lilanda West, is alleged to have murdered seven people in Matero Township.

Details of the matter are that the murders were done between December 2017 and February 2018.

When the matter came up before High Court judge Catherine Phiri, Wednesday, Dr Mucheleng’anga told the court that on a date he could not recall, he was tasked to conduct a postmortem on a body found in Matero which was brought to him by police officers.

He said he proceeded to conduct a postmortem after seeing the order from the coroner, adding that he procceeded to prepare a report which he handed over to police.

Dr Muchelenganga said after examining the body of the unidentified victim, he found a chop wound on the forehead, abrasions on the face, scratches on the skin and a fracture on the skull.

“There was an opening below the rib cage measuring 35 centimetres, the heart and liver were missing, the ears were cut off and the penis was also decapitated,” he said.

Dr Muchelenganga disclosed that after examing the body, a pot was taken to him by the investigation officer containing a heart that apeared and smelt as if it was cooked, and a liver.

He said he knew it was a human heart because the way it appeared was consistent with other human hearts he had seen.

“The samples were not sent for DNA testing, we needed an expert in forensics to tell us if we can extract DNA from the cooked samples,” he said.

Dr Muchelenganga said a reconstruction was also done to demontrate that the penis was chopped off from the victim.

He added that since the cooked organs were found at the crime scene, it was logical to infer that they may have been obtained from the deceased.

Dr Muchelenganga further testified that other postmortem reports conducted on several other bodies by his fellow pathologists showed similar results as the one for the unidentified victim.

He told the court that findings from postmortems conducted on the bodies revealed chopped wounds caused by a sharp instrument leading to fractured skulls and brain bleed, which was the cause of death.

The witness identified some of the victims as Mabvuto Phiri, Levis Mwabuka and Jack Tembo.

Trial continues.

Source: Pathologist testifies in ritual killing case

Mozambique – Events of 2017 (Human Rights Watch)

Pedro Francisco César continua à espera de notícias sobre o rapto do seu irmão /
Pedro Francisco César still hopes to get news about the kidnapping of his brother four years ago 

Published: 2018
By: Human Rights Watch

Attacks on Children and Adults with Albinism

The killings, kidnappings, and physical attacks against people with albinism continued, despite government efforts to stop the violence, including several arrests. In Mozambique and some neighboring countries, people with albinism are hunted for their body parts, which are used for witchcraft.

In March 2017, the United Nations independent expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, told the UN Human Rights Council that the situation of people with albinism in Mozambique “requires urgent and immediate attention.” She estimated that more than 100 attacks against people with albinism had occurred in Mozambique since 2014. Many of the victims are children. In September 2017, according to the police, a 17-year-old boy with albinism was killed and his brain removed, in Tete province. Four months earlier, police uncovered an attempt by two parents to sell their child with albinism in the same province. In June, the Malawian press reported that a 12-year-old Malawian boy with albinism had been killed in Mozambique, and police had arrested five people allegedly connected with the crime.

Source: Mozambique – Events of 2017 (Human Rights Watch)

Political map of Mozambique

Amnesty International Report 2017/18 – Mozambique

Foto de arquivo: Crianças albinas em Manica (2017)

Published: February 22, 2018
By: Amnesty International

DISCRIMINATION – PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM

An estimated 30,000 people with albinism experienced discrimination and were ostracized; many lived in fear of their lives. Incidents of persecution increased; at least 13 people with albinism were known to have been killed although figures are likely to have been greater. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK). The killings were fuelled by superstition or myths about the magical powers of people with albinism. Most killings took place in the central and northern provinces, the country’s poorest regions.

A seven-year-old boy with albinism was murdered on 31 January by four unidentified men who broke into his house and abducted him while the family slept, in Ngaúma district, Niassa province. On 28 May, a group of unidentified assailants abducted a three-year-old boy from his mother in Angónia district, Tete province. On 13 September, a 17-year-old youth was killed for his body parts and organs in Benga area, Moatize district, in Tete province. The attackers removed his brain, hair, and arm bones. None of those responsible for the killings were arrested or brought to justice by the end of the year.

Despite public outcry, the government did little to address the problem. A strategy was designed to stop the killings; however, this was not implemented, allegedly because of a lack of resources.

Source: Amnesty International Report 2017/18 – Mozambique

Cite as:Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2017/18 – Mozambique, 22 February 2018, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/5a9938aaa.html [accessed 10 May 2019]

Political map of Mozambique

Kenya: Witchcraft tales in thirst for land put elders lives at risk

Introduction – under construction

A volunteer teacher Nguma Kiwala (right) talks to elders at Kaya Godhoma Centre in Kilifi County. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Published: April 13, 2019
By: Baya Samuel and Siago Cece

Hidden deep in the thicket, just a kilometre from Mrima wa Ndege township is Kaya Godhoma Centre, a sanctuary that has hosted tens of elders since 2008.

As we made our way in, we were stopped on our tracks, and told we had to undergo a cleansing ritual, as we were entering a cultural place.

“Let’s all stand up and form a ‘lungo’ (a traditional circle formed by a number of people gathered before prayers),” Emmanuel Katana, 45, the current chairman of the centre asked, and we all obliged.

For the next few minutes, together with the group of about 15 elders, we joined in their prayers, in Giriama dialect, thanking their gods for us, the visitors.

The prayers then ended with a handshake, signifying peace among the members. A brief introduction followed and later we were ushered inside the kaya minus our shoes, which we left at the bushy entrance.

KAYA MEETING

Looking famished, with despairing faces, several elderly persons trickled into the kaya meeting point, under a tree shade.

Some were dressed in faded shirts and torn clothes holding their three-legged stools, while supporting their thin frames with wooden walking sticks. The women, on the other hand, donning torn lesos, carried woven mats which they spread down for the rest to sit on.

Kahindi Ngoka cuts a figure of a man weighed down by worry. At 76, Mr Ngoka is bitter at how his family turned against him, as they eyed his prime land in Kilifi.

Mzee Ngoka was branded by his own wife and children a witch, before they attempted to harm him. All along, their prime target was his one-and-half-acre prime land.

WITCH

“The problem started in 2011, when my children accused me of being a witch. I defended myself, even suggesting that we go to a local witch buster called Mwasamani in Kwale County. Even when the ‘witch buster’ exonerated me, they didn’t stop,” Mr Ngoka said.

As he tried to ignore their accusations, the family upped the stakes by tricking him into a meeting at his eldest son’s house. “As soon as I entered, the doors were locked from outside and I knew that was the end. I had to act, sneaking through the thatched roof, and I escaped,” Mr Ngoka said.

What Mr Ngoka didn’t know was that a plan had already been hatched to push him out so that his land could be sold.

“Barely weeks after I escaped and came to Kaya Godhoma, I received news that part of my land had been sold and that one of my family members had gone to court to stop the sale,” Mzee Ngoka said. “I later realised that all the troubles were the plan of my wife and some of my children. They branded me a witch so that they could sell part of my land. I leave it to God,” he said.

WORRIES

Karisa Ndhudhi’s gait depicts a man burdened by worries about his life. The 63-year-old native of Konjora village in Kilifi, struggles to control his emotions, as he narrates his near death ordeal.

“I arrived here in August of 2017, having escaped death after a section of my family turned against me, branding me a witch. My problems started immediately after the death of my wife on December 24, 2013,” said Mr Ndundhi.

Immediately after her death, after a long illness, word went round that he was responsible for it, as he had bewitched her.

“Since I wanted to prove to them that I was not a witch, we went to a witchdoctor in Kwale, who exonerated me, after performing a ritual,” he said.

Thinking that he was off the hook, Mzee Ndundhi returned home, unaware that the worst was yet to come.

CHOLERA

“Four years later, in July 2017, my third born son contracted cholera, but unfortunately despite the quick medical intervention, he passed on. Hours after my son’s death, I was again accused of bewitching him and the villagers and part of my family members descended on me with stones,” he said.

As the youths stoned him, an assistant chief called officers from the nearby Ngerenya police post, who rescued the hapless old man.

“I was then taken to Chumani village where our larger family resides,” he said. “At Chumani, a decision was arrived that he must be taken to Kaya Godhoma.

“I still love my home but I fear that once I return, they will kill me. Now my land is at stake and I have heard that there is someone seeking to purchase it, with the help of my other children,” he said.

SAD TALES

Katana Thuva, 60, died a dejected bitter man. On paper, he was worth millions but in reality, he died a pauper, surrounded by elders who were also in the same predicament, offering nothing more than companionship and sad tales.

At the time of his death in October last year, Mzee Thuva owned a half-acre plot in Watamu, second row to the beach, which the current market value stands at Sh20 million.

He was also accused of practising witchcraft, even as he said his family was out to kill him, as they sought to sell his prized possession.

Mzee Ngoka and Ndhudhi’s predicament paint the sad picture facing hundreds of other elders in Kilifi and Kwale counties, which are being dispossessed off their prime land, some touching on the beaches, by money thirsty children, who want to make a quick killing from the black gold.

SOUGHT REFUGE

The elders have all sought refuge at the Kaya Godoma in Kilifi, a centre that offers them safe refuge; whiling time away, nursed by the haunted memories of their past, and the very resource they say connects them to their forefathers – land.

Within the Coastal counties, land ownership is still an emotive issue with the resource notably the cause of the killing of most elders.

In 2018, killings in Kilifi remained high with the security agencies stating that there are about 108 cases that were reported in the entire county.

Most of those we interviewed at Kaya Godhoma Rescue Centre in Vitengeni, Kilifi County connected their ordeal to land ownership.

Even with much spirited campaign from the government to end the trend, scores were killed especially in Kilifi and Kwale counties.

A report done jointly by Haki Africa and Institute for Land, Governance and Human Rights has shown that land ownership tussles were behind the killings. In an interview with Saturday Nation, Haki Africa executive director Khalid Hussein said that the report focused on the three years to 2018.

KILLED

The report shows that in 2016, 41 elderly people were killed, while in 2017, 37 lost their lives. Last year, there were around 25 old men and women who were killed. “The main thing we found from the residents is that witchcraft was being used as a trigger of forceful land inheritance, with the children becoming impatient,” Mr Hussein said.

“We are currently undertaking a programme which we are implementing with local leadership in Kilifi and Kwale counties to address this menace.”

Poverty is also said to be a contributing factor, which has driven a lot of the young people to have an insatiable appetite to sell their ancestral lands.

The report further said that most of the victims were innocent of the witchcraft accusation, but still lost their lives because of land tussles.

“When over 100 people are killed in a span of one year, then you know that there is a problem. The only thing we are doing at the moment is to raise awareness so that locals can desist from killing the elderly,” Kenya National Commission for Human Rights (KNCHR) Coast regional coordinator Brenda Dosio said.

WITCHCRAFT ACT

Ganze legislator Teddy Mwambire said he will be pushing for an amendment in Parliament to review the Witchcraft Act to cushion the elderly people from being murdered on suspicion of being sorcerers.

“The Act in its current form falls short of providing security to the aged. Ignorance is to blame for the rampant killings of the elderly in our society. People associate advanced age with witchcraft, a trend that has seen hundreds murdered. I will be seeking amendments of the Act or table another Bill altogether in parliament that will seek to cushion the elderly from such retrogressive acts,” he said.

DEEPER PROBLEMS

Mr Julius Wanyama, a Peace Programme Coordinator at Haki Yetu organisation, said “From our assessment, the witchcraft accusations against the elderly are an excuse, but a very fatal one. It’s a trigger to deeper problems within the society -that is the thirst for land and money.”

“As an organisation, we have had to seek a meeting with the county security team to address the problem. We discovered there was no ready forum to address or resolve misunderstanding and initiated a programme called ‘Wapatanishi’ (local interveners), who have helped especially when they of the targets. So far they have managed to save 20 in Kilifi County and 10 in Kwale who are currently living in their homes without fear of being killed.”

Source: Kenya: Witchcraft tales in thirst for land put elders lives at risk

Amnesty International: “End violence against people with albinism in Malawi” (2018)

This report is a follow-up to the 2016 report “We are not animals to be hunted or sold’”: Violence and discrimination against people with albinism” and is based on visits conducted in 2017 as well as follow-up interviews and desktop research.

Published: 2018
By: Amnesty International 

End violence against people with albinism in Malawi – Towards effective criminal justice for people with albinism in Malawi

Introduction

Violence against people with albinism in Malawi decreased soon after Amnesty International published its 2016 report “We are not animals to be hunted or sold’”: Violence and discrimination against people with albinism. 

However, since the report was published in 2016, there was a resurgence in attacks, with four more people with albinism being killed in Malawi since January 2017. That report recorded 69 cases involving crimes related to people with albinism, comprising 18 cases of people killed, five abducted and missing, between November 2014 and May 2016. In February 2018, a joint report by the Malawi Police Service and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs revealed that the number of reported crimes had increased to 148, including 14 cases of murder and seven attempted murders since November 2014 (note 1). 

In May and June 2017, an Amnesty International delegation visited Malawi and met with civil society, victims and government officials from the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the national prosecuting authority, the Chief Justice and other members of the judiciary and the police. 

This briefing is a follow-up to the 2016 report and is based on visits conducted in 2017 as well as follow-up interviews and desktop research. The briefing focuses on the current resurgence in attacks against people with albinism, stemming from an atmosphere of prejudice and a lack of understanding of the condition. The problem is exacerbated by inadequate resources to deal with crime, leading to a culture of impunity. The briefing analyses the causes of recurring attacks and the government’s response, and identifies gaps in the criminal justice system. 

It also assesses the progress made in Malawi towards the protection of the right to life and security of people with albinism. 

Background

The UN noted that from 2000 to 2013 it had received 200 reports of ritual attacks on people with albinism across 15 African countries (note 2). Since November 2014, however, an unprecedented wave of killings and other human rights abuses including abductions and robberies against people with albinism has swept through Malawi. Similar attacks have occurred in neighboring Mozambique. People are targeted for their body parts in the belief that they contain magical powers. The current population of people with albinism in Malawi is estimated at between 7,000 and 10,000, representing a ratio of 1 in every 1800 persons (note 3).

Between June and December 2016, Malawi experienced a seven-month respite from attacks and killings, believed to be because of awareness brought by the launch of the Amnesty report, the public condemnation of the attacks by President Mutharika and other senior government officials. This was broken in January 2017 when Madalitso Pensulo, a teenage boy with albinism, was killed in Mlonda village under the Nsabwe Traditional Authority in Thyolo District. In February 2017, Mercy Zainabu Banda, a 31-year-old woman with albinism was found murdered in Lilongwe with her wrist, right breast and hair removed. Two brothers were stabbed in Nsanje in March 2017, amid several attempted abductions or killings. Cases of verbal insults, threats and robbery of graves containing the remains of persons with albinism have also been recorded. Women and children with albinism are particularly vulnerable to abductions and killings by criminal gangs because they are seen as easy targets. According to the UN, suspected perpetrators operating as gangs or individuals can gain up to US$75,000 for the sale of a full set of body parts (note 4).

Notes:

Note 1:
Joint Docket Tracing Exercise Report for Cases of Persons with Albinism in Malawi. This is a Joint report by the Malawi Police Service, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. It was funded by the UNDP with technical assistance from UNICEF.

Note 2:
www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/…/A_HRC _24_57_ENG.doc Report on Albinism, UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, 2013

Note 3:
Amnesty International, ‘We are not animals to be hunted or sold’: Violence and discrimination against people with albinism (Index: AFR 34/4126/2016)

Note 4:
http:/news.un.org/en/story/2016/03/525042-witchcraft-beliefs- trigger-attacks-against-people-albinism-un-expert-warns 

Continue reading the 24 pages report: see source (below) 

Source: End violence against people with albinism – Towards effective criminal justice for people with albinism in Malawi