Nigeria: Bauchi herbalist arrested for killing four children for rituals

A gruesome report. WARNING: Some readers may find this story disturbing (FVDK).

Bauchi: Herbalist Arrested For Allegedly Killing Four Minors For Ritual

The suspect, Bauchi herbalist Rufa’i Yunusa

Published: February 22, 2021
By: Naija News, Enioluwa Adeniyi

Bauchi State Police Command has arrested a 28-year-old herbalist, Rufa’i Yunusa, for allegedly killing four children, aged between two and four, for ritual purposes.

Yunusa who is a resident of Rumbu village, in the Ningi Local Government of Bauchi State, was apprehended by the police on Wednesday.

The development was confirmed in a statement released by the spokesperson of the command, Ahmed Wakil, on Sunday.

Wakil noted that Yunusa was arrested due to a complaint by one Isyaku Ahmed of Kafin Madaki, that the suspect allegedly deceived him that his daughter was suffering from an ailment that required spiritual intervention.

The suspect, however, killed the child after the father handed her over to him for the healing process.

He said, “The Bauchi State Police Command on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, arrested a 28-year-old suspected ritualist, Rufa’i Yunusa, who has been involved in the killing of not less than four little children between the ages of two and four.”

“His arrest followed a complaint lodged at the Ganjuwa division of the state command on the same day around 4.30 pm by one Isyaku Ahmed, of Unguwan Yamma, Kafin Madaki.”

“He reported that on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at about 12.30 pm, he took his daughter, Maimuna Isyaku, to a native doctor (Rufa’i Yunusa) for traditional treatment. Rufa’i told him that his daughter (Maimuna) was suffering from a spiritual ailment and assured him that his daughter would be cured.”

“He then solicited and got the sum of N10,000 from the father, after which he took the little girl into the forest purportedly for a spiritual healing session, only to return after a while to inform the girl’s father that the little girl mysteriously disappeared during the process.”

“Upon receipt of the report, the Ganjuwa divisional patrol team swung into action, combed the entire forest and found the slaughtered body of the said Maimuna.”

The police spokesman said the victim was rushed to a hospital, where she was confirmed dead by a medical doctor.

He said the suspect, during interrogation, voluntarily confessed to killing the girl.

“He further revealed that she was not his only victim and claimed to usually carry out the act with parental consent by tacitly informing them that the children might not return during healing sessions.

“A knife and 26 pairs of children clothing were recovered as exhibits during the operation and investigations are ongoing, after which the suspect will be charged to court for prosecution and possible conviction,” he added.

Source: Bauchi: Herbalist Arrested For Allegedly Killing Four Minors For Ritual

related article:

Bauchi herbalist arrested for killing four children for rituals

Published: February 24, 
By: The Street Journal, TSJ – Lucy Adegbe

The police in Bauchi State have arrested a herbalist, 28, for allegedly killing four children, between the ages of 2 and 4 for ritual purposes.

According to the police spokesperson, Ahmed Wakil, the suspected ritualist, Rufa’i Yunusa, of Rumbu village, in the Ningi Local Government of Bauchi State, was arrested on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

The spokesperson said the arrest followed a complaint by one Isyaku Ahmed of Kafin Madaki, that the suspect allegedly deceived him that his daughter was suffering from an ailment that required spiritual intervention.

SP Wakil said Yunusa, however, killed the child after the father released her to him for the healing process.

The statement said, “The Bauchi State Police Command on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, arrested a 28-year-old suspected ritualist, Rufa’i Yunusa, who has been involved in the killing of not less than four little children between the ages of two and four.

“His arrest followed a complaint lodged at the Ganjuwa division of the state command on the same day around 4.30 pm by one Isyaku Ahmed, of Unguwan Yamma, Kafin Madaki.

“He reported that on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at about 12.30 pm, he took his daughter, Maimuna Isyaku, to a native doctor (Rufa’i Yunusa) for traditional treatment. Rufa’i told him that his daughter (Maimuna) was suffering from a spiritual ailment and assured him that his daughter would be cured.

“He then solicited and got the sum of N10,000 from the father, after which he took the little girl into the forest purportedly for a spiritual healing session, only to return after a while to inform the girl’s father that the little girl mysteriously disappeared during the process.

“Upon receipt of the report, the Ganjuwa divisional patrol team swung into action, combed the entire forest and found the slaughtered body of the said Maimuna.”

The police spokesman said the victim was rushed to a hospital, where she was confirmed dead by a medical doctor, adding that during interrogation, the suspect voluntarily confessed to killing the girl.

“He further revealed that she was not his only victim and claimed to usually carry out the act with parental consent by tacitly informing them that the children might not return during healing sessions.

“A knife and 26 pairs of children clothing were recovered as exhibits during the operation and investigations are ongoing, after which the suspect will be charged to court for prosecution and possible conviction,” the statement added.

Source: Bauchi herbalist arrested for killing four children for rituals

Oluwo to Yoruba activists: use energy for pursuing herders to address ritual killings in southwest of the country (Nigeria)

The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has again raised his voice against the seemingly endless killing of innocent citizens for ritual purposes in Nigeria. Its is not the first time, as I have repeatedly said here on this site.

In 2020, on at least three occasions, and also the year before, he drew attention to this ugly crime and spared no one when elaborating on the culprits. Read what he said on October 21 (‘Ritual killing deadlier and more devastating than SARS’), August 20 (‘Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings‘), January 29 (‘Amotekun should fight ritual killings’) in 2020 and on August 9, 2019 (“I’ll declare traditional war against ritual killings if FG fails to address menace”).  

This week, on February 24, he said what I always feared and have indicated multiple times. The Paramount Chief said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day. He said: “No crime is good but there are more ritual killings in the South. It consumes an unaccountable number of our sons and daughters every day. Only a few are reported while many were not caught.”

A gruesome reality. Repeatedly I have drawn attention to the unaccountable number of ritualistic murders in Africa’s most populated country. More action is needed by federal authorities and on the state level. Perpetrators must be caught and tried, the rue of law should be upheld, and a nation-wide public awareness campaign should start immediately aiming at rooting out this cancer of the Nigerian society, fighting this disease based on superstition and ignorance. (webmaster FVDK)

Oluwo To Yoruba Activists: Use Energy For Pursuing Herders To Address Ritual Killings In South-West

Oluwo said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day, saying it will amount to disservice if such could not be addressed by Yoruba activists.

The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi

Published: February 24, 2021
By: SaharaReporters, News York

The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has urged Yoruba agitators and freedom fighters to commit their energy towards ending ritual killings consuming innocent sons and daughters of Yoruba in their thousands rather than attacking Fulani herdsmen.

The monarch urged agitators to be more interested in probing crimes and not attacking ethnic groups.

He, however, condemned the kidnapping, raping, and killing by some herders across the region.

Oluwo said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day, saying it will amount to disservice if such could not be addressed by Yoruba activists.

He said, “No crime is good but there are more ritual killings in the South. It consumes an unaccountable number of our sons and daughters every day.

“Only a few are reported while many were not caught. Yorubas should dissipate more energy in checkmating ritual killers and openly protest against them.  Someone’s son and daughter are being killed by ritualists at the moment. There is a baby-making factory in the South.  When are we protesting against that?”

Oba Akanbi claimed he is a preacher of peace and a united Nigeria, describing ethnicity as “ungodly and enemy of humanity”.

He said, “I stand on the path of peace and to me, that is the path of honor. Nigeria’s ethnic diversity is too fragile to be drumming ethnic war. I remain an unrepentant preacher of peace and a one, united Nigeria.

“Ethnicity is Ungodly. No faith preaches attack on all because of the crime committed by the few. Prosecute the criminals and probe crimes, not the tribe. Nigeria is a nation of ethnic diversities. Peace and unity are our strengths, not war. I never regret beating the drum of peace. We should rather hang on Fulanis to produce the bad eggs among them and not a total condemnation of the tribe. Even if it is the Igbo tribe that is being persecuted because of the bad few, I will stand to defend the good ones among them.

“Yoruba race is one of the best with rich cultural value. I love her people. I’ve never sold even a plot of my subjects’ land or anything from them since enthronement. Even, my salary is dedicated to the poor in my hometown. For what gain and purpose will I now mislead or sell them out? Never. What I preach is peace and truthfulness. The path to peace is to prosecute individual crimes and not their tribe. I stand on this and will keep repeating it.”

He further called on the government to ensure quality formal education and enlightenment on modern ranching for Fulani children.

Source: Oluwo To Yoruba Activists: Use Energy For Pursuing Herders To Address Ritual Killings In South-West

Kenya: suspects in Tharaka Nithi ritual murder remanded 7 days

I reported earlier on this gruesome murder case. See my January 20 posting ‘A shocking ritual murder in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya‘. (Warning: people may find its contents shocking due to the graphic details of this heinous crime).
(webmaster FVDK)

Suspects in Tharaka Nithi ritual sacrifice remanded 7 days

Suleiman Mati Mukira and Michael Ngugi Riungu before a Chuka court on January 19, 2021 on the accusation of killing a nine-year-old girl in Magutuni, Tharaka Nithi County, as part of a ritual.
Pholo: Alex Njeru – Nation Media Group

Published: January 19, 2021
By: Nation, Kenya – Alex Njeru 

What you need to know:

  • The accused are 94-year-old Suleiman Mati Mukira from the village in Mwimbi, whom police say is a witchdoctor, and his client Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32.

Police in Tharaka Nithi County have seven days to conclude investigations into the gruesome murder of a nine-year-old girl from Mpingu village in Maara Sub-county.

The accused are 94-year-old Suleiman Mati Mukira from the village in Mwimbi, whom police say is a witchdoctor, and his client Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, from Kariakomo village in neighboring Ganga Ward.

In their application, police said they needed enough time to thoroughly probe the shocking incident believed to have been a ritual killing.

They further argued that the two should remain in police custody because their security is not guaranteed.

Before Senior Resident Magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi, the investigating team also said the first suspect, Mr Riungu, is a flight risk.

“Police are seeking seven days to conclude the investigation before preferring charges,” said the prosecution.

In their affidavit, police also told the court that Mr Riungu, who had visited Mr Mukira for his services, beheaded the Grade Two child of his neighbour.

Asked whether he was against the police request for him to remain in custody for the seven days, Mr Riungu did not object.

Mr Mukira requested to be released on bond arguing that he is old and sickly and that since the incident happened, he has been suffering from depression. He also cited a urinary tract infection.

The court remanded the two, nothing the need for them to undergo mental checks before standing trial.

Source: Suspects in Tharaka Nithi ritual sacrifice remanded 7 days

Related:

‘Witchdoctor’, ‘client’ detained for alleged ritual killing of nine-year old girl

Police called suspects a flight risk, saying the public was angry and they should not be released for their own safety

Published: January 19, 2021
By: The Star, Kenya – Gerald Mutethia

In Summary 

• Court orders suspected witchdoctor and client detained for seven days for investigation and psychiatric assessment in connection with an apparent ritual beheading.

• When police arrived on Sunday afternoon, they said they found two men – a ‘traditional healer’ and his ‘client’ – eating meat. It was not clear if it was human flesh, a beheaded sacrificial goat or a chicken whose heart had been ripped out.

An elderly man and his ‘client’ accused of beheading a nine-year-old girl will be detained for seven days on suspicion of witchcraft ritual murder.

The killer or killers ripped out the heart of the victim, Deborah Kagendi Kinengeni, who regularly delivered milk. She was  brilliant, cheerful and talkative, a Chuka High Court was told on Tuesday.

The girl’s father, Ignasius Mutunga, who spoke at their home said his daughter was attending church when she was summoned to his home by the elderly traditional healer. She went willingly because she often delivered milk to him.

The girl’s brother, Evans Mawira, said he had asked the old man where his sister was. He said the old man told him to take his cows in exchange for her, the court heard.

Police in Tharaka Nithi county were allowed by a Chuka High Court on Tuesday to detain Suleiman Mati Mukira of Mpingu village in Mwimbi whom the police described as a “witchdoctor”.

Also ordered detained was his accused ‘client’, Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, from Kariakomo village in neighbouring Ganga ward.

In an affidavit, police told the court Riungu had visited Mukira for “spiritual treatment” and beheaded the Grade 2 neighbour girl.

When police arrived on Sunday afternoon, they said they found two men – a ‘traditional healer’ and his ‘client’ – eating meat. It was not clear if it was human flesh, a beheaded sacrificial goat or a chicken whose heart had been ripped out.

The detention is to allow for investigations. The two men have not been charged in connection with the Sunday afternoon murder and suspected witchcraft.

They will undergo a psychiatric assessment before being charged and entering a plea.

It is against the law to practice witchcraft and sentences can be as long as 10  years. Murder carries a life sentence.

Police told senior resident magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi, the investigating team considers Riungu a flight risk. They said both men’s lives were in danger from an enraged public if they are released.

Congregants at the nearby Ambassador for Christ Fellowship heard the girl’s screams, called police and rushed to the scene.

The body was found hidden in a gunny in a goat shed. The head was found in the compound.

Source: ‘Witchdoctor’, ‘client’ detained for alleged ritual killing

South Africa: staggering number of children murdered each year

The story presented below is not about ritual killing, or muti murders, as these crimes based on superstition and witchcraft are called in Southern Africa. It’s about the violent death of children including muti murder, however. 

As stated in the article below, “According to official figures, around 1,000 children are murdered every year in South Africa, nearly three a day. But that statistic, horrific as it may be, may be an undercount.”.

The same applies for muti murders. The muti cases known are just the top of the iceberg.

For this reason I have decided to include the following article which was originally published by Associated Press (webmaster FVDK).

In South Africa, child homicides show violence ‘entrenched’

Mourners look at the body of 5-year-old Wandi Zitho at his funeral in Orange Farm, South Africa, on April 28, 2020. The boy was murdered in a suspected witchcraft ritual and his body was found in his neighbor’s tavern. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

Published: December 22, 2020
By: KSAT.com / Associated Press – Gerald Imray And Bram Janssen

CAPE TOWN – At night, Amanda Zitho worries her little boy is shivering and cold in his coffin and yearns to take him a blanket. She knows Wandi’s dead and gone and it’s senseless, but that doesn’t stop the ache. 

Wandi was 5 when he was killed in April, allegedly strangled with a rope by a Johannesburg neighbor — another dead child in a land where there are too many. 

According to official figures, around 1,000 children are murdered every year in South Africa, nearly three a day. But that statistic, horrific as it is, may be an undercount.

Shanaaz Mathews thinks many more children are victims of homicides that are not investigated properly, not prosecuted or completely missed by authorities. The official figures are “just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mathews, the director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town and probably the country’s leading expert on child homicides. 

In a country where more than 50 people are murdered every day, children are not special and are not spared.

“Violence has become entrenched” in the psyche of South Africa, Mathews said.

“How do we break that cycle?” she asked.

In 2014, she embarked on a research project to uncover the real extent of those child deaths. She did it by getting forensic pathologists to put the dead bodies of hundreds of newborn babies, infants, toddlers and teenagers on examination tables to determine exactly how they died.

Child death reviews are common in developed countries but had never been done in South Africa before Mathews’ project. As she feared, the findings were grim. 

Over a year, the pathologists examined the corpses of 711 children at two mortuaries in Cape Town and Durban and concluded that more than 15% of them died as a result of homicides. For context, Britain’s official child death review last year found 1% of its child deaths were homicides. Mathews’ research showed homicide was the second most common cause of death for children in those two precincts.

“And the numbers are not going down,” she said. “If anything, they are going up.”

There are two patterns in South Africa. Teenagers are being swallowed up in the country’s desperately high rate of violent street crime. But also, large numbers of young children aged 5 and under are victims of deadly violence meted out not by an offender with a gun or a knife on a street corner, but by mothers and fathers, relatives and friends, in kitchens and living rooms, around dinner tables and in front of TVs.

Fatal child abuse is where the justice system often fails and cases are “falling through the cracks,” Mathews said.

There was, she says, the case of a 9-month-old child who had seizures after being dropped off at day care. Though rushed to the hospital, the child died. 

Doctors found severe head injuries and told the mother to go to the police, but no one followed up. The mother never reported the death. When investigators tried to revive the case nearly two years later, the baby had long been buried and the evidence was cold.

Joan van Niekerk, a child protection expert, recounts numerous cases tainted by police ineptitude and corruption.

“I sometimes go through stages when I am more angry with the system than I am with the perpetrators and that’s not good,” she said. She said justice for children in South Africa is unacceptably “hard to achieve.”

And failures of justice sometimes lead to more deaths.

The neighbor originally charged with killing Wandi Zitho was released and the case provisionally dropped because the police didn’t deliver enough evidence, possibly because of a backlog in analyzing forensic evidence, according to one policeman working the case. Months later, the woman was arrested again and charged with murdering two other children.

Then there was the case of Tazne van Wyk.

Tazne was 8 when her body was found in February dumped in a drain near a highway nearly two weeks after she disappeared. She had been abducted, raped and murdered, police said.

Tazne’s parents blame the correctional system for paroling the man charged with their daughter’s murder despite a history of violent offenses against children. He’d already violated his parole once. They also fault police for failing to act on a tip that might have saved Tazne in the hours after her disappearance. 

The case was high profile. The Minister of Police spoke at Tazne’s funeral and admitted errors. “We have failed this child,” he conceded, pointing at Tazne’s small white coffin, trimmed in gold. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the van Wyk home and promised meaningful action. 

Nine months later, Tazne’s parents feel it was all lip service.

“How many children after Tazne have already passed away? Have been kidnapped? Have been murdered? Still nothing is happening,” said her mother, Carmen van Wyk.

She sheds no tears. Instead, anger bubbles inside her and her community. Houses connected with the suspect and members of his family were set on fire in the wake of Tazne’s killing.

It’s not just on the police to stop the abuse, said Marc Hardwick, who was a policeman for 15 years, 10 of them as a detective in a child protection unit.

He recalls one case, from 20 years ago. A 6-year-old girl was beaten to death by her father because she was watching cartoons and, distracted as any 6-year-old would be, wasn’t listening to him.

When they arrested the father and took him away — he was later sentenced to life in prison — the victim’s 9-year-old cousin approached Hardwick and said: “I think you stopped my bad dreams today.” 

Clearly, children in that household had been living a nightmare, and the other adults had remained silent, said Hardwick: “The reality is that child abuse is not a topic people want to talk about.” 

Source: In South Africa, child homicides show violence ‘entrenched’

Nigeria: ritual victim’s head, hand sold to native doctor for N130,000

News about ritualistic activities in Nigeria abound. Nigeria is, as we all know, Africa’s most populated country. Hence, for that reason it is not surprising that the country ranks Number One in ritual murders, commonly referred to as ‘money rituals’ in this West African country.

The next few days I will present more articles on these crimes, because that is what these activities are. Cruel murders, claiming the lives of innocent people, young girls, boys, children, elder people, terrorizing the local communities. And why? – Just for superstition reasons, the belief that these practices will enhance one’s wealth, health, prestige or power. 
(webmaster FVDK)

Ritual victim’s head, hand sold to native doctor for N130,000

As distraught family demands justice

Published: December 19, 2020
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Ozioruva Aliu

THE family of 35-year-old Eneshero Sunday Daudu from Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo state who was declared missing about a month ago and later found dead and buried in a shallow grave by persons who have confessed to have used parts of his body for ritual has demanded thorough investigation and prosecution of all those involved. After weeks of uncertainty when Eneshero was declared missing in Koko, Delta state where he had visited his sister for a burial event, the family had hoped that he would soon find his way back believing he must have missed his way especially as he was said to have called a friend in Igarra that he was on his way back home but it was never to be.

The family therefore lodged a complaint with the police about his disappearance and also assisted the police in the investigation. Last week, their efforts paid off as a 25-year old Peace Onoshakpokaye who was arrested in connection with the alleged killing and dismembering of Eneshero was said to have made confession. been stranded.

According to a police source, the arrested suspect confessed that: “the deceased became stranded around 7 p.m. around Koko junction axis of the Benin – Sapele Highway in Delta state when the vehicle he boarded to Benin City developed a fault. In the course of waiting for another vehicle by the roadside, some persons approached him and asked him to follow them. We learnt that the deceased put up some resistance, but he was dragged to a large trench at the roadside and was murdered on the spot by four persons. His head and hands were severed and later taken to a native doctor in the locality for alleged money rituals.”

The said principal suspect later took the police team and health officials to recover the body that was already decomposing and he was said to have confessed that the body parts were requested by a man in Koko, Delta state who paid them N130,000.

The Edo state commissioner of police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo who confirmed the incident said the young man was abducted and murdered in Delta state but the police in Edo state command intervened because he was declared missing in Edo and promised that a dragnet had been extended to all parts of the country in order to arrest the fleeing gang members.

A family member told Saturday Vanguard: “It has been a traumatic one month for the family since he went missing. He had attended a burial ceremony in Koko where his sister also stayed. He left his sister’s house in the morning of the fateful day and his sister thought he would be back home but that was the last seen of him. They waited patiently and they concluded that he may have gone back to Igarra but calls to his phone were no longer going through and he did not arrive at Igarra. The last conversation was when he called a friend in Igarra that he would soon arrive but he never came. We first reported the case in Igarra police station and later at the state command in Benin City where investigation began by the police which led to the situation we are in now.

This incident was carried out by a gang but only one person has been arrested, so we are calling on the police to ensure that all the other persons involved are arrested and brought to justice.

“Eneshero was a hard working young man whose elder brother stays abroad. Eneshero has been helping him to take care of the home. The news devastated all of us in the family, particularly his elder brother who had to vowed a financial reward for anybody who was able to his missing brother until we got to this sad point. The dead cannot be brought back to life but the only solace we will have is for the authorities to ensure justice for our late brother”.

Source: Ritual victim’s head, hand sold to native doctor for N130,000

Uganda: the country where sacrificing children is a thriving business (2017 article)

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga plays a leading role in the fight against child sacrifice in Uganda. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian organization focusing on education, health, economic empowerment and protection of children. 

KCM was founded in the community of Kyampisi in 2009. At the time, there were several cases of child sacrifice; many homesteads had shrines and practiced witchcraft. 

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga says the mostly gruesome murdering of innocent children happens almost each month. Child sacrifice in Uganda is a widespread phenomenon and crime. In the past I have posted various articles on these cruel practices which are based on superstition and the unscrupulous pursuing of more wealth, prestige or power. E.g. on October 6 and February 28 of the current year and on August 3,  (two posts) and February 6, 2019. The postings partly overlap the article below.

The following article presents various murder cases and interviews with bereaved parents. Fortunately, some children managed to escape from their agressors, like e.g. Allan Ssembatya. His horrifying experience is told below. 

Warning: the following article contains graphic illustrations including a video and description of gruesome ritualistic practices (webmaster FVDK).

Still from video shown below. Two men attacked Allan Ssembatya on his way home from school. The attackers attempted to slice his head with a machete but Allan survived miraculously. The scar is clearly visible.

Uganda: the country where sacrificing children is a thriving business

KAMPALA, Uganda – Each year hundreds of Ugandan children are kidnapped and murdered as part of a thriving human sacrifice business.

A Christian pastor is now teaming up with police and politicians to stop this brutal practice.

Screenshot – the video does not play. The original article shows the video (see ‘Source’).
WARNING: Some of the content in this report is disturbing and will be unsuitable for younger viewers.

Published: March 23, 2017
By: CBN News, The Christian Perspective – George Thomas

It’s a little after 2 in the morning. About an hour’s drive south of Kampala.  

CBN News has joined undercover detectives, armed police and a pastor hunting for a witch doctor accused of kidnapping and killing children.

“Witch doctors believe that when you kidnap a child you get wealth, you get protection.”

Brutal Ritual of Child Sacrifice

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga leads the search. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian effort to stamp out child sacrifice in Uganda.  He describes the witch doctors’ brutal ritual.

“When they get the child, most times they cut the neck, they take the blood out, they take the tissue, they cut the genitals or any other body organs that they wish that the spirits want.”

A few hours in, the trail for the killer goes cold.

Pastor Peter says these gruesome crimes happen almost each month.

“The problem is increasing and many children are killed, and there are very few actually that survive, most of them die.”

Rachel Kaseggu knows the heartbreak of losing a child.

“I had high hopes and dreams for Clive,” Kaseggu told CBN News as she sobbed uncontrollably.

Kaseggu’s 3-year-old son Clive disappeared June 2, 2015 while playing in the backyard of their home.

“It was around 10 in the morning when we noticed he was nowhere to be found,” Kaseggu said.

CBN News met Kaseggu the day police told her what happened to her son.

“I’ve never even heard of child sacrifice, I didn’t even know what that phrase meant.”

Superstition and Desire to Get Rich Drive Child Sacrifice

Detective Emmanuel Mafundo took us to the spot, not too far from his home, where they found Clive’s remains in this pit toilet filled with human feces.

Mafundo said the key suspect turned out to be Kaseggu’s neighbor, a wealthy businessman who allegedly hired two men to kidnap and mutilate Clive’s body, believing the act would bring “good luck” to his new hotel project.

Detective Mafundo said the suspect paid the equivalent of $1,400 for Clive’s life.

“I found it so queer how someone, because of superstition, can be able to sacrifice a three-year-old kid,” Mafundo, a Uganda police superintendent told CBN News.

Child sacrifice in Uganda is such a serious and widespread problem that the government has even set up an anti-child sacrifice and human trafficking task force.

Chief investigator Moses Binoga heads up the agency.

He says that in addition to decapitation and genital mutilation, witch doctors often slice the child’s tongue and mix it with herbs for special powers.

“The tongue is used, they believe, to silence enemies,” Binoga described.

Mike Chibita is Uganda’s top law enforcement official, the equivalent of America’s Attorney General. He says superstition and the desire to get rich quick contribute to high child sacrifice rates in his country.

“The connection is that these witch doctors come and tell people who want to get rich that in order to get rich you need to sacrifice human blood,” said Chibita, who serves as Uganda’s director of public prosecutions.

Three Boys Who Survived

Best friends Kanani Nankunda, George Mukisa and Allan Ssembatya are fortunate to be alive, but bear the physical and emotional scars of their past. The three are child sacrifice survivors.

A few years back, Kanani and his seven-year-old sister were attacked in the bush.

He has a ten-inch scar on the back of his neck where the witch doctor tried to drain his blood.

“I fainted and when I regained consciousness, I found my sister dead with her head missing,” Nankunda described to us in a low voice.

Two men attacked Allan Ssembatya on his way home from school.

“I tried to scream for my parents but my voice was not strong enough for them to hear me,” Ssembatya said.

They stabbed his neck, sliced his head with a machete then castrated him. Allan remained in a coma for two months after his miraculous rescue.

George Mukisa’s mother found him lying in a pool of blood after a man castrated his privates with a blunt knife.

Doctors had to reconstruct his genitals with skin grafted from his forearm.  

The boys say they encourage each other to look past their physical challenges.

“God is helping us in many different ways,” Ssembatya said. “When we think about what happened to us, we just pray and ask God that this would never happen to anybody else.”

The three boys are now under Pastor Peter’s care.

Long-Term Care for Survivors

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries is the only organization in the country providing long-term financial and medical care for survivors of child sacrifice.

“We want to see that the life of a child who has survived is supported, that they are socially able to stand and heal from the injuries, and that they can have a life after that,” said Pastor Sewakiryanga.

Screenshot – the video does not play. The original article shows the video (see ‘Source’).

He also works with Ugandan lawmakers like Komuhangi Margaret to help draft specific laws targeting perpetrators of child sacrifice.
 
“Every Ugandan must wake and and say, ‘No to sacrificing our children’,” said Margaret, a member of Uganda’s parliament. “Our children are the future of this country.”

Rachel Kaseggu says life without Clive will never be the same. Still, she has a message for the men who brutally murdered her 3-year-old son:

“Because of my faith in Jesus, I believe in second chances, and I would give it to them because there’s nothing I can do to bring Clive back. My message to them is: confess your sins and come to the Lord. Because when you come to the Lord, he will forgive your sins!”

Source: EXCLUSIVE: The Country Where Sacrificing Children Is a Thriving Business

Human sacrifices, myth or reality? – A viewpoint

On November 22, Blessing Mandabva, from Zimbabwe, shared with us his view on the history of human sacrifices as well as present-day practices of this age-old ritual. His contribution was published in The Standard, a Zimbabwean Sunday newspaper. Recently, I posted other articles with African voices protesting against this phenomenon of ritualistic murders, commonly called muti murders in Southern Africa. See the Op-Ed article in the online Namibian newspaper New Era Live, entitled: ‘Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind’, posted on October 27, 2020 and  an older article, dating from 2011, ‘Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings‘, written by Fanuel Hadzizi, also from Zimbabwe and posted on November 14, 2020.

The recent turmoil in Zimbabwe, following the death of a 7-year old boy, Tawire Makore, who was murdered for muti purposes, clearly shows that the gruesome practice of human sacrifices has not disappeared. See my October 26 posting on this ritual murder that shocked Zimbabwe.  

As Blessing Mandabva describes, more people have raised their voices against muti murders including Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) president George Kandiero who distanced his association and all members from all acts of ritual killings. George Kandieo, who also mentioned the ritual murder of Tawire Makore, confirmed what I have stated repeatedly on these pages: “These ritual killings are just a tip of the iceberg (…)“.

Also the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has denounced ritually-motivated killings and issued the following statement: “The ZHRC has noted with concern the alarming rise and high frequency of ritually-motivated killings in Zimbabwe, specifically targeted at children and young people.

What else can I add?? Read the following contribution and join the struggle against ritualistic murders and other acts based on superstition and motivated by the greed for power and/or wealth.

Warning: the following article contains graphic details of ritual murders (webmaster FVDK).

Human sacrifices, myth or reallity?

Published: November 22, 2020
By: The Standard, Zimbabwe –  Blessing Mandabva

Since time immemorial, human beings the world over have pursued answers to the puzzling questions of their origins, sickness, death and after death, poverty, power, the meaning of natural phenomena such as earthquakes, diseases and accidents, among others. They have also inquired on how to protect themselves from such mysterious events. Invention of personified deities, gods and the occult sciences, witchcraft, divination and soothsaying in order to seek the protection of supernatural powers has been the order of the day. Individuals used them for protection from their enemies, to dominate others in societies be it in business, politics, churches and other religious circles to gain power and to accumulate wealth. Human sacrifice has been a phenomenon which has been passed from generation to generation albeit it appearing in various forms.

Human sacrifice is defined as the ritualised, devotedly motivated killing of human beings. It is a fundamental which is not endorsed by any state, but was once practiced by societies across the globe in the past. In this landlocked country of Zimbabwe, there is a misconception on many deaths of humans, children, women and albinos being attributed to human sacrificial rituals which are said to bring quick wealth and fortunes. Human sacrifice, especially of children, occurs frequently despite the government’s efforts to stop it. Times are tough in Zimbabwe, and people are looking for sacrifices to improve their fortunes. Hunger and starvation coupled with the purported economic meltdown which has been attributed to the economic sanctions by the ruling elite whilst those in the opposition blame the ruling elite for poor governance.

Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) president George Kandiero distanced his association and all members from all heinous acts of ritual killings. 

He, however, said those ritual killings are mainly done by witches and witchdoctors. According to Kandiero, Zinatha has some specialists who could have been involved in the case of Tapiwa Makore to give guidance in finding a lasting solution. 

“It’s rather unfortunate Tapiwa is no more, but we believe the full wrath of the law will take its course. The perpetrators must be brought to book even if they are members of our associations,” said Kandiero.

”These ritual killings are just a tip of the iceberg since a lot of sacrifices in various forms are happening in the underworld. 

“Those who do such are everywhere including churches, homes and workplaces and this has to be addressed for people to live in harmony.”

Reverend John Makaniko, a United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe pastor, said: “Human sacrifice is a reality though in this contemporary world it’s now rare.

“The law has abolished human sacrifice and it’s now treated as murder.” According to him, in Christianity, only Jesus Christ was sacrificed for sins of all humanity. He becomes a sacrifice once and for all [Hebrew 10:10]. 

“Jesus Christ becomes a sacrificial lamb for salvation of all humanity. The human sacrifice done by individuals is for selfish reasons like riches and fame.
“This human sacrifice that is shedding blood of other people for selfish ends is evil, sinful and a serious crime.”

“As Christians, we are guided by the scripture’s teachings and commandments like: ‘Thou shalt not kill’ (Exodus 20:13) and our social principles say, ‘life is a sacred gift’; therefore, every human life should be treated with dignity and shouldn’t be sacrificed. 

“In short, human sacrifice is a devilish act that has no place in Christianity and progressive society.” 

Rev Makaniko added: “In contemporary society, faith in God and appreciating the dignity of hard work will result in success and prosperity.

“The core values of the United Methodist Church clearly state that, ‘we do good, do no harm and stay in love with God’; thus human sacrifice isn’t good because it brings harm to other people and breaks relationships with God.”

According to some South African media reports, body parts can be sold for as little as
R3 000 in that country. 

I recall vividly growing up in a township when public transport in the form of the commuter omnibuses had just been introduced. At that 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 sweets. 

The next thing, their bodies would be found in the bushes with body parts missing. Rumours were that businesspeople were taking the children’s heads to Durban and were trading them off for taxis, kombis and grinding mills. Another unfortunate case is that of Given Flint Matapure who disappeared at Harare Exhibition Park in August 2011. The case took ages to be finalised.

Ritual killings, or human sacrifices, are committed for the purpose of taking human body parts which are said to be used to prepare charms and other traditional medicines for spiritual fortification. In some instances, ritualists and occults target vulnerable members of society such as the poor, women, children and albinos whose families often do not have the resources to demand justice. 

In some African countries there is a belief that female body parts possess supernatural powers that bring good fortune or make criminals invisible to police and other authorities. Children and young people are mostly preferred since they will be having a whole lot of life to live than the elderly. 

All the success which could have happened to them will now be transferred to the ritualist as the children continue to live in the underworld. It is time governments turned up the heat on culprits and put an end to this violation of human rights. 

Heavy sentences should be given to those who commission and carry out the ritual killings.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) denounced ritually-motivated killings.

“The ZHRC has noted with concern the alarming rise and high frequency of ritually-motivated killings in Zimbabwe, specifically targeted at children and young people,” the ZHRC statement read. 

“The heinous murder and mutilation of innocent people is disheartening and should be denounced in the strongest terms by our society and nation as a whole.”

ZHRC also stated that participation in ritual killings violates Sections 48 (1), the universal human right to life, of the Constitution and other sections of international agreements on rights to human life, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

The rights body called for a collective effort among authorities to end the ritual killings and urged police to undergo further training to adequately deal with issues of human rights violations.

In July 2015, a four-year old pupil from St Lucy Primary School in the Kombo area of Insiza district in Matabeleland South province was found dead with her lips, liver and other body parts missing in a suspected case of ritual murder. Her body was found mutilated in a pond. The incident struck fear into villagers who indicated that they suspected the child was killed for ritual purposes. They started escorting their children to and from school. 

Legislator Pupurai Togarepi has moved a motion on the proliferation of chilling incidents of murder indicating that victims of such heinous crimes are the vulnerable and unsuspecting members of society, mostly women and children. 

In another bizarre suspected ritual killing in June 2020, a 25-year-old woman, Thabelo Mazolo, had her body mutilated and stashed into a drum filled with acid in Bulawayo. Part of the body, from the waist going down, was missing while breasts and palms appeared to have been sliced off. The ritualist murder had message from a sangoma with instructions to perform on the body, it reads “you must cut yourself and spill your blood onto a mirror. Gaze into the mirror and say out loud that you are selling your soul for riches.” 

The practice of ritual killing and human sacrifice continues to take place in several African countries in contravention of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and other human rights instruments. In this 21st century, human beings are still being hunted down, mutilated, murdered or sacrificed for ritual purposes across the region. 

Several cases of kidnapping and disappearance of persons are traced to the vicious schemes and activities of ritualists. Ritualists hunt for blood and harvest human body parts to prepare charms and magical concoctions. In some cases desperate ritualists invade cemeteries and exhume dead bodies to extract body parts, said one anonymous source.

Many cases of ritual sacrifice take place in secret locations. They are largely unreported, not investigated and go unpunished. The perpetrators and their collaborators capitalise on the prevalent irrational fear of the supernatural among Africans, and the poor and corrupt policing and justice system, to get away with these egregious violations. 

Victims of ritual sacrifice are mostly minors nd vulnerable individuals who do not live to seek justice or redress or who lack the resources to seek redress if ever they survive the ordeal. 

Human sacrifice is real, it is neither fallacious, frivolous nor fiction. It is a cancer which needs urgent attention and collective efforts by all stakeholders from grassroots level before it is normalised by satanic and evil forces in our societies.

Source: Human sacrifices, myth or reality?

South Africa: Acornhoek community marches against alleged ritual killings (2017 article)

The northeastern provinces of South Africa have a bad reputation when it comes to ritualistic activities and murders. Whereas commendable steps have been taken by local authorities to arrest and put on trial those suspected of involvement in these heinous crimes (see my previous postings), still much is left to be desired. This is illustrated by the article reproduced below, dating from 2017, focusing the citizens of Acornhoek in Mpumalanga province. The danger exists that citizens will take the law into their own hand if the authorities fail to react properly. In a country, ruled by the principles of the rule of law, mob justice has no place. Mob justice, however, is an important signal that the legal authorities fall short of the expectations which people justly hold (webmaster FVDK).

Acornhoek community marches against alleged ritual killings

COMMUNITY MEMORANDUM HANDOVER: A memorandum regarding the crime in the communities was submitted to Acornhoek Police Station Commander Colonel Ntwane.

Published: July 11, 2017
By: Letaba Herald –  Refiloe Matome

The community of Acornhoek (consisting of Cottondale, Timbavati, RDP and Plaza View) presented a memorandum to the Acornhoek SAPS regarding crime which is happening within their communities on June 28.

The memorandum presented to the station management in order for them to address the cases of ritual practices and child trafficking that is allegedly taking place within the community.

“As the citizens of this country, we no longer feel safe within our communities and the constitution clearly stated that we all have the right to live freely,” said Ndlovu of The Bushbuckridge Residents Association.

Three incidents were clearly highlighted where they believe victims were unfairly treated and justice was not served. The first being Wilson Mokoena’s case who was killed in Plaza View earlier this year and according to information provided to the Hoedspruit Herald, the suspect is a government official and is well known but no arrests have been made thus far.

“Alfred Madalane was found killed and dumped at an Acornhoek scrap yard with body parts missing, three suspects were arrested after confessing to his killing, but they were later released by the court stating that there was not enough evidence while the perpetrators confessed to his death,” added Ndlovu.

The last case that was presented to the SAPS for query was that of Maluleke who was killed and dumped at Pendulane cross with his blood allegedly drained from his body.

“The above mentioned cases need to be considered, we call upon the station commander to urgently intervene in these cases and all suspects need to be rearrested immediately. We expect to get a respond with immediate effect before the community takes the law into their own hands,” concluded Ndlovu.

Source: Acornhoek community marches against alleged ritual killings

Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings (2011 article)

Browsing on internet I found this 2011 article written by Fanuel Hadzizi from Zimbabwe. The article could have been written in the year 2000, or much earlier, and even nowadays, in the year 2020 !

I find it encouraging reading this article on a topic which it too often swept under the carpet although its main message is a sad one. The author pleads to break the silence on ritual killings in Africa and points to several cases of ritual killings in Southern Africa to warrant his plea. He concludes “It is time governments turn up the heat on culprits and put an end to this violation of human rights.”

What else can I say? Highly recommended – read ‘AFRICA: BREAKING THE SILENCE IN RITUAL KILLINGS’ by Fanuel Hadzizi, Gender Links Justice Program Officer of PeaceWomen. Peacewomen is the Women, Peace and Security Program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the oldest women’s peace organization in the world. 

Warning: The following article contains graphic details of ritual murders (FVDK)

Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings

Published: September 26, 2011
By: Peace WomenFanuel Hadzizi

Ritual killings and human sacrifice happen in many, if not all countries in Africa. Cases have been reported in such countries as Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In Zambia, there have been cases whereby people’s heads were found in Asian owned shops whilst in Swaziland, some politicians commissioned ritual killings so that they could win elections. The grossness of the ritual murders is quite scary to imagine as victims’ bodies are mutilated and certain body parts go missing. Needless to mention that in South Africa for instance, body parts can be sold for as little as R3000.

On 24 September, South Africa celebrated Heritage Day under the banner “celebrating the Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle in South Africa.” According to the Department of Arts and Culture, the theme allowed the nation to “celebrate the lasting legacy of the national liberation struggle.”

Most importantly, Heritage Day provides an opportunity for South Africans to celebrate their cultural heritage and diversity of beliefs and traditions. As a concerned resident, I also feel that this is an opportunity for us to break the silence around the negative cultural practice of ritual killings that is prevalent in society and yet violates the basic universal human right to life.

During the course of Women’s Month in August, South Africa became the ninth Southern African Development Community (SADC) country to ratify the Protocol on Gender and Development. This brought to two thirds the number of countries that have done so, and means that the Protocol is now in force.

As we also celebrate the coming into force of this crucial instrument, let us ponder what is meant by the provision that all states adopt laws and policies to protect the girl and boy child from “harmful cultural attitudes and practices in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.”

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. 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 business people 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!

Ritual killings or muti killings are committed for the purpose of taking human body parts which are used to prepare charms and other traditional medicines. These charms are believed to have supernatural powers which are greatly enhanced if the organs are removed whilst the victim is still alive.

In Southern Africa there is a belief that female body parts possess supernatural powers that bring good fortune or make criminals invisible to police and other authorities. Research has shown that in other countries, especially in East Africa, the breast and a woman’s private parts enhance business success, a man’s private parts are believed to increase virility whilst a tongue can smooth one’s path to a lover’s heart.

In fact, ritual killing is perceived as an act of spiritual fortification.

In an article titled New Magic for New Times: Muti Murder in Democratic South Africa, Louise Vincent (2008) says that “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.” The victim is thus carefully chosen.

The Sowetan reported in July this year that the brother of Gladys Mogaramedi (61) killed her for her body parts. Police discovered the badly mutilated body without the private parts. I felt a very cold chill down my spine as I read through the story with shock and disbelief. Even after reading it twice I still found myself at a loss for words, trying to comprehend how a person could execute such a diabolic act moreover to a sibling without any conscience.

The South African case highlighted above is but the tip of the iceberg to some of the cultural problems that our society is still grappling with in relation to gender based violence. More often than not, these crimes evade the spotlight because they are largely unreported or recorded merely as murder. Ritualists target vulnerable members of society such as the poor, women, children, people with disabilities and albinos whose families often do not have the resources to demand justice.

It is time governments turn up the heat on culprits and put an end to this violation of human rights. Heavy sentences should be given to those who commission as well as carry out the ritual killings. It is heartening to note that in a July 2010 ruling, the High Court of Mwanza region sentenced 50 year old Kazimiri Mashauri to death. The Tanzanian court convicted him for hacking to death a 5 year old girl for muti-related purposes.

Fanuel Hadzizi is the Gender Links Justice Program Officer of Peace Women,

Source: Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings

From Namibia: “Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind”

A few days ago my attention was drawn by an Op-Ed article in an online Namibian newspaper, New Era Live. The article was entitled: “Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind“. It is a cry for attention, a cry for vigilance, a cry for leadership and for stiffer sanctions for those who are responsible for these heinous crimes, including traditional healers and – too often – relatives of the innocent victims, in many cases young children.

The anonymous author (a staff reporter) starts his or her plea stating “I want to share with you the excruciating pain that stabs my heart every time I read or hear about the senseless loss of life due to ritual or muti killings.”

I was shocked reading this. Is the present situation that bad? How frequent are ritual murrders (‘muti murders’) in Southern Africa?

I monitor relevant events in African countries with particular interest, as this site also demonstrates. Whereas I feel a kind of pride or joy when confronted with readers and/or reporters rejecting the repulsive practices of ritual or muti murders, it also hurts to see a confirmation of the plague that terrorizes too many people in too many African countries.

“One shudders to think about the many muti killings of people, young and old, that are happening almost on a daily basis in Southern Africa in particular, (…)”, the anonymous author continues. 

Also revealing is the following statement:

“A study carried out in South Africa by scholars Randitsheni, Masoga and Madzusi (2017) revealed that “[some] pastors, businessmen, traditional leaders and leaders are involved in ritual murders”.  The three scholars give more details of their research findings in their paper titled “Some perspectives on the impacts of ritual murders in the Vhembe district of South Africa: An interpretive phenomenological approach” which was published in the Journal of Social Sciences (Volume 48, Number 3).  This is not to give an impression that ritual murders occur in South Africa only. Other scholars who have conducted researches in this area have revealed similar results in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Eswatini, Uganda, and Namibia, just to mention a few countries. “

I am flabbergasted. At the same time I am proud of the author and everyone who thinks alike. It strikes me that this cry for justice, for the eradication of this scourge in our contemporary societies, comes from Namibia. Apparently, much more occurs beneath the surface in this Southern African country than one would think at first glance. The ‘New Era’ newspaper which published this op-ed is a leading source of community and national news in Namibia. Its owners and editors are to be commended for their courageous decision to publish this view. May many more newspaper owners, editors and journalists join the war against ritualistic murders in Africa.

Together it will be possible to eradicate this medieval belief in superstition. Nothing is impossible. “You never fail until you stop trying.”
(webmaster FVDK)

“Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind”

Published: October 22, 2020
By: New Era Live, Namibia

If you are reading this article, wherever you are, prepare to shed tears. Prepare to travel with me on this emotional journey, as I interrogate the evil that men do, that of ritual killings, which have left people questioning the essence of life, since some people can take it away from you or someone at once, just like that. I want to share with you the excruciating pain that stabs my heart every time I read or hear about the senseless loss of life due to ritual or muti killings. 

The world has turned topsy-turvy, completely upside down, and everyone’s life is at risk, either directly or indirectly. People fear for their lives and the lives of their children and loved ones. Everyone’s life is in danger as there are some immoral people who have taken the law into their hands, and can decide how many more days you are left with alive on this earth. It is horrendous.

The stonehearted murderers can be anyone ranging from, paradoxically, people closest to you, to complete strangers. The love of riches and fame, the eagerness to get rich quickly without working for it, and the love of power and fame have led people to involve themselves in atrocious, inhuman activities. One shudders to think about the many muti killings of people, young and old, that are happening almost on a daily basis in Southern Africa in particular, and elsewhere in the world. Research reveals that ritual killings are so rampant in Africa that some researchers have described ritual murder as a pandemic. The grisly killings of innocent victims, especially children and women, have shocked communities, societies and the whole world. 

Many unsuspecting victims have been lured by people they know and killed for ritual purposes. We have read and heard about small children and teenagers who have been brutally murdered by their close relatives. As you read this article, or as you sit there at home or in a classroom  – wherever you are  – always bear in mind that you may be a candidate for ritual murder. Many victims have lost their lives through the involvement of their close relatives or loved ones. In these cases, it becomes tricky for the law enforcement agents to prevent such murders as relatives and loved ones are supposed to take care of the children, and not to kill them.

The belief that a human being’s body parts or limps bring luck, riches and power to people has fuelled the crime of ritual killing. Corpses have been discovered without heads, private parts and internal organs, suggesting that these are the most sought-after parts to be used in muti or medicinal concoctions.  As the evil men harvest human body parts for their benefits, societies are traumatised, yet it is in these societies that we find the perpetrators of this heinous crime. It is in these societies that most of the killings are secretly planned and executed. The irony is that some respectable members of these communities promote these ritual murders for various reasons. Some of them are leopards clothed in sheep’s skins.  

A study carried out in South Africa by scholars Randitsheni, Masoga and Madzusi (2017) revealed that “[some] pastors, businessmen, traditional leaders and leaders are involved in ritual murders”.  The three scholars give more details of their research findings in their paper titled “Some perspectives on the impacts of ritual murders in the Vhembe district of South Africa: An interpretive phenomenological approach” which was published in the Journal of Social Sciences (Volume 48, Number 3).  This is not to give an impression that ritual murders occur in South Africa only. Other scholars who have conducted researches in this area have revealed similar results in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Eswatini, Uganda, and Namibia, just to mention a few countries. As I write, the Zimbabwean community is failing to come to terms with how a man could have allegedly taken part in the planning and ritual killing of his brother’s seven-year-old son. The account of the cold blooded murder of the fateful boy by the co-accused man, in this case, is available on Youtube for those who have the guts to listen to such a chilling narrative of a despicable act. 

 The ubiquity of ritual murders in Africa proves that the crime is a scourge in our contemporary societies. The crime is a cancer that is spreading in our societies at an alarming rate. The belief in supernatural powers and superstition are the driving forces of ritual murders and sacrificial killings in our societies. Traditional healers tell you, for example, that in order for you to be successful in life, you must kill your son or daughter, or someone you love dearly like your wife. Foolishly, some people believe this and they murder their loved ones for nothing. 
 It is also true that the moral fabric of our societies is decaying at a fast rate. The African concept of Ubuntu seems to be melting away fast, leaving a culture of violence in our societies. One result of the loss of Ubuntu is that the sanctity of human life is no longer respected; this is why some people can be hired to kill for money. 

Concerned researchers on ritual murders have gone to the extent of studying ancient civilisations. They have revealed that the bible is replete with sacrificial killings or offerings of human beings. In some religions, sacrificial killings happen today. 
In order to curb ritual murders, families should be vigilant and protect their children. Community leaders and politicians must denounce these killings at gatherings. Stiffer sentences must be imposed on criminals convicted of ritual murders.  Let us teach the love of one another as humans in our homes. Ubuntu teachings should find a place in our homes. Let us be exemplary to our children since psychologists have proved that children learn what they live. Say no to ritual killings and save lives.

Source: Opinion – Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind

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