Zimbabwe: latest news on the ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore

This is, for the time being, the last series of articles related to the ritual murder of 7-year old Tapiwa Makore from Murewa village, Zimbabwe, last month. See my previous postings on the subject. Interested readers who wish to learn further developments in this muti murder case are advised to use a search machine to find out. The purpose of this site is not to cover each and every aspect of a ritual murder. This site aims to draw attention to the occurrence of this phenomenon – notably in Africa – which constitutes not only a gruesome and heinous murder and crime but also a disrespect for human rights – of both the victim and his or her relatives and the society at large.

No one should live in fear. Freedom from fear is considered an essential human right. Governments are supposed to protect their citizens and correct and punish perpetrators of crimes against an individual or against the society at large.

Warning: the following articles contain graphic details of the gruesome murder (webmaster FVDK).

Father Of Slain Murewa Boy Seeks Closure

Published: October 25, 2020
By: New Zimbabwe – Robert Tapfumaneyi 

The delayed burial of the late seven-year-old Murewa boy, Tapiwa Makore who was brutally murdered for suspected ritual purposes has brought more pain to the deceased’s family.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the father Munyaradzi Makore, the father of the deceased, he wants his son’s remains interred so that he rests in peace.

However, the challenge the family is facing is Tapiwa’s head is missing, a month after he was slain by an uncle, Tapiwa Makore Snr, and his herd boy, Tafadzwa Shamba. Both have been arrested and are in remand prison.

The local chief is insisting he will not allow Tapiwa to be buried without his head, but the killers are mum on the whereabouts of the head.

“I have finally accepted that my son Tapiwa is dead and that he died a very painful death,” Makore said.

“But what pains me most is that it’s almost a month now and we are still mourning as we are yet to bury the remains of my late son.

“The two killers who murdered my son were arrested and are currently in police custody and the herd boy openly admitted to the killing and he also told the police the person he gave the Tapiwa’s head.

“It’s painful for us knowing who carried the brutal murder. The killers cannot tell us or the police where the head is. What is stopping them from telling us where the head is so that we can finally bury Tapiwa?” Makore said.

He said the family’s appeal was for the murderers to come out in the open and tell them where the missing head is as his remains were now in a bad state.

Makore also appealed with the courts to be firmer when sentencing his son’s killers.

“The courts must also give a stiffer sentence to deter anyone who wants to commit ritual murders. Children must be protected at all cost, no to ritual murders.”

Tapiwa was murdered on the night of September 24 after being kidnapped from the family garden where he was keeping watch.

Source: Father Of Slain Murewa Boy Seeks Closure

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Murehwa Ritual Murder Victim’s Father Pleads With Killers For Closure

Murehwa Ritual Murder Victim’s Father Pleads With Killers: Munyaradzi Makore, Tapiwa’s father(Photo Credit: New Zimbabwe)

Published: October 25, 2020
By: iHarare – By Audrey L. Ncube 

The family of the late Tapiwa Makore has pleaded with his killers to let them know where they put his head so that they can finally bury him and find closure.

The delayed burial of the late seven-year-old Murewa boy who was brutally murdered on September 24  for suspected ritual purposes has brought more pain to the deceased’s family as hopes of finding his missing head are diminishing by the day.

Speaking during an interview with New Zimbabwe, the father of the deceased, Munyaradzi Makore appealed to Tapiwa’s murderers to come out in the open and tell them where Tapiwa’s missing head is as his remains are now in a bad state.

“I have finally accepted that my son Tapiwa is dead and that he died a very painful death.”

“But what pains me most is that it’s almost a month now and we are still mourning as we are yet to bury the remains of my late son.”

“The two killers who murdered my son were arrested and are currently in police custody and the herd boy openly admitted to the killing and he also told the police the person he gave the Tapiwa’s head.”

“It’s painful for us knowing who carried the brutal murder. The killers cannot tell us or the police where the head is. What is stopping them from telling us where the head is so that we can finally bury Tapiwa?” Makore said.

It’s been nearly a month since Tapiwa was murdered and the family still hasn’t been able to bury him. All that his father wants is for his son’s missing head to be found so that his son can finally rest in peace.

Makore also appealed with the courts to be firm when sentencing his son’s killers.

“The courts must also give a stiffer sentence to deter anyone who wants to commit ritual murders. Children must be protected at all cost, no to ritual murders,” he said.

Articles you may want to read:

Source: Murehwa Ritual Murder Victim’s Father Pleads With Killers For Closure

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2 Skulls Of Kids Discovered In Murehwa And Neither Of Them Is Tapiwa’s

Published: October 23, 2020
By: Timeye, Zimbabwe

The victim, 7-year old Tapiwa Makore

“…We also discovered separate sets of teeth; and two separate skulls, one with lower teeth and the other one with upper teeth but without a tongue…” 

This week marks 5 weeks after 7 year old Tapiwa Makore was discovered dead in Murehwa.

His relatives this week tell ZimEye, the story is still the same since that fateful day on the 17th September when Tapiwa’s body was found dismembered without several parts that include his head.

5 days later two skulls of children were discovered and one of them they boldly deny could ever be Tapiwa’s.

They said they are convinced that the first discovered fresh skull could not be their “son’s”.

Mr Isaac Makore (57), the deceased boy’s granduncle, said the newly discarded skull they chanced on was not his grandnephew’s, but that of a 12-year-old, yet to be identified child’s.

As a result of the uncertainty, Tapiwa is still to find rest, as burial arrangements have been put on hold pending further investigations.

“My grandnephew went missing, and we later discovered his torso with other organs, like the head, hands, and legs missing. We also discovered separate sets of teeth; and two separate skulls, one with lower teeth and the other one with upper teeth but without a tongue.

“Indications are that the other skull belongs to a yet to be identified older child, and not our ‘child’s’, Mr Makore said.

However, the boy’s privates were untouched.

Following Tapiwa’s grisly murder, and the unearthing of more mutilated body parts, villagers are now living in fear of death merchants who could be on the prowl in the area, seeking children’s hearts for ritual purposes.

Tapiwa’s uncle, Mr Simbarashe Makore (38), said it is believed that there could be many children, although not from their area, who could have been killed for ritual purposes, and had their bodies dumped in the proximity of their village.

“We are now living in fear. Our prayer is that the police apprehend the culprits and rid our area of this menace. Who knows, after our children, they may also come for us, their parents. How could someone kill a fellow human being in such cold blood just like that?” he bemoaned.

Ms Easther Makore (52), Tapiwa’s aunt concurred, saying the police should not leave any stone unturned and get to the bottom of the issue as it was mind-boggling that so many human organs could be discovered hard upon her nephew’s demise.

Meanwhile more confusion has built up following the police’s delay in catching the N’anga who allegedly ordered the killing.

 This comes at the backdrop of an unnamed N’anga at the weekend making allegations that Tapiwa’s head was taken to a property in Dzvivarasekwa.  – the investigation continues

WILL TAPIWA MAKORE’S HEAD EVER BE FOUND?

Screenshot – click the link below (‘Source’) to watch the video.

Source: 2 Skulls Of Kids Discovered In Murehwa And Neither Of Them Is Tapiwa’s

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Murehwa killing: Boy’s burial delayed

Slain Tapiwa Makore’s father, Mr Munyaradzi Makore, narrates the ordeal to journalists in the company of his wife Ms Linda Munyori

Published: October 21, 2020
By: Nehanda Radio, Zimbabwe 

The burial of the seven-year-old boy, Tapiwa Makore, killed and dismembered in a suspected ritual murder in Murehwa, will be delayed as police need the results of DNA tests on the torso, recovered first, and the limbs, found in a toilet later, to prove all the body parts belong to the boy.

Police are still hunting for the boy’s head, suspected to have been taken for ritual purposes.

The boy was murdered on the night of September 24 this year after being kidnapped earlier from the family garden.

The boy’s uncle, Tapiwa Makore (senior) and the uncle’s domestic worker, Tafadzwa Shamba, have since been arrested for the kidnapping and killing and have been remanded in custody for trial.

Results of the first samples of the torso sent for DNA tests last month were expected last week, but police later recovered the boy’s legs from a toilet and samples from the recovered legs were last week taken for testing.

The test results are expected in about two to three weeks’ time.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the burial might have to be delayed because results cannot be released piecemeal.

“Forensic tests are ongoing,” he said. “We have sent more samples to the laboratory and the family has to wait a bit until the results are out. The boy’s family has been appraised of the developments and they have to be patient until the tests are done.

“A comprehensive report, including all the samples, will be released once they are done with all the tests.”

Asst Comm Nyathi appealed for information on the whereabouts of the missing head.

“Up to now, we have not yet found the boy’s head and we appeal for information from those in the know so that we can recover it,” he said.

“Definitely, someone out there knows where the head is. We appeal for cooperation so that we recover it and complete our investigations.”

Government has also rendered support to the family during their bereavement. 
The Herald

Source: Murehwa killing: Boy’s burial delayed

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Legislators condemn the brutal killing of Tapiwa Makore

Published: October 21, 2020
By: The Herald, Zimbabwe – Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

Zimbabwe – MPs in parliament

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(paragraphs omitted by the webmaster FVDK for not being relevant to the murder case)

Meanwhile legislators condemned the brutal killing of Tapiwa Makore, a seven-year-old boy from Murehwa who was allegedly murdered for ritual purposes. The boy’s body was found mutilated with its head missing. His uncle also named Tapiwa Makore and his herdsman Tafadzwa Shamba have since been arrested as murder suspects.

Cde Togarepi yesterday moved a motion condemning the killing saying the perpetrators deserved to be punished severely for the crime.

He also called on the political and community leadership to conduct awareness campaigns against popular beliefs that human body parts could boost business ventures.

Cde Dexter Nduna also seconded the adoption of the motion saying there was nothing as painful as losing one’s child.

Source: MPs challenged to speak against sanctions

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Murdered boy’s family pushes for burial

Published: October 19, 2020
By: NewsdzeZimbabwe

Source: Murdered boy’s family pushes for burial

Zimbabwe – Murehwa ritual murder: Police quiz n’anga

Another development in the sad saga of the ritualistic murder of the young, 7-year old Tapiwa Makore. It must be said that local authorities and notably the local police acted swiftly after the discovery of the victims’ mutilated body, on September 18. Even President Mnangagwa reacted on the muthi (muti) murder, condemning the heinous crime on September 25 (see my posting dated October 2, 2020).

It is believed by superstitious, wicked people that body parts which have been taken – from a living victim (!) – and processed in a particular way, by a traditional healer or witchdoctor (n’anga), that these ritualistic activities will enhance one’s power or wealth.

There is no place for such superstition and disrespect for human life in the year 2020 (or before that year). The rule of law must apply, suspects should be put on trial and judged by an independent judge. And more prevention should take place: through education.  

Warning: The following articles contain graphic details of the cruel murder (webmaster FVDK).

Murehwa ritual murder: Police quiz n’anga

Asst Comm Paul Nyathi

Published: October 16, 2020
By: The Herald, Zimbabwe – Investigations Editor

POLICE have picked up a traditional healer for questioning over the missing head of the seven-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, suspected to have been murdered for ritual purposes.

Body parts taken in a ritual murder which occurred at Makore Village under Chief Mangwende, would have to be processed in particular ways, the superstitious believe, so that they bring good fortune and riches. 

Police started hunting for the traditional healer they believed was implicated in this killing soon after they arrested the two men they suspect were the actual killers. 

Only a torso and legs were recovered from the dismembered body, but the head is still missing.

In their investigations, police recovered the head of another child, a 12-year-old, in the same village, but think it may have been exhumed from a grave.

Although the police did not disclose the name of the traditional healer, they confirmed he was being questioned.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police have established that they had been given a lot of misleading information on the death of the boy and people were hiding crucial information.

“We have realised that some people are not telling the truth and they are hiding crucial information. But we will surely get to the bottom of the matter and the truth will come out,” said Asst-Comm Nyathi.

Tapiwa was allegedly murdered for ritual purposes by his uncle Tapiwa Makore (Senior) who used his own domestic worker, Tafadzwa Shamba (40).

The boy was kidnapped in the family garden in the village. 

Shamba, a herdsman, and the boy’s uncle have since been arrested and taken to court facing murder charges.

They now await trial while in remand prison. They were remanded in custody to October 26 in absentia yesterday, as they are still assisting police with investigations.

Meanwhile, police have taken the head of a 12-year-old child recently found in the same village for forensic analysis.

There has been no report of another missing child in that age group, creating room for suspicion that the head could have been exhumed from a grave.

“The other head found in Makore village is now subject to forensic analysis. So far no report of a missing person falling in that category has been received by the police. We are still investigating that matter,” said Asst-Comm Nyathi.

During investigations, Shamba recently told detectives he killed the boy by cutting off the head with a knife in the dead of the night, while the boy’s uncle was holding a torch.

Shamba said after the alleged murder, he carried a black plastic bag containing the head and the dismembered body while his employer, who is the boy’s uncle, carried another bag containing the arms and legs.

He led the team of detectives to the uncle’s homestead where he said he fed the boy, drugged him with kachasu and locked him up in a room for hours.

Shamba said he met the boy’s uncle around midnight and took the boy to a nearby mountain, where they allegedly killed him. 

“Around midnight, we opened the door and I carried the boy, who was still in deep slumber to a mountain in the village. Mr Makore carried the knives and the plastic bags. While here (in the mountain), I pressed the boy to the ground and cut off his head with a sharp knife, while his uncle was holding a torch for lighting.

“I also cut off the hands and legs, but we packed the parts in different plastic bags. I carried the one with the torso and the head while Mr Makore carried another one containing the legs and hands,” he said.

At the scene, investigators saw human waste, believed to have been excreted by the boy during the murder.

Shamba told detectives that he cleaned the scene of the blood and set the grass on fire to destroy evidence.

He said while walking back to Makore’s homestead, he felt the load was becoming heavier before dumping the torso near Mr Summer Murwira’s homestead.

While at Makore’s homestead, Shamba said he was instructed to put the head in one of the rooms, which he did.

The following day, Shamba said he dumped the arms and legs at a nearby grave as police investigations were intensifying.

Source: Murehwa ritual murder: Police quiz n’anga

More on the same subject:

Pastor Charles Charamba Speaks Out On Murehwa Ritual Killing

Pastor Charles Charamba

Published: October 14, 2020
By: iHarare, Zimbabwe – Audrey L. Ncube 

Gospel musician Pastor Charles Charamba has condemned the killing of children for ritual purposes. The condemnation comes in the wake of the murder of a seven-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore,  for ritual purposes, allegedly by his uncle.

In an interview with Hmetro, Pastor Charamba decried the loss of young children as a result of heinous and evil actions for rituals and witchcraft purposes.

“The disappointing aspect in this account of Tapiwa from Murewa is that those men that wanted to be rich, wanted to be rich during this lockdown knowing that everyone in the world has been impoverished.

“They were led by that need to be rich when everything else around the world is stagnant, that is very evil,” Pastor Charamba said.

Pastor Charamba revealed that he is pained by the unfortunate killing of Tapiwa Makore for ritual purposes. He emphasized how the Bible talks about the sacredness of life.

“For me as a pastor, it is very unfortunate that we lost Tapiwa and others of his age but I am saying that life is sacred.

He explained it is painful and unfortunate that these killings are done by people very close to the children. He called on guardians to keep children safe and not to fall under the influence of superstition as it is an enemy of society.

“It is something that is very sad and very unfortunate because it is being done by people who are supposed to be trusted custodians of the children. They abuse their offices and also abuse their relationships with their victims.

“We are hoping that the Almighty guides us so that our society changes and improves when it comes to issues that have to do with trust.

“Above all, the way in which we people want money nowadays is not a good way at all and this is also being caused by what is known as superstition because what people usually regard as worshipping is not actually worshipping,” he said.


SourcePastor Charles Charamba Speaks Out On Murehwa Ritual Killing

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Murehwa Ritual Murder Details Emerge… Victim’s Uncle Wanted To Use Body Parts To Get Rich And For Horticulture Project

Tapiwa Makore Senior

Published: October 1, 2020
By: iHarare, Zimbabwe – Sharon Chirisa

Murehwa Ritual Murder Details… Victim’s Uncle Wanted To Get Rich 

The senseless murder of 7 year old Tapiwa Makore from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende, in Murehwa, left the whole country with a bitter taste in their mouths.

The whole country is still recovering from the heinous crime and never has been the pursuit of justice been swift and urgent before.

Tapiwa Makore was abducted while he was watching over his family’s garden from thieving monkeys, only for his mutilated corpse to turn up the next day, being ravaged by the Makore neighbors’ oblivious dogs.

A breakthrough emerged in the case, after the cattle herdman, Tafadzwa Shamba was arrested in connection with the murder, eventually leading to Tapiwa’s namesake and uncle, as being the mastermind behind the cold blooded killing.

The police were correct in treating it as a ritual murder, because that is what it turned out to be after further investigations.

Ritual murders are often accompanied by mutilation and the dismemberment of certain body parts which are believed to be the main ingredients for spells, this mostly includes the head, private parts, tongue and sometimes the eyes and limbs.

The reason behind Tapiwa Makore’s murder is more shocking like the murder itself.

According to state broadcaster reports earlier this week, his uncle had him killed because he wanted to increase his wealth and boost his horticulture project using dark magic.

Tapiwa Makore’s other body parts were taken to a yet to be identified witch doctor, who would then perform the spell.

Even more chilling was the fact that Tapiwa Makore Senior stood by, holding a torch for illumination, as Tafadzwa Shamba was murdering his nephew.

An eerily composed Tafadzwa Shamba appeared on TV indicating on the crime scene  and narrating the horrific details leading to Tapiwa Makore’s final hours.

Tapiwa Makore’s final hours must have been frightening and lonely as he was detained in the home of the man who was not only a trusted family member, but his namesake as well.

The boy was restrained, drugged using an illicit brew of alcohol and then taken to a mountain in the night where he was decapitated and mutilated.

His uncle Tapiwa Makore Snr , initially denied the accusations but an arrest was made.

Makore and Shamba are currently remanded in custody, awaiting trial on the 13th of October 2020.

The stain of his death is one that will linger on in the psyches of many.

Source: Murehwa Ritual Murder Details Emerge… Victim’s Uncle Wanted To Use Body Parts To Get Rich And For Horticulture Project

Zimbabwe – Murehwa ritual killing: N’anga speaks on Murehwa boy’s murder

The following articles provide a useful insight into the background of (some) ritual murders in Sub-Saharan Africa – in this case in Zimbabwe – notably the involvement of relatives.

To refresh your mind, the articles relate to the gruesome muthi or muti murder of a 7-year old boy in Makore village, Mashonaland East. On September 18 of this year, 7-year old Tapiwa Makore was discovered, severely mutilated with several body parts missing, after he got missing a few days earlier. Soon the police arrested a suspected culprit as well as the man who allegedly ordered the crime, Tapiwa Makore Senior, uncle of the deceased and the elder brother of the victim’s father.

Now the police have arrested a traditional healer (n’niga), Tinei Makore aka Marvelous Muchedzi, a witch doctor who allegedly is connected to the murder. The suspect is also a relative of the murdered boy’s parent. He is also a known tsikamutanda (witch hunter).

Notwithstanding the foregoing, we should not forget that one is not guilty until found guilty in an impartial, transparent trial by an independent judge. That’s the rule of law which is one of the pillars of a free, democratic society respecting the universal human rights. But the same human rights also give the right to live: an unalienable right of both the victim and the countless other victims of ritualistic activities – both in Zimbabwe, in Sub-Saharan Africa and the world at large.

Warning: the following articles contain graphic details of the heinous crime (webmaster FVDK).

The victim of the ritual murder, 7-year old Tapiwa Makore

Murehwa Ritual Killing Latest: N’anga speaks on Murehwa boy’s murder

October 11, 2020
By: Sunday Mail Zimbabwe – Garikai Mazara

THE mystery surrounding the whereabouts of slain seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore’s missing head and hands has deepened.

The traditional healer suspected to be the brains behind the ritual murder is saying it was pure coincidence that he happened to visit the village the week that the boy disappeared and was allegedly murdered.

Tapiwa disappeared on Thursday September 17, only for his torso to be dragged by dogs into a village compound the following morning. 

Tinei Makore, also known as Marvellous Muchedzi, who is a known traditional healer, had left the village the previous day, Wednesday September 16.

The Sunday Mail tracked him down and found him at his compound in the Mvurwi farming area. He confirmed that he had, indeed, visited his home village in the three days preceding Tapiwa’s disappearance and subsequent murder.

He revealed that he spent his three-day stay in the village with Tapiwa Makore Senior, the co-accused in the disappearance and alleged murder of Tapiwa Junior.

“I had been away from my village for slightly more than a year. I got a witch-hunting job to do at Chabwino Farm, in the Shamva area and after I was paid, I decided to go home and catch up with my cousins,” narrated Tinei.

“I left this farm (Mvurwi area) on Saturday and arrived in Makore village Monday. Since I moved out of the village some three years back and there is no one staying in the home which we used to stay, Tapiwa Senior said I could spend my days in the village staying with him.

“On the Monday, we spent time in the village mixing with other folks, trying to catch up. That night I slept at Tapiwa’s home. The following day, I spent almost the whole of it attending to my motorbike which had a puncture. 

“Tapiwa Senior said he was going to work with other villagers on deepening his well, as the water was no longer enough for his cabbages.”

Tinei said he slept at Tapiwa Senior’s home as well that Tuesday evening before bidding him farewell on Wednesday morning as he returned to Mvurwi.

“I stopped-over at Kashiri’s place, Fraser Farm, around the Bindura area, on my way here. I slept there Thursday and arrived back on Friday. Then on Saturday morning, I received a call from the person I had visited at Chabwino, asking me if it was true, the news that was coming from Makore village that a child had been found murdered. 

“That is how I got to know that there had been a murder back in my village. I told him I was back in Mvurwi and had not heard anything. Then the news started circulating on social media and I phoned some relatives back home, only to find out if it was true.”

A self-confessed traditional healer since 1992, “when I was 20 years old”, Tinei said it was happenstance that he decided to visit his village the same week that Tapiwa Junior disappeared and coincidental that he stayed with Tapiwa Senior, the co-accused in the disappearance and murder of Tapiwa Junior.

Chief Superintendent George Mugonda, Officer in Charge at Murehwa Police Station, confirmed that Tinei is a suspect, though they were not sure about his whereabouts.

“We have been informed by the family that a relative, for long known as a traditional healer, visited the village in the days leading to the disappearance of Tapiwa Junior. We are yet to interview him as we don’t know his whereabouts,” the police supremo in Murehwa district said.

At Makore village, Munyaradzi Makore and wife, the parents of the murdered boy, said though they do not have any conclusive evidence linking Tinei to the murder, what they cannot understand is the coincidence around their relative, a known tsikamutanda (witch hunter), visiting at about the same time their son disappeared.

“For the time being we are working with what Tafadzwa Shamba has indicated and further than that, we are not privileged to comment neither can we assume. Just that the coincidence is too much to stomach for us. We will leave the police to conclude their investigations,” said Munyaradzi, the father.

Chief Supt Mugonda said besides Shamba’s confessions, which led to the discovery of the boy’s legs, they have no further information. 

“The co-accused, Tapiwa Makore Senior, is refusing any involvement in the murder. In fact, he is not saying anything apart from his name. So all the information that we have so far, is what Tafadzwa has told us.”

According to Makore villagers, Tapiwa Senior lived in Harare for several years before returning to the village in July this year with a proposal to do a cabbage project. And for effect, there are times he came with his “investors” to have a look at his settings.

The long-term plan was to drill a borehole, with the help of the “investors”. However, after a couple of visits, the “investors” stopped coming to the village for the progress checks. Besides the cabbage nursery, land had been prepared for transplanting the same.

Stuck with more than enough cabbage seedlings, Tapiwa Senior is said to have started selling the seedlings, which apparently found no takers, as the water sources were drying up in the area. He, however, managed to transplant some of them in his garden.

Then Tinei, the traditional healer, paid the three-day visit, arriving on a Monday, departing on a Wednesday, a day before Tapiwa Junior disappeared.

On Friday September 18 morning, a dog dragged a human torso into a nearby village compound.

“What pains us up to now,” narrated Mrs Makore, Tapiwa’s mother, “is that uncle Tapiwa accompanied us on the six-hour party that we had to look for my son. But looking back now, we now understand, he was interfering a lot with the search, saying things that dispirited us. We abandoned the search around midnight, which tallies with the time that Tafadzwa said they killed my son.

Screenshot from the video, click here to listen to the interview

“The following morning, as soon as daybreak, we resumed the search. Then a boy was sent to where we were, advising us to abandon the search and go home. I started crying, I knew that my son was dead. But my thinking then, as I had sent him to the garden, was that he had drowned in a well. I was asked not to go where everyone was going, but asked to go to my mother-in-law’s place.

“This was around 7am. I was only asked to attend to the scene around 3pm when the police had already been called in. My husband, though, had been there. When I got there the torso was covered with a blanket and I did not see anything. The only time I saw it, was when it was put into the steel coffin.”

At the time of his disappearance, Tapiwa Junior was putting on a maroon trousers and a white round-neck jersey with blue stripes. His shoes were found by the garden but the clothes have not been found as yet.

When investigating officers came back after collecting the body, they asked everyone in the village to stand with his wife. All the women were asked to stay in one place and as the men went on a search of each household.

A trousers with blood stains was found in Tafadzwa’s room. Tafadzwa was staying with Tapiwa Senior as his herd boy. On initial and separate questioning, Tapiwa Senior is said to have said that the blood was that of a chicken that he had asked Tafadzwa to kill for their meal. On the other hand, Tafadzwa is said to have said he had slept with a virgin the previous day. When the named girl was asked, she refused having slept with Tafadzwa.

Interestingly, Tinei, the traditional healer, in admitting that for two nights he slept in one of Tapiwa Senior’s spare bedrooms, said that Tafadzwa was not staying with Tapiwa Senior, but was staying at the Katsande homestead, a stone’s throw from Tapiwa’s homestead. He said Tapiwa Senior prepared the Tuesday meal for him.

In accordance with local traditions, Chief Mangwende has ordered that no corpse will be buried in his area without a head.

Thus, the Makores’ appeal to the co-accused is to come clean on the whereabouts of their son’s head so that he can be accorded a decent burial.

“We want our son to finally be put to rest but we are appealing to those who have our son’s head to come clean, there is no need to keep hiding it because the whole world now knows what happened. We want closure on the matter, at least for now,” said the mother.

Chief Supt Mugonda was singing from the same hymn book, pleading with anyone who might have information that might bring the matter to finality to come forward. 

“This issue is no longer a Murehwa issue, but it is now a national issue, so if there is anyone out there who might have any information that might help us locate the boy’s head, please let them come forward.”

Tinei, the traditional healer, said no one, not even the police, had approached him to give his side of the story but has nothing to hide. 

“It is just pure coincidence that I happened to be at the village the same week this murder occurred, otherwise I am prepared to go back to the village to clear my name.”

On the two Tapiwas’ sharing the same name, Mr Munyaradzi Makore said it was pure coincidence that they gave their son the name of his cousin, and that they did not give him the name as an honour to Tapiwa Senior.

“True, we once stayed with him (Tapiwa Senior) in Mufakose for some four months. At the time, I had separated with my wife and during the course of reuniting, we had this son, and we were just elated that we had been blessed with a son, as our first-born was a girl. So we named him Tapiwa. It had nothing to do with my cousin.”

Source: N’anga speaks on Murehwa boy’s murder

More (partly based on the previous article):

Murehwa Ritual Killing Latest: N’anga Speaks Out

Published: October 11, 2020
By: iHarare – Tim E. Ndoro

The investigation into the horrific ritual murder of seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa last month has taken another twist after the n’anga who is alleged to be the mastermind of the plot spoke out. The traditional healer is denying claims that he was behind the ritual murder and is insisting that it’s pure coincidence that he was in Makore Village around almost the same time that Tapiwa was kidnapped and murdered in cold blood.

iHarare has learned from the Sunday Mail – see preceding article (webmaster FVDK) – that Tinei Makore, who also goes by Marvellous Muchedzi, is a well known traditional healer who is related to the victim and the chief suspect Tapiwa Makore senior.

The traditional healer is reported to have visited Makore Village and stayed with Tapiwa Makore Senior. After he left, 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore disappeared the next day and his mutilated torso was discovered a day later.

The police have since confirmed that they regard the n’anga as a suspect but have been unable to locate him so far. Chief Superintendent George Mugonda, the Officer in Charge at Murehwa Police Station, told the publication,

“We have been informed by the family that a relative, for long known as a traditional healer, visited the village in the days leading to the disappearance of Tapiwa Junior. We are yet to interview him as we don’t know his whereabouts,”

Tafadzwa Shamba at the crime scene

However, reporters from the Sunday Mail managed to track down Tinei Makore at this base in Mvurwi, where he insisted that his hands are clean. The traditional healer said that it was mere coincidence that he visited the village a few days before Tapiwa was kidnapped and killed in the ritual killing.

Narrating the events surrounding his visit, the n’anga told the scribes,

“I had been away from my village for slightly more than a year. I got a witch-hunting job to do at Chabwino Farm, in the Shamva area and after I was paid, I decided to go home and catch up with my cousins.

“I left this farm (Mvurwi area) on Saturday and arrived in Makore village Monday. Since I moved out of the village some three years back and there is no one staying in the home which we used to stay, Tapiwa Senior said I could spend my days in the village staying with him.

“On Monday, we spent time in the village mixing with other folks, trying to catch up. That night I slept at Tapiwa’s home. The following day, I spent almost the whole of it attending to my motorbike which had a puncture.

Tapiwa Makore Senior (Image Credit: Zimpapers Digital) 

Tinei also said that the police are yet to get in touch with him over the matter insisting that he is quite eager to clear his name.

“It is just pure coincidence that I happened to be at the village the same week this murder occurred, otherwise I am prepared to go back to the village to clear my name.”

Tapiwa’s family and the police are appealing for information which can aid in the recovery of Tapiwa’s head.

The family is currently unable to bury Tapiwa’s remains because traditional leader, Chief Mangwende decreed hat no corpse will be buried in his area without a head.

Source: Murehwa Ritual Killing Latest: N’anga Speaks Out

Zimbabwe: ritual murder unites nation

The news of the ritual murder of a 7-year old boy, Tapiwa Makore – also see my previous, most recent postings – has shocked the nation. Zimbabwe griefs. The following article ‘Ritual murder unites nation’ is somewhat comforting but the parents’ pain after the mutilated body of their son had been found can never be removed. A gruesome crime has been committed. Unfortunately not the first muti murder in Zimbabwe – let’s hope it’s the last one.

Warning: The articles describing the discovery of the victim’s mutilated body and subsequent developments including the arrest of several suspects contain graphic details of the muthi murder (webmaster FVDK).

Ritual murder unites nation

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa,who is also Zanu PF Women’s League secretary for Information and the party’s secretary for Women’s Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona console slain Tapiwa Makore’s father, Mr Munyaradzi Makore, during their visit to family’s homestead in Murehwa yesterday. — Picture: Memory Mangombe

Published: October 10, 2020
By: The Herald 

The ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore (7) of Nyamutumbu Village in Murehwa has united the nation as people from all walks of life have joined hands in consoling the family, with some from the Diaspora contributing towards funeral expenses.

The boy’s uncle, Tapiwa Makore (Senior) (57), is accused of murdering his brother’s child with the help of his herdsman, Tafadzwa Shamba.

Both have since been arrested and remanded in custody on murder charges as police continue their hunt for the witchdoctor accused of processing body parts.

The witchdoctor’s name has not been revealed.

The child had his head, arms and legs cut off in the ritual killing after being kidnapped and drugged.

A lot of the reaction has been directed at witchdoctors who instigate ritual murders and process body parts, with most wanting them hunted down and punished as severely as the actual killers

Yesterday, the Zanu PF Women’s League led by secretary for Women’s Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa paid condolences to the Makore family and donated groceries and cash.

Church members, the local leadership, relatives and members of the community have since the death of Tapiwa been visiting the Makore homestead for prayers and to comfort the family.

The Zanu PF Women’s League expressed dismay that instead of working hard to be successful, some people were turning to ritual murders in a superstitious attempt to get rich.

Cde Chinomona said the Women’s League and the whole nation had been traumatised by the incident and would not rest until justice was served.

She said the boy’s death was no longer a Makore issue as it had affected the whole nation, including President Mnangagwa.

“The death of Tapiwa is an eye-opener. We now know there were murderers in the community and this will put an end to the rituals. The nation is in pain. Everywhere people are affected and waiting for justice to be served. The death of Tapiwa has shown that some people are engaging in evil acts to get rich.

“Let us work hard to be successful. We cannot destroy the nation because of greed. As women, we are going to pray for justice to prevail. I am grateful that women have come in large numbers including members of different churches to console Tapiwa’s mother,” she said.

Cde Chinomona said they would unite as the Women’s League and march against ritual killings to ensure justice is delivered.

“Witchdoctors who are promoting murder should be arrested, shamed and exposed,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said as a mother, she knew how it felt to lose a child and that experience was not easy to get over.

“As a mother I know how it feels. After all the nine-month pregnancy experience, labour pains, the sacrifice one does for the upkeep of the child only to the lose the son to murder. What has happened to our community. What has happened to our culture? Where is humanity? We need to respect life. Let us work hard than rely on rituals to succeed,” she said.

She commended churches that have been comforting the family, saying such emotional support was vital during these difficult times.

Minister Mutsvangwa urged people to value the sanctity of human life.

Chief Mangwende said they were waiting for justice to prevail.

“In Murehwa we have declared that we do not want to see murderers walking freely. Justice should prevail,” he said.

A relative, Mrs Rufaro Musupayi, said the family was overwhelmed by the support it was receiving from many people including those in the diaspora.

“We have received messages and money from people in the diaspora, some of whom we are not related to. Some have also pledged to send Tapiwa’s siblings to school. The emotional and financial support has gone a long way in helping us as family,” she said.

Tapiwa’s father Mr Munyaradzi Makore said the support from the nation had strengthened the family.

“Churches, individuals, politicians and members of this community have really helped us. We feel we are not alone. We are however still waiting for the head so we can proceed with the burial. We will wait until the head is found,” he said.

Apostolic Faith Mission, Pastor Mollete Machese Gunda said although fear and anger had gripped the community, churches were there for emotional support.

“We have to remember that God is with us and he will guide us through this difficult time just as he did to Stephan when he was stoned to death,” she said.

Source: Ritual murder unites nation

More:

New Details Emerge On Murewa Ritual Murder

Published: October 5, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

Tafadzwa Shamba who confessed to killing Tapiwa Makore, a 7-year-old Murewa boy has led police to the recovery of the boy’s legs in a pit latrine.

Tapiwa was murdered two weeks ago in a suspected ritual case and police have so far arrested Mashamba and Tapiwa’s uncle Tapiwa Makore senior.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is still searching for other body parts including the head which is believed to have been given to an alleged sangoma who is still at large. Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi told the Daily News on Sunday:

The ZRP confirms that in the on-going investigations in connection with the gruesome murder of…Makore, two legs were recovered in a pit toilet near a village football pitch in Murewa on October 2. Police are yet to recover the skull and hands.

The suspect, Tafadzwa, led to the recovery of the legs. He indicated that he dumped the legs in the toilet, which led to it being dug up.

Cases of child murder which are allegedly for ritual purposes have been on the rise in the country prompting President Mnangagwa to raise concern over the murders.

Source: New Details Emerge On Murewa Ritual Murder

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Herdsman Reveals Gruesome Details Of Murehwa Boy Ritual Murder

Murder suspect Tafadzwa Shamba (40) demonstrates how he killed seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore during an inspection in loco at Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murehwa (29/09/2020). — Picture: Memory Mangombe

Published: September 30, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

Tafadzwa Shamba, a Murehwa herdsman who was recently arrested over the ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore (7) at Makore Village in Murehwa, on Tuesday told detectives what happened from the time they kidnapped the boy to the day after the murder.

Shamba was taken by detectives to the garden where he kidnapped the boy allegedly under the instructions of the boy’s uncle, Tapiwa Makore (Senior).

He also led police to the uncle’s homestead where he said he fed the boy, drugged him with kachasu (an illicit beer brew) and locked him up in a room for hours. He said:

I went to the kitchen hut and brought the boy sadza and dried fish. I washed his hands before giving him the food. After eating, I went to Mrs Katsande’s homestead where I bought five litres of illicit brew (kachasu).

I drank the beer to gather courage. I also put a bit of sugar into the brew and offered it to the boy who took it until he got drunk and slept. I then locked him up in the room before going back to Mrs Katsande’s homestead for more beer.

Around midnight, we opened the door and I carried the boy, who was still in deep slumber to a mountain in the village.

Mr Makore carried the knives and plastic bags. While here (in the mountain), I pressed the boy to the ground and cut off his head with a sharp knife, while his uncle was holding a torch for lighting.

I also cut off the hands and legs, but we packed the parts in different plastic bags.

I carried the one with the torso and the head while Mr Makore carried another one containing the legs and hands.

… The bag was now heavier and dogs were barking. I had to quickly drop the torso and proceeded with the head.

Shamba said Makore instructed him to put the head in one of the rooms, but the following day, he dumped the arms and legs at a nearby grave.

Tapiwa Makore (Senior), the murdered boy’s uncle was also arrested over Tapiwa Makore (Junior)’s murder.

Source: Herdsman Reveals Gruesome Details Of Murehwa Boy Ritual Murder

More:

Murehwa Murder Suspect Arrested

National police spokesperson Paul Nyathy

Published: September 25, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

Police on Wednesday arrested a Murehwa herdboy, Tafadzwa Shamba, on kidnap and murder charges following the discovery of a mutilated body of a seven-year-old boy in the area last week.

Shamba and two suspects who are still at large allegedly kidnapped and murdered Tapiwah and harvested his body parts which they sold for US$ 1 500 for ritual purposes (see article below, dated September 21, 2020 – webmaster FVDK).

In a statement on Wednesday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi gave details of the progress of investigations. He said:

It is alleged that Tafadzwa Shamba, a herd boy in the same village with the victim, worked with the other suspects to waylay the victim at a garden. They took him to a mountain where they kept him for the whole day.

They then killed him at night and one of the other suspects, who is from Juru Growth Point, took away the head leaving the herd boy with the other body parts after promising to give him US$1 500 on coming back.

Tapiwa was abducted while on his way to a garden last week where he had been sent by his mother.

His mutilated body was found being eaten by dogs a few days after his enforced disappearance.

Source: Murehwa Murder Suspect Arrested

More:

Ritual Killings Blamed For The Death Of A 7 Year Old Murehwa Boy Whose Body Was Found With Body Parts Missing

Published: September 21, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

In an unfortunate incident that occurred in Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa, a 7-year-old boy’s body was discovered with his head, neck, both legs and arms hacked off, The Herald reports.

The body was discovered when a neighbour woke up to find his dogs eating the remains of a human being which turned out to be the body of the missing 7 year old boy who had gone missing the previous day.

ZRP National Spokesperson Assistant Commisioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and said:

Police in Murewa are looking for perpetrators behind the gruesome murder of a 7-year-old boy who went missing on September 17, 2020 after he had been sent to the garden by his mother.

The body of the boy was later discovered on September18 2020 being eaten by dogs with the head, arms and legs chopped off for suspected ritual purposes. We urge parents and guardians to always be on the look out of their minors and prioritise their safety, at all times. Investigations into this matter are in progress.

According to sources privy to the developments, The minor had been sent to look after the garden by his parents with a lunchbox of food and a bottle of water, when the parents went to the garden later to water the garden they saw the lunchbox and the bottle of water but the boy was missing.

They asked his friends about his whereabouts and they said he had been swimming in a nearby pool. The parents searched for him and they could not find him and called for a search party that could not locate the boy. His body was discovered the next day when their neighbour woke up and discovered his dogs eating the remains of a human being.

Source: Ritual Killings Blamed For The Death Of A 7 Year Old Murehwa Boy Whose Body Was Found With Body Parts Missing

More:

JUST IN: Boy (7) murdered, body parts missing

Published: September 21, 2020
By: The Herald, Zimbabwe – Victor Maphosa  

A 7-year-old boy from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa was allegedly murdered last week in a suspected case of ritual killing.

Reports are that the boy was sent by his parents to look after the garden on the morning of September 17.

His parents went to the garden later to do some watering and found that their son was missing.

The parents enquired on the whereabouts of their son from other children who were also looking after their gardens nearby.

They were told that their son has been seen swimming in a nearby pond.

The boy’s parents went to the pond but could not find their son.

They then alerted some villagers and a search was conducted until midnight but they could not find him.

On September 18, in the morning, a day after the boy went missing, it is reported that a neighbour woke up and discovered his dog and its puppies feasting on human body parts in his yard.

He then alerted the boy’s parents and a report was made to the police.

The body had its head, neck, both legs and arms hacked off.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations into the matter are in progress.

“Police in Murewa are looking for perpetrators behind the gruesome murder of a 7-year-old boy who went missing on September 17, 2020 after he had been sent to the garden by his mother.

“The body of the boy was later discovered on September18 2020 being eaten by dogs with the head, arms and legs chopped off for suspected ritual purposes. We urge parents and guardians to always be on the look out of their minors and prioritise their safety, at all times. Investigations into this matter are in progress.”

Source: JUST IN: Boy (7) murdered, body parts missing

Zimbabwe: one week after the ritual murder of 7-year old Tapiwa Makore

A too familiar story. A relative involved in the ritual killing of a young boy in Zimbabwe. As it appears, the eldest brother of the deceased boy’s father was the one who ordered an accomplice to murder his nephew. As more news emerge about the behavior of the prime suspect after his nephew was missing and his mutilated body was found, the story sounds unbelievable; yet it is the harsh truth. When reading the details of the muti murder of 7-year old Tapiwa Makore it is hard to believe that this indeed happened in real life. This is the 21st century.

As a result, the community which was struck with the news of the heinous crime is left paralyzed with anger and with fear. Parents watch their children every minute of the day and when their kinds go to school they want them to return early, before it gets dark.

Makore Village is in shock.

Warning: the following article contains graphic details of the muthi murder (webmaster FVDK).

The murdered boy’s family a week later

The victim, 7-year old Tapiwa Makore

Published: October 3, 2020
By: Timeye, The Truth & The Future

Driving to Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murehwa, children no longer talk to strangers no matter any amount of cajoling. The message has sunk, don’t talk to strangers lest you meet Tapiwa’s fate.

The recent ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore, has instilled fear among the young and elderly villagers alike who have since strongly warned their children against entertaining strangers, especially motorists.

In the same week, another human head was also found in the village and the identity is yet to be established.

The Herald struggled to get to the Makore homestead as most people, especially children, coming from school were reluctant to assist with directions.

Luckily a visibly drunk man came to the rescue and offered to lead The Herald team to the homestead.

On arrival at the homestead, most villagers were angry, emotional and debating as to the possible reasons of the murder. This was complete abomination to them. They were aghast at the manner in which the remains of the boy had been discovered after he had gone missing.

A torso believed to be his was found being dragged by a neighbour’s dog. The head and other parts of the body were missing. Arms and legs were later found following a spoor.

That was not all. The dogs had also dragged a human head, which, according to medical practitioners, belongs to a person who should be around 12 years old.

Detectives questions Tafadzwa Shamba over a pair of blood-stained trousers found at his employer’s homestead during investigations

The boy’s uncle Tapiwa Makore (senior) and his employee Tafadzwa Shamba have been arrested in connection with the murder.

What surprised the community was the efforts the uncle had put in the search of the boy once he had been declared missing. He had been leading in the search and was a pillar of strength to his young brother constantly assuring him that they will find the boy alive.

He even had the temerity to chastise his young brother’s wife for being careless in Tapiwa’s disappearance. But alas! After playing a leading role in the search the elder brother to the boy’s father turned out to be one of the chief murder suspect.

Blood-stained clothes were found in one of his rooms. Tapiwa Makore (senior), had earlier commendably assisted at the funeral. At one point, he reportedly got emotional, accusing the boy’s mother Ms Munyori of being irresponsible as mystery on the whereabouts of the boy deepened.

As fate would have it, his luck ran out. Some relatives assigned to clean his house stumbled upon a pair of trousers and a shirt stained with blood. They immediately tipped off detectives who were all over the village investigating the boy’s murder.

Circumstantial evidence pointed to him as the architect of the crime who had instructed Shamba to kill the boy.

In an interview, the boy’s mother broke down narrating how her brother-in-law had harassed her threatening to beat her up at the funeral for failing to account for the boy.

“He once threatened to beat me up, accusing me of being irresponsible and failing to account for my missing son. You can even ask my husband and other relatives who heard him threatening me, but to my surprise he is the one who was picked up by the police for murder,” she said sobbing.

Equally at a loss of words, was the boy’s father Mr Munyaradzi Makore. He said his brother had been a pillar of strength during the search and he remained optimistic that the boy would be found alive.

“It’s difficult to believe that my own brother who had been with me throughout the search and funeral, turned out to be a suspect in the murder case. We were together on Thursday night (September 24) searching for my son. He would strengthen me, with words of hope that the boy could be alive somewhere,” he said.

When asked what could have led to his brother allegedly killing his nephew, Tapiwa’s father was at a loss of words. He too was surprised because there was no bad blood between the two families as they enjoyed cordial relations as evidenced by naming the boy Tapiwa after his elder brother.

On burial arrangements, Mr Makore (junior) said DNA samples had been taken from the boy’s mother and they were initially told to wait between two and three weeks for the results.

“We have paid US$330 and we hope to pay the balance on collection of the results. The results will determine the burial date.

“If the torso is indeed his, then we may proceed to bury the available parts of the body, but it is strange. Burying a headless body?” the boy’s father said shaking his head.

A villager Mr Summer Murwira was the first to discover the torso that was being dragged by his dog at his homestead last Friday morning.

“Early Friday morning, I was brushing my teeth outside the house when a female relative came telling me that Tapiwa was missing. Just after she left, I saw our black puppy dragging a torso, but we could not easily tell whose it was. However, I could tell that it was indeed a mutilated human body. I called other villagers and we resolved to send a message to the Makore family who were searching for their missing child.

“When the relatives came, the trail left by the puppy led us to the spot where the torso had been dropped. We then noticed blood spots and immediately reported the matter to the police,” said Mr Murwira.

But what kind of boy was Tapiwa and how did he relate to his peers in the area? Tafadzwa Shamba narrates how he entered a kitchen hut at Tapiwa Makore’s (senior) homestead to collect food for the boy

The Herald visited Nyamutumbu Primary School where he was a Grade One pupil. Staff at the school described him as a well-behaved, intelligent and highly promising pupil who had a bright future. They just could not understand how his life had been cut short and for what reason as he was an exemplary pupil

“Tapiwa was a promising young boy, dedicated to school work, well-behaved and respectful. It’s sad that he passed on at such a young age. His attendance at school was excellent considering that most children in these rural communities absent themselves for no good reason.

“He was very social and he would interact well others here at school,” said one of his teachers.

Sources at the school said the headmaster had since written to the district education offices seeking authority to end lessons early to allow pupils to walk home before sunset.

“We have some pupils who walk long distances for up to three hours to get home. I understand our headmaster has since written to the district office requesting to be allowed to end lessons at 3pm daily. “This arrangement will ensure all children get home early for security reasons,” said a source.

The Herald also tracked down the alleged murderer’s relatives, the Shamba family. In an interview at Chinyani Village in Murehwa, Mr Gaylord Shamba, younger brother to Tafadzwa’s late father, said the family was engaging the Makore family.

“We engaged the Makore family through our councillor and they welcomed us. They understood the fact that one deviant person cannot spoil the whole clan. We attended the funeral and provided loads of firewood and some maize meal. That is not enough, we intend to continue assisting until burial,” he said.

Mr Shamba said the family was ready to compensate the Makore family.

Source: Murdered Boy’s Family A Week After

Video: Murehwa ritual killer speaks about the Tapiwa Makore murder in his own words (Zimbabwe)

Warning: the following articles on the muti (or muthi) murder of 7-year old Tapiwa Makore contain graphic details which may shock the reader (webmaster FVDK).

Murehwa ritual killer speaks about the Tapiwa Makore murder in his own words

Published: September 30, 2020
By: iHarare – Tim E. Ndoro 

The horrific premeditated murder of seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore from Murehwa for ritual purposes has shocked the country. While cases of ritual killings are reported from time to time, this one has shocked many due to the frequent updates as well as gory photos and details about the murder (bold letter type and italics added by the webmaster).

Tapiwa Makore Senior is accused of murdering his nephew, a 7-year old boy. 

Tapiwa’s 57-year-old uncle, Tapiwa Makore Senior has since been arrested for the ritual murder which was carried out in Makore Village, Murehwa under Chief Mangwende. Tapiwa Makore Senior is alleged to have instructed his herdsman, Tafadzwa Shamba to kidnap the boy and to murder him for ritual purposes.

40-year-old Tafadzwa Shamba was the first to be arrested for the murder. Following questioning by the police, Shamba implicated his employer leading to the arrest of Tapiwa’s uncle.

Since his arrest last week, Shamba has been cooperating with the authorities and giving them the full details of what transpired on the fateful day. During an inspection in loco on Tuesday, Shamba revealed how his boss had joined the search party during the day while fully knowing that his nephew had been plied with alcohol and that he was sleeping in his house. After the search party was called off for the day, Makore senior then instructed Shamba to carry out the murder. He even held the torch to provide illumination to allow his herdsmen to murder his nephew in cold blood.

You can watch a video of Tafadzwa Shamba speaking in his own words detailing how the two of them carried out the ritual killing.

Murehwa Ritual Killing Suspect Tafadzwa Shamba (Image Credit: Herald/Zimpapers Images)
Screenshot. To watch the video click here

Meanwhile, Tapiwa Makore Senior appeared before Murehwa magistrate Chiedza Gatsi at the Murehwa Magistrate’s Court today facing charges of murdering his nephew.

He was denied bail and was remanded in custody to October 13, 2020.

Source: WATCH: Murehwa Ritual Killer Speaks About The Tapiwa Makore Murder In His Own Words

More:
Murehwa ritual killing: victim’s uncle remanded in custody

Published: October 1, 2020
By: IHarare – Chris T. Matambanadzo

Makore and his co-accused Tafadzwa Shamba who is his herdsman were remanded in custody to October 13 when they appeared before Murehwa magistrate Ms. Chiedza Gatsi facing charges of murder.

Makore is the elder brother to the late boy’s father.

The court heard that on September 17 at around midday, Shamba reportedly proceeded to a garden which Tapiwa (junior) was watching over. It is alleged Makore had given Shamba the keys to his earlier in the day.

Shamba lured the deceased young boy to Makore’s house where he detained him in the living room after feeding him sadza.

Makore was alerted that the young boy was missing and joined others in searching for him until midnight to remove any suspicion. He later returned to his homestead and found the boy asleep under the watchful eye of Shamba.

At around 1 AM the duo carried the boy to a secluded area where they butchered him. The boy’s uncle allegedly pinned the boy to the ground while Shamba used a knife to cut off the head, arms, and limbs.

The limbs and arms were put in a different pack which Makore carried whilst Shamba carried a pack containing the abdomen and head. The abdomen was dumped near Mr. Summer Murwira’s homestead, but Shamba took the other parts to Makore’s homestead.

Later that same day, Murwira discovered the abdomen which was being eaten by his dogs.

It is also alleged that on the same day, Shamba removed his blood-stained pair of trousers and placed them in Makore’s kitchen hut.

On September 20, detectives recovered the pair of trousers belonging to the deceased after searching Makore’s house.

On September 23, Shamba was arrested and a search was conducted in his bedroom, leading to the recovery of a white blood-stained vest.

He confessed to committing the murder with Makore.

Source: Murehwa Ritual Killing: Victim’s Uncle Remanded In Custody

Murewa ritual killing: President Mnangagwa decries evil act (Zimbabwe)

The cruel ritualistic killing of 7-year old Tapiwa Makore in Zimbabwe inspired the president of this country, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to raise his voice against the killing of children for ritualistic purposes – because the gruesome murder of the young boy is not the only ritual killing case in his country. The police found evidence on the crime scene that more children had been murdered, possibly by the same suspect, Tafadzwa Shamba, a herdsman in the same village with the Makores.

Mnangagwa’s condemnation of ritual murders triggered the anger of an opposition politician, Paul Nyathi, who accused President Mnangagwa of hypocrisy. He accused Mnangagwa of several politically motivated murders. Moreover, while Mnangagwa was Minister of State for National Security – under then President Robert Mugabe – the 5th Brigade of the Zimbabwe National Army killed thousands of civilians in the Matabeleland region. These massacres, known as the Gukurahundi, lasted from 1983 to 1987, and resulted in an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 deaths. 

Warning: the following articles contain graphic details of a cruel crime (webmaster FVDK).

Murehwa ritual killing: President decries evil act

The late Tapiwa Makore

Published: September 26, 2020
By: The Herald, Zimbabwe  

President Mnangagwa yesterday condemned the killing of children for ritual purposes, saying the Government was concerned with all forms of threats and abuse to children and vowed to end violence against them.

The condemnation comes in the wake of the murder of a seven-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, last week for ritual purposes, allegedly by a herder.

“I am disturbed by the loss of young children as a result of heinous and evil actions for rituals and witchcraft purposes. These cold-hearted acts of murder have no place in our country.

“The stakeholders in our criminal justice system must speedily and strongly deal with perpetrators so that this evil trend is expunged from our society,” said the President during a virtual Junior Cabinet meeting at State House yesterday.

Murder suspect Tafadzwa Shamba

Tapiwa was looking forward to resuming classes on November 9, and rejoining his peers at Nyamutumbu Primary School in Murehwa after a six-month hiatus.

Like millions of other pupils across the country, particularly his Grade One fellows, he was raring to go as the phased reopening of schools, which comes into effect on Monday, puts an end to their daily routine of playing house, horseplay and hopscotch, in-between errands as may be assigned by their parents.

The seven-year-old Tapiwa was his parents’ gift from God as was reflected in his name. With school lessons temporarily shelved owing to Covid-19, the bubbly boy, like the gift he was, often helped out his mother in tending to their vegetable garden.

In the morning of Thursday September 17, as she has always done, Tapiwa’s mother prepared food for him and set him off on the excursion to keep stray livestock away from their vegetable patch.

She and her husband were set to relieve him later in the afternoon.

However, fate had decided otherwise. It was set in the stars that they would never see their beloved son alive again, neither were they to bury him intact.

Unbeknown to them, the Makore family had set in motion a chain of events that would leave the serene community of Makore Village in Chief Mangwende’s domain of Murehwa District, dumbfounded, distressed and in deep mourning as a dark cloud of both grief and fear engulfed them.

Tapiwa’s story reads like a horror movie where death is traded with such abandon that the grisly ceases to be abnormal with the Grim Reaper, in his dark shrouds, hooded robe and scythe daring the living as they dare each other.

Bereft of words, the community fretfully tries to come to terms with what could have befallen their child; for in African societies, a child belongs to all. No one knows what he went through, and how the Grim Reaper tore through his fragile heart to “reap” his soul. All else pointed to ritual murder.

When Tapiwa’s parents got to the garden around 3pm, where they expected to see him as usual, they were confronted by his “last meal”, untouched, and his pair of shoes. Their boy was nowhere to be seen.

The parents’ enquiries on the whereabouts of their cherished son from other children, who were also keeping watch over their gardens revealed that Tapiwa had last been seen swimming in a pond close-by.

A visit to the pond, however, did not yield any result. Suddenly an air of fear filled them as they alerted other villagers of the missing boy, resulting in an immediate search of the area.

Nonetheless, the search, which was immediately conducted into the wee hours of the night and the morrow, yielded nothing; except more pain, anxiety and regret. By then, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had joined in the search.

The following day, Friday September 18, villagers reported that a neighbour had woken up to an enigmatic sight in his yard. He discovered his dog and puppies feasting on human organs. The body had its head, neck, both legs and arms hacked off.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said of the discovery then:

“The body of the boy was later discovered on September18, 2020, being eaten by dogs with the head, arms and legs chopped off for suspected ritual purposes.”

With the police leaving no stone unturned, one of the suspects, Tafadzwa Shamba was nabbed on kidnap and murder charges, while his two alleged accomplices are still at large.

Shamba, a herdsman in the same village with the Makores, and his co-conspirators ostensibly allegedly waylaid the boy from his family’s garden, took him to a mountain and detained him for the entire day.

The herdsman was promised US$1 500 for his part in the kidnap and subsequent gruesome murder.

However, before the envisaged windfall, Shamba’s luck ran out, as the blood-stained clothes he wore on the day he allegedly committed the crime betrayed him.

Naturally, the discovery of Tapiwa’s dismembered body, and one of the suspects’ subsequent arrest would have put closure to the sad story, as some questions could have been answered.

That was not to be. More human body parts were found strewn all over the place including a skull. However, this turned out not to be Tapiwa’s.  This discovery with all the trappings of the macabre, led to more questions than answers.

Could there be a conspiracy to wipe out children from the area for ritual purposes? Has the area’s Grim Reaper made a date with the Makore villagers for a ransom as an appeasement for some ill-informed engagement from the past?

Villagers and the police unearthed more than they could chew. Among the skulls found, was one that looked so old it could not be linked to the victim’s; the other one was still blood-stained, but with the eyes gorged out and missing jawline. The chin and tongue were also missing.

Also discovered were a fire-singed child’s palm, a jaw with seven lower teeth, and other body pieces.

It is not clear how many other children could have met their fate in Tapiwa’s manner, which has left a cold chill running through the villagers’ spines.

Tapiwa’s relatives are convinced that the discovered fresh skull could not be their “son’s”.

Mr Isaac Makore (57), the deceased boy’s granduncle, said the newly discarded skull they chanced on was not his grandnephew’s, but that of a 12-year-old, yet to be identified child’s.

As a result of the uncertainty, Tapiwa is still to find rest, as burial arrangements have been put on hold pending further investigations.

“My grandnephew went missing, and we later discovered his torso with other organs, like the head, hands, and legs missing. We also discovered separate sets of teeth; and two separate skulls, one with lower teeth and the other one with upper teeth but without a tongue.

“Indications are that the other skull belongs to a yet to be identified older child, and not our ‘child’s’, Mr Makore said.

However, the boy’s privates were untouched.

Following Tapiwa’s grisly murder, and the unearthing of more mutilated body parts, villagers are now living in fear of death merchants who could be on the prowl in the area, seeking children’s hearts for ritual purposes.

Tapiwa’s uncle, Mr Simbarashe Makore (38), said it is believed that there could be many children, although not from their area, who could have been killed for ritual purposes, and had their bodies dumped in the proximity of their village.

“We are now living in fear. Our prayer is that the police apprehend the culprits and rid our area of this menace. Who knows, after our children, they may also come for us, their parents. How could someone kill a fellow human being in such cold blood just like that?” he bemoaned.

Ms Easther Makore (52), Tapiwa’s aunt concurred, saying the police should not leave any stone unturned and get to the bottom of the issue as it was mind-boggling that so many human organs could be discovered hard upon her nephew’s demise.

Mr Summer Murwira (78), a nephew to the Makore family, at whose homestead Tapiwa’s dismembered body was found, said it (body) was bloodless when it was discovered.

Another villager weighed in, saying: “I do not think the place the torso was found is where he was murdered, otherwise there would have been blood stains all over. This is a serious matter.

“We now fear for our children. No one even wants to attend to the gardens anymore, or guard them against roaming livestock since the incident occurred.” —  (Additional reporting by Kingstone Mapupu — Kwayedza).

Source: Murehwa ritual killing: President decries evil act

President Mnangagwa’s remarks provoked an outcry from Paul Nyathi, a Zimbabwean opposition politician, which is interesting to note (webmaster FVDK).

“Mr President, All Murders Must Be Condemned And Stopped”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa 

Published: September 26, 2020
By: ZimEye The Truth & The Future – Paul Nyathi

President Mnangagwa who himself is accused of several politically motivated murders and abductions yesterday condemned the killing of children for ritual purposes, saying the Government was concerned with all forms of threats and abuse to children and vowed to end violence against them.

The condemnation comes in the wake of the murder of a seven-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, last week for ritual purposes, allegedly by a herder.

While it is noble for Mnangagwa to condemn the killings of innocent children the President himself has a history of killing which taints his otherwise noble call. Zimbabweans have through the years called on Mnangagwa to speak to the murders attributed to his authority and call for an end to the wanton killing of citizens for political purposes as he has done on the killing of children for ritual purposes.

“I am disturbed by the loss of young children as a result of heinous and evil actions for rituals and witchcraft purposes. These cold-hearted acts of murder have no place in our country.

“The stakeholders in our criminal justice system must speedily and strongly deal with perpetrators so that this evil trend is expunged from our society,” said Mnangagwa during a virtual Junior Cabinet meeting at State House on Friday.

While Mnangagwa was Minister of State for National Security, the 5th Brigade of the Zimbabwe National Army killed thousands of civilians in the Matabeleland region. These massacres, known as the Gukurahundi, lasted from 1983 to 1987, and resulted in an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 deaths.

More recently military officials – many behind his rise to power – have been accused of benefiting from the rich Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe, with reports of killings and human rights abuses there.

His ruthlessness, which it could be argued he learnt from his Rhodesian torturers, is said to have been seen again in 2008 when he reportedly masterminded Zanu-PF’s response to former President late Robert Mugabe losing the first round of the presidential election to long-time rival the late Morgan Tsvangirai.

The military and state security organisations unleashed a campaign of violence against opposition supporters, leaving hundreds dead and forcing thousands from their homes. Tsvangirai then pulled out of the second round and Mugabe was re-elected in a one man race.

On August 1 2018, the Zimbabwean army shot at protestors killing at least twelve and injuring many others. The government of Mnangagwa again denied involvement. A commission headed by Mohlante found the army responsible for the killings. The commission made recommendations and all were ignored by Mnangagwa’s military government. None of the recommendations were carried out.

In January 2019, more protestors were killed by the same army in cold blood. Scores of women were raped, some in front family members. A brazen Mnangagwa, would later demand to see graves of those killed and the women raped should come to him that he can believe that such atrocities took place at the hands of the army he directs. Many Zimbabweans were shocked and hurt by such reckless statements from a heartless president.

Source: Mr President, All Murders Must Be Condemned And Stopped

Zimbabwe: Murewa boy murdered in ritual killing, body parts missing

Another muthi or muti murder in Mashonaland East province, Zimbabwe. On September 18, 2020, a 7-year old boy, Tapiwa Myamutubu, was found murdered with several body parts missing. His parents had reported him missing the day before, on September 17. 

The family of the murdered child hails from Makore Village, Murewa Town.

Warning: the following articles contain graphic details (webmaster FVDK).

SAD NEWS: Murewa boy murdered in ritual killing, body parts missing

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi 

Published: September 21, 2020
By: Harare Live

A 7-year-old boy from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa was allegedly murdered last week in a suspected case of ritual killing.

Reports are that the boy was sent by his parents to look after the garden on the morning of September 17.

His parents went to the garden later to do some watering and found that their son was missing.

The parents enquired on the whereabouts of their son from other children who were also looking after their gardens nearby.

They were told that their son has been seen swimming in a nearby pond.

The boy’s parents went to the pond but could not find their son.

They then alerted some villagers and a search was conducted until midnight but they could not find him.

On September 18, in the morning, a day after the boy went missing, it is reported that a neighbour woke up and discovered his dog and its puppies feasting on human body parts in his yard.

He then alerted the boy’s parents and a report was made to the police.

The body had its head, neck, both legs and arms hacked off.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations into the matter are in progress.

“Police in Murewa are looking for perpetrators behind the gruesome murder of a 7-year-old boy who went missing on September 17, 2020 after he had been sent to the garden by his mother.

“The body of the boy was later discovered on September18 2020 being eaten by dogs with the head, arms and legs chopped off for suspected ritual purposes. We urge parents and guardians to always be on the look out of their minors and prioritise their safety, at all times. Investigations into this matter are in progress.”-The Herald

Source: SAD NEWS: Murewa boy murdered in ritual killing ,body parts missing

Further news:

Mrehwa Ritual Killing Of Boy Takes Strange Twist As Body Parts Fail To Match Missing Child

Published: September 23, 2020
By: iHarare – Sharon Chirisa   

The bereaved Makore family from Nyamutubu  is struggling to come to terms with the cold blooded and sinister murder of their 7-year-old son, Tapiwa, who was killed last Friday.

Tapiwa was killed in what is now believed to be a ritual murder, after he went missing last Thursday, only to be found lifeless, with several body parts hacked off.

Tapiwa’s body was found with the arms, legs and head missing, with some body parts like the skull, jaws, bones found later.

The kidnappers who are believed to be behind the murder haven’t been found yet.

The Mrehwa community was left shell shocked by the gruesome murder of the boy and the reason why it was done.

Chief Mangwende whose jurisdiction the area falls under, expressed his shock speaking with to ZBC saying

“I am shocked by such gruesome murder I have never seen such brutality,”

Chief Mangwende revealed that the skull found on the scene, thought to be belonging to Tapiwa turned out not to be his.

However, the burden is heavy to bear for the family who have been left in more pain after it was announced that the skull which was discovered does not match the body, hence the need for DNA tests.

The Makore family appealed for assistance in order to go for DNA tests.

“As a family we are appealing for assistance to go for DNA tests to establish if all the body parts belong to our child,”

For now, the burial plans have been stalled as they have to corroborate all the body parts via DNA testing.

For now, the burial plans have been stalled as they have to corroborate all the body parts via DNA testing.

Source: Mrehwa Ritual Killing Of Boy Takes Strange Twist As Body Parts Fail To Match Missing Child

Related news:

Horror As Missing Boy Is Found Dead With Dogs Feasting On His Body Parts

Published: September 21, 2020
By: iHarare – Chris T. Matambanadzo 

In a scene that sounds like a script out of a horror movie, a 7-year-old boy who went missing was found the next day murdered with dogs feasting on his body parts.

Reports indicate that the boy was found with missing body parts and police are suspecting the boy was murdered and his parts harvested for ritual purposes.

On the morning of September 16, the boy from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa was sent by his parents to look after the garden.

The boy’s parents could not locate him when they went to the garden later to do some watering.

This sent them into a panic resulting in them enquiring about the whereabouts of their son from other children who were also manning their gardens nearby.

The parents were told that their son was swimming in a nearby pond but were disappointed when they made their way there only to find their young boy was not at the said pond.

The parents then sought help from other villagers and a search was conducted until midnight without fruition.

The next morning, it is reported that a neighbor woke up and discovered his dogs and its puppies feasting on human body parts in his yard.

The neighbor then alerted the boy’s parents who made a report to the police.

The body had its head, neck, both legs and arms hacked off.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the sad incident adding that investigations into the matter are in progress.

Nyathi said:

Police in Murewa are looking for perpetrators behind the gruesome murder of a 7-year-old boy who went missing on September 17, 2020 after he had been sent to the garden by his mother. The body of the boy was later discovered on September18 2020 being eaten by dogs with the head, arms and legs chopped off for suspected ritual purposes. We urge parents and guardians to always be on the look out of their minors and prioritise their safety, at all times. Investigations into this matter are in progress.

Source: Horror As Missing Boy Is Found Dead With Dogs Feasting On His Body Parts

Mrewa gruesome murder: Makore family still in shock

Published: September 22, 2020
By: ZBC Reporter

THE Makore family from Nyamutubu area under Chief Mangwende in Mrewa is yet to come to terms with the gruesome murder of their 7-year-old son Tapiwa who was killed last Friday.

The gruesome murder of the young boy who was beheaded after he went missing last Thursday has left this community in Mrewa shell shocked.

The body was found with legs, arms and head missing.

Some body parts which include bum flesh, skull, jaws and bones were later discovered in the area.

When ZBC News visited the area, scores of people were at the Makore homestead to pay their condolences.

Those who spoke to the ZBC News crew including the traditional leader for the area, Chief Mangwende said this was unheard of the area.

“I am shocked by such gruesome murder I have never seen such brutality,” said Chief Mangwende.
“I woke up only to find my dogs eating flesh and had to call fellow villagers for help,” said Nambuwa one of the villagers.

However, the burden is heavy to bear for the family who have been left in more pain after it was announced that the skull which was discovered does not match the body, hence the need for DNA tests.

“As a family we are appealing for assistance to go for DNA tests to establish if all the body parts belong to our child,” said representative of Makore family.

It is another sad turn of events after the grave which was being prepared for burial had to be abandoned due to the latest developments.

Source: Mrewa gruesome murder: Makore family still in shock

More articles:

Numerous articles report the ritual murder of the 7-year old Tapiwa, in Zimbabwean newspapers as well as on YouTube and on Facebook. Follows a selection.

The reader is warned that these links may expire after some time (webmaster FVDK). 

OMG: Body of a boy found being eaten by dogs with head, arms and legs chopped off
Published: September 19, 2020
By: My Zimbabwe – Muza Mpofu

Murewa boy murdered in ritual killing
Published: September 21, 2020
By: NewsdzeZimbabwe

POLICE investigate murder of 7-year-old Murewa boy
Published: September 21, 2020
By: Star FM – Zimbabwe

Liberia: adolescent girl tortured, accused of witchcraft

I’ve hesitated to include the article below on this blog – partly because of the gruesome nature of the described act, partly because of the graphic description of the treatment, obviously a form of torture, which family members inflicted upon a girl they accused of witchcraft and being responsible for the death of an uncle.

Eventually I decided to reproduce the article here and to share it with a larger audience. The reason why I choose to do so is because witchcraft lies at the bottom of their repulsive behavior. This site is focusing on superstition and everything which relates to it in a criminal way: ritualistic acts, ritual murders, ‘money rituals’ (Nigeria), muti murders (in Southern Africa), and – indeed – witchcraft. The fact that the ultimate victim, a young and innocent girl, was maltreated and tortured was another reason for drawing attention to this incident. Unfortunately, rape is a daily crime in Liberia and most perpetrators get away with their crimes. In Liberia, impunity seems to be the rule, and not the rule of law.

Therefore, again a warning: the following article contains graphic details of a form of torture (webmaster FVDK).

Liberia: Adolescent Girl Sodomized After Being Thrown Out for Witchcraft

Published: July 3, 2020
By: FrontPage Africa 

MONROVIA – A girl believed in her late teens has been sexually assaulted in her anus after she was thrown out of her family in Omega Tower Community on accusation on her being witchcraft.

According to a source close to the family, the incident occurred on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 night when she was asleep.

The girl (name withheld) was discovered early Wednesday morning lying helpless on the main road that links Montserrado to Margibi, crying for rescue.

Some community members felt pity for her, took her from the street, gave her food and water. They at the same time called the Women and Children Division of the Liberia National Police to take the survivor to hospital for treatment.

Her current condition has left community members blaming her family for neglecting her and throwing her out of the house after alleging that she confessed killing her 25 years old uncle (name withheld) in May of this year after a brief period of illness.           

A family source interviewed by this paper narrated that after the death of the uncle, the survivor and her partners were tortured and beaten badly on grounds that they are responsible for his death. This, according to the source, caused her mother and father to escape with her other siblings leaving her at the mercy of the family.

“During the night when her uncle died,” the eyewitness said, “that child was beaten by his family and a man who claimed to be a big man in the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) at which time they broke one of her legs.”

“After all the torture, they still threw her out of the house, they forgot to even take into consideration the danger it poses to her health, not only the aspect of rape.”  

“I do not know why people find pleasure in accusing innocent children of the act of witchcraft when, in fact, there is no way they can prove their accusations,” the eyewitness said in pity.

The eyewitness said after the death of the survivor’s uncle the family members brought a native doctor who said that girl and her partners were responsible for his death.

“After the native doctor was brought here, the family said that the girl confessed that she and her partners killed her uncle because he means them with food,” the eyewitness said.

The eyewitness expressed deep frustration in said aptitude adding that “I do not know who the man that did such a wicked act to a child in such condition.”

According to the eyewitness, the LNP Children Division was able to take the child to the hospital.

“What we are praying for now is not just the treatment of the child but an investigation being done to bring the perpetrator to justice and even the family because they were the ones who exposed her to such danger.”            

In Liberia, rape has become the order of the day with few out of many girls who have suffered such horrible acts from their male counterparts are lucky to get the needed justice.

With many perpetrators understanding that the justice system is very weak, they go ahead to sexually abused girls and walk in the street with impunity.

Source: Liberia: Adolescent Girl Sodomized After Being Thrown Out for Witchcraft

Nigeria: fear, anxiety in Ibadan over ritual killings

Nigeria ranks Number One in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) when it comes to ritual murders (locally referred to as ‘money rituals’) – and not only because this West African nation is SSA’s most populated country. Nevertheless, I was astonished reading about the number of recent ritual killings in some of Nigeria’s main cities. In Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, in less than four weeks, beginning from June 1 of this year, at least five persons were savagely murdered by suspected ritual killers. One of the victims was a five-year old boy. Also in August 2019, ritual murders had been reported, with six victims within one month in the same Akinyele Local Government Area. Consequently, the population of Ibadan lives in fear, everyday, of becoming victim of the suspected ritual killers, despite the assurances of the police and governmental authorities and the attention of traditional rulers for these heinous crimes.

As one of the local chiefs stated: “The way the killers have been operating left me with no option than to believe that they are killing for money rituals.”

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

Ibadan – City of blood  
Fear, anxiety in Ibadan over ritual killings • Police, government assure residents

Published: June 27, 2020
By: The Sun, Voice of the Nation- Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan  

Ibadan is fast turning into a city of blood, no thanks to a yet-to-be-apprehended group of ritual killers that invaded the city recently and left in their wake a long trail of blood of victims. The affected local government district, Akinyele Local Government Area, is currently under a siege. In less than four weeks, beginning from June 1, 2020, at least, five persons had been killed by suspected ritual killers in different communities of the local government.

Understandably, the development has sent shivers down the spines of residents of one of the 11 local governments that makes up Ibadan, the state capital, and one of the 33 local government areas of the state. The local government, which has 12 wards, was created in 1976 and occupies a land area of 464.892 square kilometres with a population density of 516 persons per square kilometre.

Experts have said that using 3.2 per cent growth rate from 2006 National Population Census figures, the 2010 estimated population for the local government has been estimated to be 239,745. It hosts notable institutions including International Institute of Tropical Agricultural (IITA) at Idi-Ose; Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) at Ojoo, Federal School of Statistics at Ajibode Road; 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army and reasonable percentage of the University of Ibadan land.

A spate of mysterious killings

Since the first ritual killing that took place on June 1, 2020, at Akinyele town, the ritual killings have been consistent. The June 1 incident involved Miss Baraka Bello, a female student of the Department of Science Laboratory Technology (SLT), Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Moor Plantation, Ibadan. She was reportedly raped before being killed. The killers, operating in a way that is reminiscent of the infamous Badoo Boys, were said to have smashed her head at the back of her father’s house at Oloro area of Kara in Akinyele town.

On June 5, 2020, ritualists also smashed the head of 29-year-old woman, Mrs. Azeezat Somuyiwa, with a big stone, at Ijefun community, near Ojoo. She was said to be seven month pregnant at the time of killing.

On Saturday June 13, 2020, a National Diploma student of Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, Oyo State, Grace Oshiagwu, 21, was raped and killed inside a church at Idi Ori, Sasa, Ojoo area of Ibadan.

On Monday, June 22, 2020, five-year-old boy, Mujib Tirimisiyu, was killed by ritual killers, who reportedly hit his head with a shovel at Olorunsogo Phase II, Tose, Moniya, Ibadan. He suffered the fate while he was allegedly defecating behind their house. His loud shout attracting the attention of his mother to rush to where he was defecating. On getting there, she saw some boys dragging his lifeless body into the bush. On sighting her, the attackers reportedly dropped the corpse and fled.

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, the life of 42-year-old woman, Mrs. Olusayo Fagbemi, residing at Ajibade Street, Sasa, Ibadan, was cruelly cut short by ritual killers. She was allegedly attacked while she washed plates in front of her residence on that Wednesday morning. And, the assailants were said to have hit her on the head, with either a shovel or a cutlass.

On being hit with the weapon, she shouted. This made her husband to rush out from their room.  On getting outside, he met his wife in a pool of her own blood. The attackers reportedly took to their heels the moment they sighted her husband and other alamed residents of the house, rushing out. The woman was said to have been rushed to a private hospital for medical attention to save her life. But unfortunately, she could not make it. She was confirmed as ‘brought in dead’ (BID) in the hospital.

Police reassure residents, amid fear

A climate of fear now exists among the natives as no one knows who could be the next victim or when detectives could crack open the conundrum of ritual killings ravaging the community and help bring rest to restless minds. A resident of Sasa, who agreed to speak on the promise of his name not being used in print, blamed suspected ritualists as being behind the incessant killings in the local government area.

“I don’t  want my name to be mentioned because those evil people may be residing in the same community with us, and I don’t want them to zero in on my family,” he said. “I think communities should set up vigilance groups to address this ugly trend. Also, the security agencies and the state government should halt the incessant killings in this local government area.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Olugbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the death of the five persons, said the police, who he said, are already on the trail of the assailants, have already commenced investigations. Confirming the incident that occurred at about 5:40am on June 24, 2020, he said the deceased “was attacked right at the frontage of her house while she washed plates and she sustained injury on her head. At her shout, her husband rushed out and met her in the pool of her blood, while the assailant(s) ran away. She was rushed to a hospital where she was confirmed dead. Efforts are being intensified to apprehend the culprits as the Police is on their trail.”

Fadeyi who confirmed that some arrests have been made, assured that efforts are being made to nip the incessant killings in the bud. He explained that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, and Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Benue States, had visited Akinyele and have been working assiduously to arrest the situation.

Speculations on the cause of killings

Meanwhile, some residents of the local governments have accused some landlords and village heads (Baales) of either letting their houses or selling their land to suspected ‘Yahoo Boys’ or ‘Badoo Boys’ who have in turn been decided to terrorize the local government. A middle-aged man, who did not want his name mentioned in print said he warned many of the village heads then, but they did not heed his words because of pecuniary purpose.

This correspondent had, in August 2019, exclusively reported two stories in  the Daily Sun, about how ritual killers resurfaced in Ibadan, after a similar development was nipped in the bud at Ikorodu in Lagos. It was reported then that at least six persons were dispatched to their early graves within one month. They killed all the six victims then in the same Akinyele Local Government.

Then, the first reported incident occurred at Abatakan, near Ojoo where four persons were said to have been killed. The second and third reported cases happened at Fatokun in Moniya and Olomowewe in Akingbile, on Saturday August 24, 2019. One person each were reportedly killed in the two places. The three incidents followed the same pattern as the assailants, operating like the Badoo Boys that once terrorized Ikorodu, Lagos, were said to have struck their targets at about 10 a.m. The killers, it was gathered, used grinding stones to smash the heads of their victims, and handkerchiefs to wipe their blood before taking their leave, without stealing anything from their victims.

Lawmaker’s advice on how to stay safe   

The recent resurgence has filled the residents with déjà vu. Their leaders assure that this time around they are up in arms. Chairman, Oyo State House of Assembly Parliamentary Council, Ayotunde Fatokun, and the member representing Akinyele Constituency I, told Saturday Sun: “On the issue of ritual killings in Akinyele Local Government, we are trying to do a number of things to ensure that the phenomenon is curbed. In terms of security, we appreciate Governor Seyi Makinde for his efforts and for moving the Special Adviser on Security to the local government to see things for himself and have a first-hand view of what is going on there.

“Many arrests have been made in the last couple of weeks on the incessant killings. But the new killings have shown to us that there are more than one group involved. And efforts are ongoing to ensure that we bring the perpetrators of the evil to book. Most importantly, one major concern as the lawmaker representing the constituency is to enlighten my people on basic security tips and steps they should take to ensure that we are able to curb this menace in no time. Of course, I will like to advise people that they should stop staying outside alone and that they should ensure that they are in company of somebody to guide against eventualities.

“For houses that are close to the bush, we should clear the bushes in order to make it uneasy for these perpetrators of evil to get in and out of residences of people, and also make it uneasy for them to run away. If you are inside the house, let us ensure that we lock our doors. If we notice anything, let us make calls so that something can be done. You may need to shout for your neighbours to come to your aid. If you are able to reach your phone, you can call the 615 Emergency Number of Oyo State, so that security agencies can attend to you promptly.”

Traditional rulers speak on security measures

Speaking on the scary insecurity issue, Alakinyele of Akinyele, Oba James Odeniran, in a chat with Saturday Sun, said: “I must confess to you that we have to subscribe to the fact that the people that are committing the crime are living within our local government. That is why as one of the steps being taken, we have resolved that the issue of landlords and tenants relations should be taken into consideration. At the landlord association’s level, they should be able to know where their tenants come from, the jobs they are doing, know whether they have means of livelihood and know if they are working.

“Also, based on the name of the name of this council, people have found it difficult to differentiate between Akinyele Local Government Area and Akinyele town, with regard to the incessant killings in the area. I want to say it categorically here that apart from that of Barakat Bello, all other incidents were not from Akinyele town. As a result of these incidents, people are now afraid of coming to Akinyele town. I want to say to the whole world that there is relative peace in Akinyele town now. We have taken some steps when the incident of Barakat occurred to ensure adequate security in Akinyele town.”

The Oniroko of Iroko, Oba Olasunkanmi Abioye, believes that if the ritual killings have something to do with the alleged sale of land to the so-called Yahoo Boys, it is not so in his domain. “As far as my own town is concerned, there is no land that was sold to ‘Yahoo Boys,” he said. “But these developing areas like Moniya and Ojoo, if you get there, you would find ‘Yahoo boys’ there.  The way they behave and the amount they pay to rent houses in those areas is something else. They can rent a flat for N450,000 per year. Is the money available in circulation like that?

“On this development, we should warn landlords and the Baales about accommodating these people in their houses and communities. The baales and Kabiyesis should be vigilant. They should not sit in their houses or palaces without taking actions. They should go round their domains and get people that should be giving them information about their domains. They should not sit down and expect people to come to them and give them envelopes, and many things. What we need in Akinyele Local Government now is to watch out for those ‘Yahoo Boys’ because they are too many in our local government areas now.”

One of the village heads in the local government, the Alagbagi of Agbagi, Chief Babatunde Fabunmi, said he did not believe that the people perpetrating the evil are ‘Yahoo Boys,’ who bought land from Baales. “The baales could have sold land to people, irrespective of whether you hail from this local government or this state or not,” he said.  “To fish out the killers, we should not focus only on those we sold our land to. The evil people could also be among our own people from this local government.  God is the only ultimate judge.

“The way the killers have been operating left me with no option than to believe that they are killing for money rituals. They would use dangerous objects to break the heads of their victims and would use white handkerchiefs to collect their blood and run away with it. I must tell you that in our different communities, we have put strong security measures in place, with the support of the government. I can tell you that in Ikereku area now, the government has beefed up the presence of security personnel there. If you are passing through Ikereku now, no matter your personality, the security agents would stop you and do thorough search of your vehicle before they allow you to go.”

LG chairman thanks Gov. Makinde

The Chairman, Akinyele Local Government, Toaoheed Adedigba-Jimoh, thanked Governor Makinde, for his continuous support. “The support that we need to overcome this menace in Akinyele Local Government, he is ready to give us,” he said. “He has directed his Special Adviser on Security, and relevant security commanders in the state to visit this local government.

“They have allowed us to incorporate community policing into the security architecture of our local government. They include hunters, Soludero Hunters Associaton, members of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and local vigilance group. So, we are using all security means to overcome this challenge.

Source:
City of Blood – Fear, anxiety in Ibadan over ritual killings – Police, govt assure residents