Zimbabwe: a surge in ritual murders?

In Zimbabwe, during the fourth quarter of last year the number of ritualistic murders or suspected ritual killings could no longer be counted. I’ve raised the question before whether there was a real surge in ritual murders or an increased interest of local media and the authorities for these heinous crimes – in the wake of the tragic death of the 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore, in Murehwa village, in September 2020.

To illustrate the foregoing I have selected a small number of recent ritual murder cases. I must emphasize that by presenting these cases I do not pretend to be exhaustive. It is to be feared that the murder cases reported and described here only represent the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Warning: the following articles contain graphic details of ritualistic activities (webmaster FVDK)

Horror as Mwenezi men kill brother’s child, cut off privates in another brutal ritual murder

The accused, Taruziva Sithole and Shackmore Dube, both from Chomutamba Village, in Mwenezi West, Zimbabwe

Published: December 31, 2020
By: iHarare, Zimbabwe – Tim E. Ndoro

In yet another very disturbing incident of ritual murder, two men from Mwenezi were arrested after they brutally murdered a 6-year-old girl, and cut off her private parts intending to sell them in South Africa for ritual purposes. One of the alleged murderers is the older brother of the victim’s father.

iHarare has learnt that Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), both from Chomutamba Village 3 under Chief Mazetese in Mwenezi West, were arrested on December 30, barely 24 hours after committing the heinous crime.

Local publication TellZim reports that Dube who is a frequent traveller to South Africa told Sithole that his boss in South Africa was looking for the private parts of a young girl. He went on to say that if they delivered the gruesome package, they would be handsomely rewarded with a car and a lot of cash.

After being enticed by Dube’s promises of how to get rich quickly, Sithole plotted to kill Irene Sithole, his younger brother’s daughter.

On December 29 at around 8 pm, Sithole is alleged to have brutally assaulted Irene with a log until she collapsed and died due to the injuries sustained in the diabolical assault.

When he noted that his niece had died, Sithole placed her body in a plastic-weave bag, commonly referred to as Shangani Bag, and went to Dube who was waiting for him outside the Sithole homestead.

The two men then carried the body into the bush, where Dube proceeded to cut off the young girl’s private parts with a knife he had come prepared with. After getting the privates, Sithole and Dube burned Irene’s body in an attempt to destroy the evidence of their heinous crime.

However, Sithole’s wife who was appalled when she saw her husband brutally assaulting the little girl alerted the other villagers, who promptly informed the police.

Police officers from Mwenezi were dispatched to the village, where they discovered the little girl’s burnt remains. However, the private parts are yet to be recovered.

Sithole and Dube were arrested and charged with Irene’s murder. The two appeared before Mwenezi Magistrate Honest Musiiwa on Thursday. The Magistrate did not ask for them to plead and remanded them in custody.

In the last few months, Zimbabwe has been plagued with cases of brutal ritual murders in which minors are being murdered by people for money-making charms. Some of the cases include that of 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa who was murdered and decapitated allegedly at the instructions of his uncle and namesake Tapiwa Makore Senior.

In another horrific case, a man from Honde Valley, Manicaland recently confessed to murdering his own brother’s son for ritual purposes. The uncle is alleged to have harvested the minor’s private parts, arms, ears, and eyes after being contracted to do so by his other brother and a local businessman.

Just this month, the nation was horrified to learn that a Zimuto man murdered his 9-year-old nephew and was caught red-handed while stewing the head.

Source: Horror As Mwenezi Men Kill Brother’s Child, Cut Off Privates In Another Brutal Ritual Murder

Related article: 

Murewa-Like Gruesome Murder in Mwenezi 

Published: December 31, 2020
By: TellZim News – Cephas Shava   

MWENEZI – In probably one of the most gruesome murder akin to the Murehwa boy’s callous murder, two Mwenezi men connived and allegedly murdered a six-year-old girl and burnt her body after removing her genitals

The two accused, Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), who both reside at Chomutamba Village 3 under Chief Mazetese in Mwenezi West, were arrested yesterday, December 30, after allegedly committing the offence the previous day.

The two were not asked to plead when they appeared before Mwenezi Magistrate Honest Musiiwa today, December 31.

Musiiwa remanded them in custody for the murder of  the minor who is daughter to Sithole’s younger brother.

It is alleged that on December 29, the two accused persons connived to kill Irene Sithole who lived at the same homestead with Sithole. On the same day at around 20:00, Sithole began to assault Irene using a log and she collapsed and died as a result of the assault.

Upon realising that the girl had died, Sithole took a Shangani bag and placed the deceased’s body inside and went to meet Dube who was reportedly waiting for him outside the homestead.

In the dead of the night, the two carried the body to the bush where Dube reportedly used a knife to cut the girls’ vaginal lips which he allegedly intended to sell to South Africa.

In an attempt to conceal the evidence, the two accused allegedly burnt the girls’ body using some firewood. 

The matter came to light after Sithole’s wife, who had seen her husband beating the deceased, alerted other villagers who later on informed the police. Mwenezi police attended the murder scene where they recovered the minor’s burnt skull, teeth and ribs.

The girls’ private parts was not yet recovered by the time of writing.

Sources said the two decided to kill the girl after Dube, who often travels to South Africa, promised that upon delivering the private parts to his boss who is outside the country, they would be rewarded with a car and a lot of money.

Lyton Katsidzira appeared for the State.

Source: Murewa-Like Gruesome Murder In Mwenezi

Another related article:

Mwenezi girl (6) killed in suspected ritual murder

Published:
By: ZBC News – Justin Mahlahla

In a yet another case of ritual murder, two men from Mwenezi allegedly murdered a six-year-old girl and burnt her body after removing her private parts.

This comes after the dust has hardly settled following the murder of a 7-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, which was followed by another gruesome murder of a juvenile in Gokomere, Masvingo last month, yet another murder case of a minor has been recorded in Mwenezi.

The suspects, Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), have since appeared in court to answer to murder charges following an incident which happened on the 29th of December, 2020.

The deceased, Irene Sithole, allegedly died after being assaulted by her uncle, Taruziva Sithole, who is said to have carried the body to a nearby bush where Shackmore Dube allegedly cut off the deceased’s private parts.

The two accused allegedly burnt the deceased’s body using firewood and were arrested after villagers reported the matter to Mwenezi police.

Police officers found the deceased’s burnt skull, teeth and ribs at the crime scene.

The two accused persons were remanded in custody to the 14th of January 2021.

Source: Mwenezi girl (6) killed in suspected ritual murder

A second ritual murder case:

Another uncle murders own brother’s son for ritual purposes in shocking case

Published: November 27, 2020
By: iHarare, Zimbabwe – Vincent Masikati

In yet another very disturbing development, a man from Honde Valley, Manicaland recently confessed to murdering his own brother’s son for ritual purposes. The uncle to the deceased boy revealed that he harvested the minor’s private parts, arms, ears, and eyes after being contracted to do so by his other brother and a local businessman.

The case comes at a time when the country is still reeling from the brutal ritual murder of 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa, who was also murdered for ritual purposes at the instruction of his uncles.

iHarare has learned from the Manica Post that Jacob Muranganwa confessed after seemingly being tormented by the spirit of his nephew Zedek. Zedek was murdered last year, allegedly by Jacob.

The issue came to light when Jacob made the bizarre confession during a session of the traditional court held by Chief Mutasa. At the court session, Jacob’s other brother John said he wanted protection from his siblings James and Abraham. He alleged that the two were harassing him and accusing him of killing Zedek for ritual purposes.

Jacob shocked the court, however, by confessing to the ritual murder of Zedek and exposing everyone who was involved in the fiendish plot.

“I cannot endure this torment anymore. Every morning I wake up sleeping outside. At first, I thought I was sleep-walking, but when I started seeing Zedek’s image every night, I knew his avenging spirit was behind it all.

“Whenever it gets dark, l see the boy’s image. I am the only one who sees him, even when I am with someone else,”

Without being prodded, Jacob went on to narrate in graphic detail what had transpired.

“Sometime last year, my brother John, Kwambana and another businessman asked me to harvest a young boy’s body parts for money-making rituals.

“The next day I saw Zedek coming from school and I lured him to my workplace — John’s grinding mill. I promised to give him some money for his school fees and he obliged. I gave him sadza laced with Maragada pills.

“He ate the sadza and dozed off moments later. I took a hammer and hit him once on the head. Zedek died instantly. I took his body and hid it behind the grinding mill.

“After closing the grinding mill, I cut off the body parts. When John and his partners came to collect the body parts, they placed the body in a refrigerator. It stayed there for three days before they instructed me to hang it near Zedek’s home to make it appear like the boy had committed suicide,”

After noting that the matter was beyond his jurisdiction, Chief Mutasa handed the matter over to the local police station.

In another twist to the saga, John mysteriously died a week later and was buried last Friday. The local community as well as the Muranganwa family believe that he was haunted to an early grave by the spirit of his murdered nephew Zedek.

Curiously though, Jacob is reported to be walking scot-free after the police released him from custody despite the damning confession.

When reached for comment on the case, the police could neither confirm nor deny the matter. Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa said,

“We have called Ruda Police Station and they could neither confirm nor deny that they are handling such a case. However, word doing the rounds in the community confirms the murder case. We will need to dig deeper with the investigations to get to the bottom of the issues,”

Source: Another Uncle Murders Own Brother’s Son For Ritual Purposes In Shocking Case

A third cruel ritual murder case: 

Latest on Zimuto ritual killing: father disputes that cousin who stewed son’s head is mentally ill

Published: December 9, 2020
By: Iharare, Zimbabwe – Vincent Masikiati

The father of the 9-year-old Zimuto boy who was brutally murdered in yet another ritual killing has spoken out saying he doubts that the perpetrator, his cousin, is mentally ill.

The nation was shocked to learn that 22-year-old Clever Chitiga had brutally murdered 9-year-old Trevor Mapxashike (also known as Mapwashike) and dismembered his body. Clever and Trevor’s father, Henry Mapxashike are cousins. After killing his nephew, Clever stewed the body in a pot after pounding it and seems to have prepared to feast on it. He was caught before he could continue with his bizarre ritual.

Trevor’s heartbroken father narrated how he made the gruesome discovery to local publication Herald,

“I almost collapsed, after forcing the door to one of his rooms, open. A trail of blood, which we believed to be my son’s, led us to his head which was being stewed in a big pot.

“The door had been locked from inside and I had to gain entry through the window and opened it from inside.

“My mother, who accompanied me to Clever’s homestead, used a stick to shove the head so that we could properly see what was in the pot and to our shock, it was my son’s head which was being stewed. He had shaved it using a broken beer bottle and pounded it with a pestle and mortar.”

Despite the shocking crime, Henry said that he bears no ill-will towards his cousin who brutally murdered his son and instead called for unity among his family members. He, however, questioned the narrative that Clever was mentally ill saying that his actions showed that some planning had gone into committing the vile deed.

“My only appeal and prayer is for the family to unite and get to the bottom of this because I think there is something behind this. We need to sit down and cleanse our family because this is strange and bizarre. It’s unheard of. When I got to Clever’s homestead, he had already fled from the scene after I had asked him if he had seen my son,” he said.

“I believe there was juju at play because from what I know, Clever never had a history of mental illness. In fact, his discreetness and the way he tried to conceal evidence of his diabolic act smacks of someone who is mentally stable.”

Clever’s brother, Brine Chitiga (40) also ruled out mental illness. Brine said that he suspected that his young brother was being tormented by the spirit of a person whom he murdered when he was into gold panning a few years back. He also said that his younger brother may have been into occultism and juju.

“I suspect that he (Clever) might be tormented by an avenging spirit. He might have killed a person in Mberengwa where he was panning for gold since 2018.

“He started acting strangely after he returned from Mberengwa. He always threatened to kill people and was acting strangely,” he said.

The local community as well as the traditional leaders have called on the Mupxashike family to hold a cleansing ceremony to remove the dark could hanging over the family following the death of Trevor.  Most of the community said that they had never witnessed or heard of anything like the Zimuto ritual killing of young Trevor

Source: Latest On Zimuto Ritual Killing: Father Disputes That Cousin Who Stewed Son’s Head Is Mentally Ill

Kenya: Tharaka Nithi girl killed in bizarre ritual sacrifice buried

See my January 20 and January 25, 2021 postings for background information on this ritual murder. Warning: some readers may find the story disturbing (webmaster FVDK).

Tharaka Nithi girl killed in bizarre ritual sacrifice buried

The mother of nine-year-old Debra Kagendi, the girl who was beheaded in a suspected ritual sacrifice, holds her daughter’s portrait during burial on January 26, 2021 in Tharaka Nithi County. Photo: Alex Njeru | Nation Media Group

Published: January 27, 2021
By: The Nation, Kenya – Alex Njeru  

The nine-year-old girl from Tharaka Nithi who was beheaded last week in what was suspected to be a ritual sacrifice was on Tuesday buried in an emotional ceremony at her home in Mpingu village, Maara Sub-county.

Bitter relatives, local leaders, teachers and the villagers eulogised Debra Kagendi, who was a Grade Two pupil at Kiurani Primary School, as an obedient girl and demanded justice over her killing.

The Ameru Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders led by Maara Constituency chapter vice-secretary, Mr Gilbert Kathendu, also castigated the heinous act and urged the residents to remain calm as the matter goes on in court but vowed to conduct a traditional ritual to curse the act.

Cleansing prayers

The clergy also announced plans to conduct prayers in the region to cleanse the area of evil activities such as witchcraft.

Marimanti MCA Susan Ngugi and her Mwimbi counterpart Jonnes Kinegeni asked police to conduct thorough investigations and build a water-tight case against the suspected criminals.

Ms Ngugi decried the rise in child abuse and gender-based violence in Magutuni area and asked the local administration to weed out the criminals.

“We are urging those handling the murder case to make sure that the truth is known and justice is served,” said Ms Mwindu.

Mr Kinegeni urged parents to be keen on the whereabouts of their children, especially girls, because cases of child abuse are on the rise in the region.

Investigations ongoing

Mwimbi Deputy County Commissioner Elaine Kaale assured the residents that investigation officers are doing everything to unearth the truth that they will present in court against the suspects.

She called for calm and warned the villagers against taking the law into their hands by doing any vengeful act.

The body of the girl was found at the home of a suspected witch-doctor, Mr Suleiman Mati Mukiira, 94, on January 17, 2021.

Head found

Maara Sub-County Police Commander Mohammed Jarso said they found the head of the girl at a different place from where the torso was.

He added that they also found carcasses of a goat and chicken with missing hearts.

Following the incident, police arrested Mukiira and Mr Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, who were presented in court as suspects.

Police asked for seven days to continue holding them as they conclud investigations.

On Monday, the two were brought before Senior Resident Magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi but did not take a plea as police asked for more time to conduct a post-mortem on the girl’s body and also take the suspects for a mental tests.

Source: Tharaka Nithi girl killed in bizarre ritual sacrifice buried

Kenya: suspects in Tharaka Nithi ritual murder remanded 7 days

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

Suspects in Tharaka Nithi ritual sacrifice remanded 7 days

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

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

What you need to know:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Suspects in Tharaka Nithi ritual sacrifice remanded 7 days

Related:

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

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

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

In Summary 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manicaland, Zimbabwe: Honde Valey man confesses to killing 9-year old nephew for ritual purposes

Sometimes I don’t believe what I’m reading. Like the story reproduced below. Maybe it’s not true. Maybe it is. Reading more and more details I get increasingly suspicious. Is this man, Jabob Muranganwa, speaking the truth? Is he reliable? is he insane? Jacob confessed killing his brother’s son for ritual purposes. In itself, it is already a story hard to believe although we know that these ugly practices occur in some countries, unfortunately also in Zimbabwe. The recent ritual murder of a 7-year old boy, Tapiwa Makore from Murewa village, in the neighboring Mashonaland East province, sadly illustrates this point. See my previous postings on this crime.

Judge for yourself if the following story could be true, whether Jacob Muranganwa is speaking the truth when confessing murdering his brother’s son. However, it’s now ‘s up to the police the investigate this case, up to the judges to try Jacob if there is reason to prosecute him. Its up to the law.  

Warning: the following article contains graphic details of a ritual murder (FVDK). 

Uncle murders brother’s son

Published: November 27, 2020
By: ManicaPost, Zimbabwe – Tendai Gukutikwa        

A HONDE Valley man recently confessed to killing his nine-year-old nephew for ritual purposes, before going on to harvest the minor’s private parts, arms, ears and eyes after being contracted to do so by his brother and another businessman, The Manica Post has established.

However, reliable sources in the community are saying the man is walking scot-free after making the confession.

Jacob Muranganwa is now said to be facing the full wrath of his late nephew, Zedek Muranganwa’s avenging spirit which reportedly carries him outside during his sleep.

Zedek was murdered last year by his father’s brother Jacob.

The murder came to light when one of the Muranganwa siblings — John —approached acting Chief Mutasa’s court accusing his brothers — James and Abraham — of harassing him and breaching his peace.

John said James and Abraham were accusing him of killing Zedek for ritual purposes. However, things took a dramatic twist when Jacob sprung from his seat to confess to the murder.

“I cannot endure this torment anymore. Every morning I wake up sleeping outside. At first, I thought I was sleep-walking, but when I started seeing Zedek’s image every night, I knew his avenging spirit was behind it all. “Whenever it gets dark, l see the boy’s image. I am the only one who sees him, even when I am with someone else,” confessed Jacob during the court session.

Jacob said he murdered Zedek for ritual purposes and harvested the boy’s private parts, arms, ears and eyes.

Three days later, he hung the lifeless and mutilated body on a tree near the boy’s home to stage a suicide.

Jacob fingered his brother, John, businessman Kwambana and another unidentified businessman, of contracting him to carry out a ritual murder to boost their businesses. John allegedly owns a leisure centre in Honde Valley.

“Sometime last year, my brother John, Kwambana and another businessman asked me to harvest a young boy’s body parts for money-making rituals.

“The next day I saw Zedek coming from school and I lured him to my workplace — John’s grinding mill. I promised to give him some money for his school fees and he obliged. I gave him sadza laced with Maragada pills.

“He ate the sadza and dozed off moments later. I took a hammer and hit him once on the head. Zedek died instantly. I took his body and hid it behind the grinding mill.

“After closing the grinding mill, I cut off the body parts. When John and his partners came to collect the body parts, they placed the body in a refrigerator. It stayed there for three days before they instructed me to hang it near Zedek’s home to make it appear like the boy had committed suicide,” narrated Jacob.

After Jacob’s confession, Chief Mutasa ordered his aides to accompany him to Ruda Police Station as he said criminal issues were beyond his jurisdiction.

However, John died mysteriously a week later.

He was buried last Friday.

The Muranganwa siblings’ relatives who spoke to The Manica Post on condition of anonymity said John was found dead. They said they suspect that Zedek’s avenging spirit might have pushed his Uncle John into an early grave.

On the other hand, reliable sources from the community said Jacob is walking scot free after being released from police custody.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa could neither confirm nor deny the matter and said investigations were underway.

“We have called Ruda Police Station and they could neither confirm nor deny that they are handling such a case. However, word doing the rounds in the community confirms the murder case. We will need to dig deeper with the investigations to get to the bottom of the issues,” said Insp Kakohwa.

Source: Uncle murders brother’s son

Human sacrifices, myth or reality? – A viewpoint

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human sacrifices, myth or reallity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I recall vividly growing up in a township when public transport in the form of the commuter omnibuses had just been introduced. At that age, we were scared to death by the stories doing the rounds in the township of the disappearance of children. We were told how kids were being lured by strangers who promised them sweets. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Human sacrifices, myth or reality?

South Africa: relatives sentenced to life for ritual murder

Is it possible to something positive in the area of ritualistic killings? Maybe yes, read the following case, reproduced below. In Limpopo province, South Africa, where ritualistic murders aka muti (muthi) murders are rampant, a court has found four people accused of ritual murder guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The Thohoyandou High Court found guilty and convicted Christinah Mhlongo (56), Solomon Mqengeni Mahumani (67) and Amos Mafemani Chuma (51) for the barbaric, gruesome ritual murder of their-in-law, Hlayisani Hlungwani (26), at Hlomela village in Giyani three years ago. A fourth convict, Daniel Dzambukeri was sentenced to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial.

I must commend the police department, the investigators, and the court judges for their work and I am happy with the outcome of their work. I will not give my opinion on the sentences, in this case life imprisonment. Judges must work independently and objectively, one must be very prudent to comment or to interfere with their work. However, I am very positive about the fact that the rule of law has been upheld. in South Africa, notably in Limpopo Province, muti murderers terrorize the population and violate people’s human rights, notably the right to live without fear and the right to live. To prosecute and sanction perpetrators of these cruel crimes is a sacred duty of the state which has an obligation to protect its citizens. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is essential to educate people telling them that killing other people motivated by superstition as a means to become rich or famous is outrageous and not acceptable.   

Warning: the article below contains graphic details (FVDK).

Relatives senctenced to life for ritual murder

Published: November 18, 2020
By: Letaba Herald

Four relatives were last Thursday each sentenced to life imprisonment for the ritual murder of their in-law at Hlomela village in Giyani three years ago.

Thohoyandou High Court found guilty and convicted Christinah Mhlongo (56), Solomon Mqengeni Mahumani (67) and Amos Mafemani Chuma (51) for the murder of Hlayisani Hlungwani (26) in Nsavula village.

The fourth convict, Daniel Dzambukeri was sentenced to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial.

The judge found that the four accused intentionally killed Hlungwani by cutting off her lips, breasts and private parts.

The heinous crime which sent shock waves in the Hlomela and Nsavula villages was found to have been motivated by greed and the love of money. All accused pleaded not guilty and showed no remorse, the judge found.

The court heard that on 17 April 2017, Daniel Dzambukeri lured his sister-in-law to get into Chuma’s Honda Ballade in order to fetch her child from her grandmother. Dzambukeri testified that when the vehicle reached Hlomela village they drove into the bushes where Hlungwani’s legs were tied to a tree.

Later all of the accused went to the scene to perform their rituals before removing some body parts.

During the ritual, the victim’s mother-in-law, Mhlongo, burned herbs naked while calling Hlungwani ancestors to accept her spirit. Dzambukeri told the court that he had committed the crime with all three accused.

He told the court that he and Mahumani held the victim down while Chuma cut the body parts with a knife. Chuma handed the parts to Mhlongo who wrapped it in a red cloth.

The killing angered villagers who vented their anger by burning down three houses and other properties belonging to the convicts.

Other family member fled the area to other provinces. In mitigation of sentence Mhlongo asked the court not to sentence her for a murder she didn’t commit.

“There was no way I could have joined men to commit such crime,” said Mhlongo.

Mahumani and Chuma also asked the court not to sentence them, they accept no responsibility for their action.

In aggravation of sentence the state advocate, Absah Madzhuta, called the elder brother of the deceased, Richard Hlongwani who testified about the impact the killing had on her child and her grandmother.

Hlungwani further said that the family was shocked, in pain and living in fear.

The death of the deceased has affected the child of the deceased in that she failed her grade.

He said that she knows that her mother was killed by a woman and men and she is now afraid of her father and visitors.

The court remarked that the crime was barbaric, where the victim fought for her life with all her energy, screaming and kicking.

She suffered a painful death, with her body parts removed whilst still alive (italics added by the webmaster).

The body parts were destined for sale.

“Although every case is decided according to its merits, this crime is very serious. The family had to bury their loved one with some of her body parts missing. The aggravating circumstances outweigh by far the mitigating factors of the accused. This type of murder is a classical barbaric one without respecting the deceased and her right to life in terms of Section 11 of the Constitution,” remarked Justice Khami Makhafola before sentencing the convicts to life imprisonment.

The director of public prosecutions, Adv Ivy Thenga welcomed the sentence and commended the investigation team together with the state Adv Absa Madzhuta for the work well done.

Source: Relatives senctenced to life for ritual murder

Below follows the link to another article related to the same barbaric crime. The graphic details of the crime committed being so shocking I have decided not to reproduce the full text here. If readers are still interested, they may click the link below but they are warned that the contents of the article are shocking and repulsive. The article describes in full detail how the victim’s body parts were cut off while she was still alive (webmaster FVDK). 

The faces of evil
Published: November 20, 2020
By: Zoutnet, South Africa – Andries van Zyl

The faces of evil. From left to righ are ritual murderers Solomon Mqengeni Mahumani (67), Christinah Mhlongo (56) and Amos Mafemani Chuma (51). 
Photo’s: NPA Limpopo.

Kenya: Police investigating the brutal murder of a 54-year-old man – was it a ritual killing?

Whereas the following article on the gruesome murder of a 54-year man cannot be labelled a ‘ritual murder’ before the investigation surrounding his death has ended, some newspapers already call his cruel death a ‘ritual killing’ (see the second article below).

As usual, I wish to plead for prudence. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, I present the case here – with a disclaimer – for reasons which may be clear after reading the report below.  

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

Police probing motive of 54-year-old man’s brutal killing

Naomi Wanjiru holds a photograph of her uncle Samuel Mungai who was murdered at Kabogo village in Murang’a County on November 5. Police are trying to establish the motive of the killing. Credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Published: November 11, 2020
By: Nation, Kenya – Mwangi Muiruri

What you need to know:

  • The victim’s body was found in a pool of blood, about 300 metres from his house.
  • Police believe the elaborate murder was executed between 9pm and 11pm.

Residents of Kambogo village in Murang’a County are yet to come to terms with the horrific murder of Mr Samuel Mungai Gachihi on October 22.

The body of the 54-year-old man had no private parts, tongue, ears, eyes and nose when it was found — a murder that bore the marks of a ritual killing.

“The scene details indicate devilish work of a killer or killers who had all the time with the victim, going to the extent of skinning his head and harvesting all those organs,” said Kigumo police boss Michael Ndegwa.

The post-mortem report indicated that the man first suffered blunt force trauma to the top of his head, which cracked his skull. 

The assailant(s) then slit his throat and then “the evil of harvesting the organs was executed”.

Police believe the elaborate murder was executed between 9pm and 11pm, which was corroborated by some neighbours who reported hearing the man scream twice from around 9.30pm.

At the scene was an iron bar, three unused condoms, an empty cigarette packet and snuff wrappings.

Why anyone would want to kill Mungai so cruelly is the puzzle the police are trying to solve.

Horrific scene

No suspect has been arrested so far.

When the Nation team visited the village, journalists were shown where the body was found by a man who was taking milk to the dairy co-operative society. The body was found in a pool of blood, about 300 metres from his house.

“The scene was so horrifying that I have been seeing a counsellor weekly. It is a miracle that I’m still sane. It is the most horrible sight I have encountered in my 72 years in this world,” said Mr Moses Njau, who was among the first to arrive at the scene.

Mr Mungai’s niece, Naomi Wanjiru, said he never married and was known for loathing relationships.

Kigumo police boss Ndegwa said the man is confirmed to have arrived home on that fateful night at around 7pm and herded his two goats and five hens into his one-roomed house where they usually slept to avoid being stolen.

However, Mr Ndegwa said the motive was not stealing the animals and that Mr Mungai was most likely lured out of the house by a person known to him. 

The police boss said getting the killers hinged on the motive.

“We are working around some possibilities revolving around family feud, business rivalry, occultism and normal crime,” he said.

Person of interest

Mr Mungai was one of three siblings — a brother Harun Muhia and sister, Joyce Nyambura. 

Mr Muhia died in 2013, leaving his widow Jane Nduta, 61, and six daughters and one son. 

However, Mr Mungai is reported to have expressed a desire to get married. 

He was to get part of the family’s 0.7 acres, worth Sh800,000.

Mr Ndegwa said police are also looking into the religious inclination of all of Mr Mungai’s relatives and villagers, looking for evidence of occult practices.

Another theory is that the deceased was embroiled in a business feud. 

“There is one specific character being mentioned by the locals as a person of interest owing to macabre statements he was heard uttering at the scene and in the burial. 

“We are working on starting an onslaught against the suspects,” said Mr Ndegwa.

Source: Police probing motive of 54-year-old man’s brutal killing

Related:

RITUAL BLOODBATH Man, 54, slaughtered before his head skinned and eyes, ears and tongue cut out in horror ‘ritual killing’ in Kenya

Published: November 11, 2020
By: The Sun (UK) – Magda Ibrahim

The horror killing took place in a small village in Kenya’s Murang’a County
Credit: Getty Images – Getty

THE ‘DEVILISH’ work of a killer is being probed by police after the mutilated body of a man was found with his head skinned and eyes, ears and tongue cut out.

Samuel Mungai Gachihi, 54, was found in a pool of blood just metres from his home in Kenya.

His butchered body was found with his throat slit, his head skinned and his eyes gouged out, reported local media.

Tragic Mr Gachihi’s face had been completely disfigured, with his ears, tongue, nose missing, along with his private parts.

Residents of Kambogo village in Kenya’s central Murang’a County, around 100 miles north east of the capital Nairobi, claim the missing body parts point to a ritual killing.

We are working on possibilities revolving around…occultism 

“The scene details indicate devilish work of a killer or killers who had all the time with the victim, going to the extent of skinning his head and harvesting all those organs,” said Kigumo Superintendent of Police Michael Ndegwa.

The post-mortem report indicated Mr Gachihi first suffered blunt force trauma to the top of his head, cracking his skull in the attack earlier this month.

His throat was then slit and “the evil of harvesting the organs was executed” in the elaborate killing, reported the country’s Nation newspaper.

At the crime scene, officers found an iron bar, along with cigarettes, three unused condoms, and snuff wrappings.

Neighbour Moses Njau, 72, was the first to come across the grisly scene and told local media he had been left traumatised by his discovery.

“The scene was so horrifying that I have been seeing a counsellor weekly. It is a miracle that I’m still sane. It is the most horrible sight I have encountered in my 72 years in this world,” he said

The victim’s niece, Naomi Wanjiru, said her uncle had never married and lived alone.

Police said after he arrived home the evening of the attack, he herded his two goats and five hens into his house to avoid them being stolen.

It is believed he was later lured out of his house, around 300m away to the scene of the attack.

“We are working around some possibilities revolving around family feud, business rivalry, occultism and normal crime,” Supt Ndegwa told local media.

No arrests have been made.

The victim’s niece, Naomi Wanjiru, said her uncle had never married
Credit: nation.africa

Source: RITUAL BLOODBATH: Man, 54, slaughtered before his head skinned and eyes, ears and tongue cut out in horror ‘ritual killing; in Kenya

Muranga County, Kenya

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

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

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

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

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

Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings

Published: September 26, 2011
By: Peace WomenFanuel Hadzizi

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

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

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

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

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

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

I recall vividly growing up in one township in Zimbabwe. This was just when public transport in the form of the Toyota Hiace taxi had just been introduced in the country. At that tender age, we were scared to death by the stories doing the rounds in the township of the disappearance of children. We were told how kids were being lured by strangers who promised them some sweets.

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

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

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

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

In an article titled New Magic for New Times: Muti Murder in Democratic South Africa, Louise Vincent (2008) says that “the use of human body parts for medicinal purposes is based in the belief that it is possible to appropriate the life force of one person through its literal consumption by another.” The victim is thus carefully chosen.

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

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

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

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

Source: Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings

Nigeria: Ibadan secondary school student Quadri Olalekan was murdered for ‘money ritual’ by those he trusted

I have repeatedly said it on these pages: Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country, with about 200 million people. Hence, in a way it is not surprising that reports of ritual murders frequently refer to this West African country. However, this does not make the crime less cruel, senseless, and repulsive. How can we ever stop these gruesome practices, based on superstition and greed? 

Another word must be said about the police questioning one of the suspects. As can be read in the article below, the confession of the alleged perpetrator was obtained after intense pressure. What does this imply? We must realize that confessions extracted under duress are not only illegal but also not reliable. Whether this indeed has been the case cannot be concluded with certainty from the text below, but it is useful to be vigilant, given the reputation of the Nigerian police force. 

Warning: the article below contains graphic details of the gruesome murder (webmaster FVDK).

How Ibadan secondary school student was tricked, killed by those he trusted

Quadri Olalekan, a student of Ifesowapo Community Secondary School in Ibadan, Oyo state capital, was looking forward to his 14th birthday before he was cut in his prime. As a result of the closure of schools due to COVID-19 lockdown, his parent allowed him to work under Biodun Owolabi, a bricklayer.

The victim, secondary school student Quadri Olalekan.

Published: November 3, 2020
By: The Cable – Olufemi Atoyebi

The families of Owolabi and Olalekan reside at Bodmas junction, Iyana Church area of Ibadan. Perhaps it was one of the factors that they considered before allowing Quadri to work under him. But unknowingly, they had signed him up for a journey of no return.

A day to his birthday, the mother asked him to do some chores and it was while doing this that Owolabi came calling. He had followed his boss who reportedly tricked him that there was a job to do. However, when the mother could not find him after several hours, she raised the alarm and a search began.

According to a family source, a resident of Bodmas junction told the search team that Olalekan was last seen with Owolabi. The team was said to have approached Owolabi who initially denied but confessed to killing the missing child after intense pressure (italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

Owolabi and the cleric accused of orchestrating the murder

Owolabi later took members of the community to the place where Olalekan was buried after life was snuffed out of him. Witnesses said the victim’s arm and his private organ were missing when the corpse was exhumed. He was said to have confessed that a cleric, residing in the community, was the one who orchestrated the murder.

“Owolabi is a son of a landlord in the area and he lives in his father’s house. He is around 21 years. The father is also a bricklayer. Owolabi and Alfa worked together and because schools were closed for a long time, the two engaged Quadri as labourer. Quadri was a student of Ifesowapo Community Secondary School,” said the witness who preferred anonymity.

“When it was discovered that the boy was missing, Owolabi was approached but he said he did not know where the boy was. When members of the community intervened, he said the boy had been killed and buried. He said he and the Alfa killed the boy and took parts of his body for ritual purposes. According to him, a popular baker and another individual in the area paid them to bring the body parts.

“He then took them to the place where the boy was buried. His remains were stuffed in a sack before being buried in a shallow grave. The arms were cut off while part of the buttock was also sliced off. The sack was dripping with blood when it was exhumed.

“When Alfa was apprehended, he denied knowing anything about it. His reaction triggered anger among the youths and members of the community and they set him on fire. When the houses of the killers were searched, we found charms and other dangerous weapons in their rooms. The belongings of the Alfa were also set ablaze.”

When TheCable visited Quadri parents’ house, the mother, Adenike Olalekan, was still in grief, weeping uncontrollably.

A relative of the mother who simply identified herself Bisi said Quadri was to mark his 14th birthday a day after he was killed and his mother had already bought clothes for the occasion.

“Quadri woke up in the morning and his mother asked him to go and wash plates. He was doing that when Owolabi approached him to help them in bricklaying work. They had been working together before,” she said.

“We expected him till evening but he did not return. We called Owolabi’s number several times but he did not pick the call. Then we went to his parents’ house where we saw him. He denied whereabouts of Quadri.

“He later took us to Alfa house. When Alfa saw us, he wanted to run away but he was caught by the people that followed us. He also denied knowing where Quadri. The youths in the area were angry so they forced his door open and searched his house. Charms and other fetish objects were found inside, including women pants.

“Owolabi later told us that Alfa strangulated the boy in a place called Agric bush. When we got there, we saw Quadri’s mutilated body and corpse of another boy there. Our son’s hands, eyes and buttock were cut off.

“His 14th birthday was on Sunday and his mother bought clothes for him to celebrate it. But he was killed a day before his birthday. His father works in Port Harcourt.”

Oyo police commissioner at a press briefing at a media briefing.

Gbenga Fadeyi, public relations officer of Oyo police command, told TheCable through a text message that the victim’s family did not report the incident.

Source: How Ibadan secondary school student was tricked, killed by those he trusted

Oyo State, Nigeria, with capital Ibadan.

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

More:

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.

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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