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

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

Zimbabwe: Mabhinya ritual killers terrorise Mutare villagers

Mutare villagers march against ritual killers

Published: October 17, 2019
By: Takunda Shumba – Zw News    

Scores of angry villagers last week filled Chitakatira Police Base demanding local police to take action against the increasing numbers of ritual killing of people in their area.

Many people have been killed by a suspected group of human slayers (mabhinya) since mid-August 2019. (italics added by webmaster FVDK)

A member of Mugodhi Apostolic Church John Muponda went missing on Monday last week and family and church mates found his remains dumped partially decayed at Makuti Farm in Vumba on Saturday.

A church congregant who refused to be named for own security reasons suspects that Muponda was murdered even though post-mortem results were not yet out by the time of writing.

The female church member also expressed her concern about what she considered to be lax policing and investigative work by authorities.

“John was someone close to me. It’s so sad that he is no more. I am here out of anger. Why they are killing others like chickens,” said the congregant.

Local traditional leaders were also amongst the villagers who took part in the demonstrations.

One of them is Headman Simon Chigodora who described the situation in the area as a very weird one.

“We have not come here to damage police property. We just want to express our worries. Most of these people has relatives and friends killed by those criminals. More than three people were killed since the end of August. The Chigodora community needs police attention,” Headman Chigodora told TellZim News.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Assistance Inspector Luxson Chananda confirmed the rise in cases of murders saying authorities were doing their work to fight all forms of crime.  

Source: Mabhinya ritual killers terrorise Mutare villagers

Related articles:

PIC: Furious Mutare Villagers March Against ‘Mabhinya’ Killers Harvesting Body Parts

Published: October 17, 2019
By: Sharon Chirisa

A mob of angry Mutare villagers last week filled Chitakatira Police Base demanding the police to take action against the increasing numbers of ritual killing of people in their area.

Many people are being killed in the area and their body parts are being harvested for ritual use.

A member of Mugodhi Apostolic Church John Muponda went missing on Monday last week and family and church mates found his remains dumped partially decayed at Makuti Farm in Vumba on Saturday.

A church member suspects that he was murdered.

“John was someone close to me. It’s so sad that he is no more. I am here out of anger. Why they are killing others like chickens,” said the congregant.

Among the protesters was the village Headman Simon Chigodora who described the situation in the area as a very weird one.

“We have not come here to damage police property. We just want to express our worries. Most of these people has relatives and friends killed by those criminals. More than three people were killed since the end of August. The Chigodora community needs police attention,”

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Assistance Inspector Luxson Chananda confirmed the rise in cases of murders to TellZim saying the authorities have all hands on deck and are working hard to end the rampant killings.

Source: PIC: Furious Mutare Villagers March Against ‘Mabhinya’ Killers Harvesting Body Parts

Mutare villagers march against ritual murders

Published: October 17, 2019
By: Munyaradzi Goche – Radio VOP

MUTARE – Scores of angry villagers last week filled Chitakatira Police Base demanding local police to take action against the increasing numbers of ritual killing of people in their area.

Many people have been killed by a suspected group of human slayers (mabhinya) since mid-August 2019.

A member of Mugodhi Apostolic Church John Muponda went missing on Monday last week and family and church mates found his remains dumped partially decayed at Makuti Farm in Vumba on Saturday.

A church congregant who refused to be named for own security reasons suspects that Muponda was murdered even though post-mortem results were not yet out by the time of writing.

The female church member also expressed her concern about what she considered to be lax policing and investigative work by authorities.

“John was someone close to me. It’s so sad that he is no more. I am here out of anger. Why they are killing others like chickens,” said the congregant.

Local traditional leaders were also amongst the villagers who took part in the demonstrations.

One of them is Headman Simon Chigodora who described the situation in the area as a very weird one.

“We have not come here to damage police property. We just want to express our worries. Most of these people has relatives and friends killed by those criminals. More than three people were killed since the end of August. The Chigodora community needs police attention,” Headman Chigodora told TellZim News.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Assistance Inspector Luxson Chananda confirmed the rise in cases of murders saying authorities were doing their work to fight all forms of crime.

Source: Mutare villagers march against ritual murders