Zimbabwe – Murehwa ritual murder: Police quiz n’anga

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

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

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

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

Murehwa ritual murder: Police quiz n’anga

Asst Comm Paul Nyathi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Murehwa ritual murder: Police quiz n’anga

More on the same subject:

Pastor Charles Charamba Speaks Out On Murehwa Ritual Killing

Pastor Charles Charamba

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SourcePastor Charles Charamba Speaks Out On Murehwa Ritual Killing

More:

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

Tapiwa Makore Senior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More (partly based on the previous article):

Murehwa Ritual Killing Latest: N’anga Speaks Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tafadzwa Shamba at the crime scene

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

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

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

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

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

Tapiwa Makore Senior (Image Credit: Zimpapers Digital) 

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

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

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

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

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