Zimbabwe: traditional healers hold meeting on ritual killings

The recent surge in ritual murders and suspected cases has led to an increased awareness that something must be done to stop these crimes. The Zimbabwe National Practitioners Association (ZINPA) recently met to discuss the situation. Read below what was discussed. The two ritual murder cases referred to are not the only ones which have been reported in recent months. See my previous postings (webmaster FVDK). 

Traditional Healers Hold Meeting On Ritual Killings

Traditional healer

Published: May 19, 2021
By: Pindula, Zimbabwe

Traditional healers, prophets and community leaders in Manicaland province held an emergency meeting in the wake of ritual killings that have been reported in the province in recent months.

In April, two Mutasa Grade One pupils were brutally murdered and their bodies dumped into a disused Blair toilet.

Dilan and Melissa Benza (both seven-year-olds), who were cousins, were murdered on their way home from Mbaza Primary School.

A week later, a 57-year-old tractor driver, Grey Chirimo, who was employed by Allied Timbers, was found dead in Nyangani Dam, five days after he had disappeared with the tractor he was driving when he was last seen.

The tractor was found by members of the police sub-aqua unit two days before his body was discovered in Nyangani Dam.

The ritual killings have brought traditional leaders under the spotlight, amid accusations that they are the ones who prescribe human body parts to be used as charms.

A spokesperson for the Zimbabwe National Practitioners Association (ZINPA) Petronela Yeukai Chiusaru said recently they held a meeting which was attended by the police, chiefs, headmen, and traditional healers including prophets.

ZINPA Vice President Dr Hatizivi Nyamandwe urged the public to consult registered healers. He said: It was agreed that a database of all registered practitioners in that area is to be produced to the police as well as chiefs. Healers are not allowed to practice witch-hunting in the area.

Source: Traditional Healers Hold Meeting On Ritual Killings

Related article:

Traditional Healers Hold Ritual Killings Indaba

Published: May 18, 2021
By: ZTN News, Zimbabwe – Lloyd Ndemo 

Traditional healers in Zimbabwe recently convened an emergency meeting with prophets and community leaders in Manicaland province in the wake of ritual killings that have been reported in the province in recent months.

In April this year two Grade 1 pupils from Nyanga were murdered on their way home from Mbaza primary school, and their bodies were found the following day dumped in a disused toilet at an abandoned homestead.

They had deep cuts on their necks. A week later a tractor driver from Allied Timbers was also murdered and his body was found floating in Nyangani River with eyes missing.

The ritual killings have brought traditional leaders under the spotlight, amid accusations that they are the ones who prescribe human body parts to be used as charms.

Spokesperson for the Zimbabwe National Practitioners Association (ZINPA) Petronela Yeukai Chiusaru said recently they held a meeting which was attended by the police, chiefs, headmen, and traditional healers including prophets.

“ZINPA Vice President Dr Hatizivi Nyamandwe urged the public to consult registered healers. It was agreed that a database of all registered practitioners in that area is to be produced to the police as well as chiefs. Healers are not allowed to practice witch-hunting in the area,” Chiusaru said.

Source: Traditional Healers Hold Ritual Killings Indaba

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: traditional leaders urged to stop ritual killings (2016 article)

Speaking at a traditional medicine day held in Giyani in 2016, the President of traditional healers association in SADC region, Dr Sylvester Hlathi, urged local traditional healers to stop ritual killings. Isn’t this remarkable – and courageous? On the one hand one could argue that apparently his appeal hasn’t prevented muti murderers in the northeastern part of the country to continue their ugly practices, on the other hand it is promising and encouraging to realize that voices are raised against these heinous crimes based on superstition and a repulsive greed for money and/or power.

Dr. Hlathi’s remarks gave me goose pimples, he spoke openly and publicly, and didn’t beat around the bush. “We as traditional healers must stop using human parts to make medicine, we must stop ritual killings as we are called to heal people not to kill people,” he said.

Kudos for Dr. Hlathi! I wonder what has become of him. (webmaster FVDK).

Traditional leaders urged to stop ritual killings

Dr Sylvester Hlathi addressing local traditional healers during the traditional medicine day. Photo by Tony Myambo.

Published: September 8, 2016
By: Letaba herald – Tony Myambo

The President of traditional healers association in SADC region Dr Sylvester Hlathi has urged local traditional healers to stop ritual killings.

Hlathi was speaking during a traditional medicine day held in cheapside complex outside Giyani on Wednesday.

“We as traditional healers must stop using human parts to make medicine, we must stop ritual killings as we are called to heal people not to kill people,” said Hlathi.

He also urged traditional healers to stop raping patients telling them that they will get healed if they sleep with them.

“We must stop sleeping with our own patients telling them they will be healed only if they sleep with us, this will weaken our traditional medicine not to work as it is not human and ancestors will punish us,” he said.

He also encouraged them to go test for HIV/AIDS. “You must also go get tested, you must stop this thing of saying I don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend you must get tested so that you can also encourage your patients to go for tests because using only traditional medicine to cure this disease is not good,” he explained.

He also told them to stop giving medicine to criminals to come out of prison or charms to do crime but work with police in order to fight crime.

He however pleaded with traditional leaders to chase away fake traditional healers in their villages.

“Traditional leaders you must demand certificates of practice from these traditional healers, if they don’t have any – chase them away,” said Hlathi.

Hosi Edward Chauke, Congress of traditional leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) in Malamulele secretary, applauded local traditional healers for coming together to celebrate traditional medicine day and uniting with one another.

“As traditional leaders we would like to acknowledge you for coming together and for celebrating our traditional medicine. I would like to assure you that as traditional leaders, we recognize you.”

Source: Traditional leaders urged to stop ritual killings

Why Kayunga is an epicentre of human sacrifice (Uganda)

Incredible news comes to us from Uganda and – maybe even worse – it is not even NEW news. This has been going on for years. According to the 2013 Child Sacrifice and Mutilations report, one child is sacrificed every week. A human sacrifice! 

Recently, we have noted a surge in the frequency of ritual murders in Uganda. Read the article below. One wonders why the Ugandan law enforcement authorities do not step up efforts to wage war on the traditional healers who are allegedly implicated in this repulsive practice which thrives where ignorance and superstition rule (webmaster FVDK).

Why Kayunga is an epicentre of human sacrifice, murders

Police at the demolished shrine where bodies were recovered in Kisoga Village, Kayunga District in September 2018. PHOTO BY FRED MUZAALE 

Published: March 26, 2020
By: Daily Monitor – Fred Muzaale

Residents of Kakoola Village, Kitimbwa Sub-County, Kayunga District are recovering from shock they suffered after one of their own was beheaded last week.

Tarsis Mutesasira, 60, was beheaded on March 17 and his head taken by unknown assailants.

Residents discovered Mutesasira’s torso lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom. 
A week later, police are still hunting his killers.

On the fateful day, neighbours say the deceased, who lived alone in his small house, spent the entire day in his garden tending to his crops.

Preliminary police investigations indicate that Mutesasira murder was an act of human sacrifice and two traditional healers have since been arrested to help police with investigations. 

Both suspects practise their trade in Kitimbwa Sub-county.

Mutesasira’s murder is one of the several acts of human sacrifice cases that have occurred in r Kayunga District about 60kms from Kampala city.

Mr Isaac Mugera, the officer in-charge of the criminal investigations in Kayunga District, says they do not know why Kayunga continues to register many cases of murders linked to human sacrifice.

He, however, says the big concentration of traditional healers in the district could be the cause of such increasing acts.

“There are more than 200 traditional healers in this district and our preliminary investigations revealed that many are fake, which could be the reason they engage in unlawful acts,” Mr Mugera says.

He adds: “We have tried to register all the native doctors in the district with a view of weeding out the fake ones but it seems we have not yet succeeded.”

Similar incident
Mr Mugera cites a September 2018 incident when traditional healer Owen Ssebuyungo, 27, a resident of Kisoga Village in Nazigo Sub-county, Kayunga District was arrested on charges of human sacrifice.

Security operatives recovered five bodies from his shrine. The bodies were recovered from shallow graves each containing a Shs5,000 note. 

The suspect is on remand at Luzira prison and hearing of the case at Mukono High Court is ongoing.

Mr Mugera adds that given the strategic location of the district, wrongdoers from Nakasongola, Kamuli, Luweero, Mukono and other neighbouring districts find it easy to hide in the area and commit such heinous acts.

“It is surprising that many people go to traditional healers when they fall sick, even when their ailments can be treated by medical personnel,” he says.

Mr Mugera reveals that since this year began, police have recorded a total of nine murder cases. 

He, however, explains that two of these are suspected to have been acts of human sacrifice.

Last year, a total of 35 murder cases were registered in the area while 29 murder cases were recorded in 2018.

“As police, we have been successful in prosecuting the suspects in most of these cases because there is overwhelming evidence to pin them,” Mr Mugera notes.

Mr Tom Sserwanga, the Kayunga District chairperson, says acts of human sacrifice are rampant in the greater Mukono area that includes Buikwe, Mukono, and Buvuma districts.

“Many people in these districts believe in witchcraft and when they fall sick, they go to witch doctors for treatment,” Mr Sserwanga says.

According to the 2013 Child Sacrifice and Mutilations report, one child is sacrificed every week compared to the seven cases of child sacrifice reported to Uganda Police in 2011. The report adds that people carry out human sacrifice seeking wealth and fortune, among others.

The Kayunga District traditional healers’ association chairperson, Mr Badru Ssemisambwa, however, dismisses the claims that traditional healers are involving in acts of human sacrifice.

“No genuine traditional healer can kill a person. Those who murder people are fake and only masquerade as healers to make money,” Mr Ssemisambwa says. 

He says they have in the past three years cooperated well with police to arrest and prosecute quack traditional healers but many others keep joining the trade.

“We are planning a fresh registration of all traditional healers and those without proper documents will be arrested and prosecuted,” Mr Ssemisambwa says.

Way forward
The Kayunga Resident District Commissioner, Ms Kikomeko Mwanamoiza, says they are working with local leaders and security organs to wipe out the vice.

Ms Mwanamoiza expressed concern over the rampant acts of human sacrifice in the area, adding that there is need to sensitise residents.

“ It is a pity that a big number of people spend most of their time visiting shrines and some are forced to part with their hard-earned money in the name of pleasing their gods,” she says.

Background
Call for regulation. The number of traditional healers who engage in criminal acts are increasing by the day, not only in Kayunga but in other districts too.

Several local leaders in many districts in central region have on several occasions urged Parliament to regulate activities of traditional healers, accusing many of duping their gullible clients.

Jailed. The High Court sitting in Mukono in 2018 handed a 40-year jail term to a man and his daughter-in-law after finding them guilty of human sacrifice.

In February last year, police in Luweero District with the help of residents stormed shrines belonging to a prominent traditional healer in Butiikwa Village, Kikyusa Sub-county in Luweero District and set nine of the ablaze, after he was accused of killing a resident in a suspected ritual murder.

When police confronted the traditional healer in a bid to search his shrines, he put up strong resistance but was overpowered. 

Police found a mutilated human body and hundreds of human bones from eight shallow graves.

During interrogation at police , the suspect said his accomplices took a adult male to his shrine for ritual sacrifice.

In March 2018, police recovered a headless body dumped at Kalongo Miti Cell, Kizito Zone in Luweero Town Council.

Source: Why Kayunga is an epicentre of human sacrifice, murders

Inside the thriving human body parts market (report from Zimbabwe)

The following article, published by the Sunday Mail in Zimbabwe in late December 2019, is strictly speaking not about ritual killing or a specific ritualistic murder case. However, it has everything to do with the subject: superstition and the use of rituals using human body parts. It is a shocking account of a thriving market for human body parts. The interviews, and apparently also the investigations, have taken place in Zimbabwe, yet there is no reason not to believe that similar practices may be reported from other countries.

As the articles also concludes: ‘In Zimbabwe and other parts of the world, trading in human body parts is illegal.’ Hence, it is up to the government(s) to maintain the law (webmaster FVDK).

Inside the thriving human body parts market

Published: December 29, 2019
By: Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe – Emmanuel Kafe and Simbarashe Manhenda 

Human body parts, according to sources and a pathologist, can also be harvested during post-mortems.

HUMAN body parts, mostly fingers, internal organs and private parts, are being sold by syndicates made up of mortuary attendants and security guards, investigations carried out by The Sunday Mail Society have revealed.

Information gathered revealed that the syndicates are conniving to harvest the body parts from mortuaries without the knowledge of the deceased’s families.

Investigations revealed that the body parts are much sought after and literally cost an arm and leg.

Water used to clean corpses, which is believed to be used in the preparation of juju used in housebreaking, is also in great demand.

As a result of the high demand, the water and body parts are only being sold in foreign currency.

The Sunday Mail Society’s investigations revealed that there is a ready and thriving market for the human body parts and water.

Among those that are acquiring the parts from the morgues are traditional healers, prophets, sex workers, criminals and businesspeople.

Apparently, acquiring human body parts can be as easy as ordering pizza.

A phone call and a little bargaining is all that it takes. After agreeing on a fee, the deal is sealed.

From the interactions with those involved in the illegal and unusual trade, it is clear that the syndicates are making a killing.

After getting a tip-off from a security guard who was once part of the human body parts’ cartel, The Sunday Mail Society crew went underground and pretended to be genuine buyers.

Following the tip-off, we approached one of the security guards manning the premises of a well-established funeral parlour in Harare.

Posing as traditional healers, we enquired from him how we could get certain human body parts.

We also asked about the prices.

The security guard, whom we were later told is paid a “commission” by the mortuary attendants for linking them with buyers, did not even attempt to exercise caution.

Without hesitation, the security guard gladly gave us the mortuary attendant’s contact details, saying his colleague would gladly help us.

After contacting the mortuary attendant, who was expecting our call, a meeting was promptly arranged.

The meeting took place at a local eatery.

From our deliberations with the mortuary attendant, we gathered that human private parts can be sold for as much as US$ 500.

Internal organs such as the heart were pegged at more than US$ 1 500.

The mortuary attendant, who remained composed and relaxed as if he was negotiating the sale of a heifer, explained how the body parts are harvested.

“The parts are mostly removed when the bodies are cleaned in preparation for burial,” he explained, adding that harvesting external body parts was often a challenge since relatives usually inspected the bodies of their departed loved ones.

“However, there is no risk in harvesting internal organs such as the heart and lungs since relatives of the deceased rarely inspect those parts of the body. Those ones are easier to get,” said our source.

In addition, he also said bones and teeth could be “easily obtained’”

But despite that, external organs such as the eyes, breasts and private parts were in great demand.

Also in demand is the water left after washing corpses.

Criminals, among them armed robbers and burglars, are believed to use the water as juju or to induce heavy sleep among house occupants.

According to sources, the water is mixed with juju to produce a concoction which criminals believe will protect them during their escapades

A 500ml bottle of the water was being sold for US$ 200.

It is widely believed that if the water is sprinkled on the door of a targeted house, the victim will fall into a deep slumber, resulting in the robbers ransacking their homes.

Mbuya Alice Nhemachena, a traditional healer, said the water was in great demand.

“The water can be used to make it easier for burglars to steal. Criminal elements can fork out a fortune to get hold of this water. It can also be used to make love potions,” Mbuya Nhemachena said.

Sekuru Friday Chisanyu, another traditional healer, said stealing and selling human body parts is a form witchcraft.

“Some traditional healers tell their clients to bring ‘a warm heart, freshly pulled out of a person’. People who engage such traditional healers want easy money and will end up engaging in ritual murders,” Sekuru Chisanyu said.

“But some people approach us saying they are now being tormented by avenging spirits after buying human body parts,” he said.

So who are the victims in this macabre scam?

According to sources, accident victims are the most common victims of human body parts’ theft.

For accident victims, relatives normally cannot tell whether missing body parts was lost during or after the accident.

Dr Edwin Muguti, a former Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, said it was possible for one to steal human body parts during a post-mortem.

“It is possible for pathologists, mortuary attendants and security guards to illegally harvest body parts. Such laws as the Human Tissue Act and the Anatomy Act were enacted to deter such practices,” Dr Muguti said.

But Mr Talent Nharara, the operations manager at Foundation Funeral Services, said he was yet to come across such criminal cases.

“I have heard about such things, but I am yet to come across such cases. However, it might be possible for body parts to be harvested during embalming and when the corpse is being washed. The fact that people always talk about this means that such things might be happening,” Mr Nharara said.

The human body is usually washed, embalmed and dressed up in preparation for either burial or cremation.

But according to Mr Nharara, the water used in cleaning corpses is disposed of in a manner which makes it almost impossible for one to collect it for sale.

“The water is disposed of using special drainage pipes. Like I said before, I am yet to come across people who siphon such fluids, but that does not mean that the fluids are not being siphoned off,” added Mr Nharara.

He was, however, not at liberty to reveal exactly how the water is disposed of.

Mr Taka Svosve, Zimbabwe Association of Funeral Assurers’ (Zafa) general manager, said there was much speculation regarding the harvesting of human body parts. “From our investigations, nothing of that sort is happening. Some fraudsters might actually be selling ordinary water, which they claim to have come from mortuaries.”

“Our people are professionals and we make sure that such acts are detected. Just like any other professionals, those that work in morgues adhere to stipulated rules,” Mr Svosve said, adding that there was need for the public to be educated about the role of morticians and undertakers so that society can get to understand how they work.

Zimbabwe Republic Police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said no such reports hadbeen made to the police.

“I cannot comment on that one at the moment. There is need for investigations and verification,” Ass Comm Nyathi said.

In Zimbabwe and other parts of the world, trading in human body parts is illegal.

Source: Inside the thriving human body parts market

Africa Map

Uganda: ‘We wanted wealth!’ Four witch doctors arrested over ritual murders tell Police

One of the suspects – upon interrogation – discloses the buried bodies and police exhumes the missing persons (PML Daily PHOTO)

Published: August 13, 2018
By: Maurice Muhwezi

KAYUNGA – Police in Naggalama has arrested four witchdoctors for alleged ritual killing.

A disappearance report of Mirembe Zuraika was filed at Naggalama Police Station on August 11 and Police mounted a search leading to the arrest of the witchdoctors.

The DPC Naggalama ASP Jessica Naawe confirmed that the relatives of Mirembe reported a case of the disappearance of their daughter and tipped off police that she had talked of having an appointment with a one Owen Sebuyungo, a 24-year-old witch doctor.

In his confession, Sebuyungo narrated that Mirembe visited his shrine for help since she had been possessed by evil spirits (empewo).

Sebuyungo then contacted his spiritual consultant a renowned witchdoctor Mohammed Wamala alias Bob who enticed him to murder Mirembe.

One of the suspects held over the vicious ritual murders is led to a cell at Naggalama Police Station (PML Daily PHOTO)

Wamala allegedly told Sebuyungo that he would amass lots of wealth if he could cut off the head of a female human being.

Following leads, police conducted further investigations leading to the arrest of a syndicate of witch doctors that are believed to have participated in the heinous act.

Upon thorough questioning, the four confessed to having welcomed Mirembe at the shrine and at dawn, beheaded her and buried the head in the shrine.

The suspects then led Police to the shrine where she had been buried.

Shockingly five bodies buried in a rather disturbing position were exhumed.

Wamala told Police he had ferried over eight females from his home in Ganda Nansana, murdered and buried them at this shrine located in Ntunda Kayunga.

Police has also recovered a number of items that include spears and pots filled with fresh blood suspected to be human blood.

Several bodies were exhumed by the Police at the shrine (PML Daily PHOTO)

Blood samples have been picked, taken to the Government Analytical Laboratory (GAL) while the recovered bodies that had decomposed beyond recognition have been taken to Mulago hospital for DNA test so that the relatives can identify them.

“The search is still going on. We suspect more bodies must still be buried under the remaining five shrines,” ASP Naawe said.

Police has since cordoned off the area as the search for more evidence continues in this strange murder case.
The four suspects identified as Junior Kibuuka, Fred Kiiza Semanda, Wamala Muhammed and Owen Sebuyungo are detained at Naggalama Police Station.

Source: We wanted wealth! Four witch doctors arrested over ritual murders tell Police
PML Daily, Uganda

Related articles:

Police, CMI recover five bodies from Kayunga shrine, healer arrested
By Fred Muzaale
Daily Monitor
August 11, 2018

Police in Naggalama, Mukono District and operatives from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) have arrested a traditional healer and also recovered five bodies from his shrine in Kisoga village, Nazigo sub-county, Kayunga District.
The Naggalama police division police commander, Ms Jesca Naawe, identified the suspect as a 27-year-old a renowned youthful traditional healer.
Ms Naawe explained on Saturday that the five bodies, one believed to be of a woman, and the rest of male adults, were dug from three shallow graves which were found in the suspect’s shrine.

Source: Police, CMI recover five bodies from Kayunga shrine, healer arrested

And:

Police find child skull in fresh search on shrines
By Fred Muzaale & Joseph Kato
Daily Monitor
August 14, 2018

 Mr Owen Ssebuyungo (squatting) one of the suspe

Mr Owen Ssebuyungo (squatting) one of the suspects directs police during the search in Kayunga District yesterday. PHOTO BY FRED MUZAALE

Kayunga- Security operatives yesterday retrieved a skull of a child when they resumed a search at a witch-doctor’s shrine in Kisoga village, Nazigo Sub-county in Kayunga District where five human bodies were recovered last Saturday.

The main suspect, Mr Owen Ssebuyungo, 27, and three other witch doctors are being held in separate detention centres.

The five bodies, one being of a woman, were dug up by police assisted by residents at Ssebuyungo’s grass-thatched shrine.

The security team resumed the operation at around 2pm although it was interrupted by a downpour.

The residents and police from Kayunga and Naggalama police stations used hoes to dig up the entire compound, which had five shrines, as the suspects watched.

By press time, police had recovered a skull of a child at the shrines, but the excavation was still ongoing.

More bodies

“We have come back to dig up the entire area because locals told investigators that they think there are still more bodies which were buried in the shrines,” Mr George Obia, Kayunga District Police Commander said.

Police have since Saturday maintained presence at Ssebuyungo’s shrine, which has been declared a scene of crime.

A house belonging to Ssebuyungo’s mother, standing a few metres from the shrines, looked deserted as she reportedly fled after her son’s arrest about a week ago.

Ssebuyungo, according to locals, lived with his wife in Kabimbiri town in the neighbouring Mukono District and only came to his shrines to attend to clients. His father Charles Ssonko, now deceased, was also a witch doctor.

The Local Council One chairman, Mr Bernard Ssekizira, said the discovery of human bodies at the shrine has left the residents in shock.

“Although we had heard rumours that Ssebuyungo was involved in suspicious acts of kidnapping people, we never took it seriously until Saturday when human bodies were discovered at his shrine,” Mr Ssekizira said.
He said the incident has tainted the image of their village, adding that people will start shunning the area.

He urged authorities to investigate activities of all witch-doctors in the area to arrest whoever is engaged in criminal acts.

Following the incident, Kayunga Deputy Resident District Commissioner Yahaya Were said they had stopped all activities of witch doctors in the district until the registered association of traditional healers goes to the district to verify the honest healers from the unscrupulous ones.

Residents in Mukono also told investigators that Ssebuyungo and his accomplices had another shrine in Kiwungi village in Ssi Sub-county, Buikwe District which they abandoned a year ago.

Police did not say whether they would also search the abandoned shrine.
Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said one of the suspects, Wamala, had revealed to police that he often took young girls from his Nansana shrine to Kayunga shrine for offering to the gods.

“We arrested Wamala and while in detention at Naggalama Police Station, he confessed that he ferried eight women to this shrine. At the shrine, we recovered four bodies, a human skull and pots containing blood-like liquids but we suspect there could be more bodies in this shrine,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.

Women murders

He said police had not yet discovered the whereabouts of the said women but highly suspect they were murdered in ritual sacrifice within the shrine premises.

Last week police recovered the body of Allen Nakiyingi, a teacher in Kira Municipality in Wakiso District, buried in her lover’s house in Matugga town, in the same district.

She had gone missing for three weeks. The house in which Nakiyingi’s body was retrieved belonged to her boyfriend’s mother who is also a witch-doctor based in Kayunga District.

Purpose

Confessed: Ssebuyungo told security that they sacrificed human beings to woo many clients to their shrine.
The bodies, which had decomposed beyond recognition, were retrieved from shallow graves and a Shs5,000 note was placed on each of them.
Spears and pots of blood, suspected to have been drawn from human beings, were recovered at the shrine and taken to the Government Analytical Laboratory for investigation.
The bodies were taken to Mulago Hospital for DNA testing.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

Source: Police find child skull in fresh search on shrines

And:

Locals destroy house, crops of Kayunga witch doctor’s mother
By Fred Muzaale
Daily Monitor
August 15, 2018

Residents of Kisoga village demolish Owen Ssebuyungo’s house on Tuesday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE

Kayunga- Angry residents of Kisoga village, Nazigo Sub-county on Tuesday morning destroyed a house belonging to the mother of Owen Ssebuyungo, a witch doctor and key suspect in the murder of six people whose bodies were retrieved from his shrine on Monday.

The area LC2 chairperson, Mr Mohammed Kagimu, on Tuesday said the angry residents stormed Margaret Ssonko’s home at around 5am after the police, which had maintained presence in the area since Saturday, had left.

“Given the anger residents had, there was no way they could spare his parents’ home and crops,” Mr Kagimu said.

After destroying the home, they pounced on her garden and destroyed crops such as coffee and bananas. By 9am on Tuesday, residents were still seen cutting down the crops.

Fleeing for safety

Ms Ssonko reportedly fled the area a week ago after her son was arrested by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence officers.

Ssebuyungo, together with three other suspects; Juniro Kibuuka, Fred Kiiza Semanda and Muhammed Wamala, are detained at Naggalama Division Police Station, according to Ms Jesca Naawe, the district police commander.

The Kayunga District Police Commander, Mr George Obia, criticised the residents for taking the law into their own hands.

He said on Monday evening, the police used a grader to excavate suspected crime points since tools such as hoes and mattock could not do the work in a short time possible.

He said apart from the child’s skull and bones that were recovered on Monday, no other bodies were found.“Our investigators have now gone to Nansana to search Mohammed Wamala’s shrine,” Mr Obia said.

Investigations

He, however, said investigations into the case have almost been concluded adding that the files would be taken to the resident state attorney today for perusal. “Most likely they will appear in court on Friday or latest on Monday,” he said.

Ms Naawe said the suspects will be transferred from Naggalama Police Station to Kayunga Police Station.

This incident has prompted the Resident District Commissioner Rose Birungi, who heads the district security committee to halt all activities of traditional healers in Kayunga district, located about 50 kilometres from Kampala.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

Source: Locals destroy house, crops of Kayunga witch doctor’s mother

 

Wave of Ritual Killings Spark Panic in Cameroon (2013)

The two articles reproduced here date from 2013, hence the reported cases of ritual killing are no recent ones. Be that as it may, I believe they are authentic and the reported cases are genuine.
Late 2012 the population of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, was terrified after the disappearance of 18 young women and the subsequent discovery of their mutilated bodies. In September 2013, parliamentary elections were held in Cameroon. They were originally scheduled for July 2012, but were repeatedly postponed: February 2013, July 2013, and finally held on September 30, 2013, alongside local elections. It has never been proven that the wave of ritual killings in 2012 was linked to the planned elections, but observers of ritualistic murders in Africa point to the fact that often there is an increase in ritual killings during election campaigns. Also, as one of the articles states, ritual killings were common in Cameroon until the 1970s though more recently the number of ritualistic murders has decreased. (webmaster FVDK)

Ritual Killings: 18 Young Women Found Murdered With Brains, Eyes, Genitals Missing

Published on January 23, 2013
By: Naij.com

A series of ritual killings of young women in the West African nation of Cameroon has caused panic in the capital city Yaoundé.

Families are now refusing to let their daughters go out after a spate of gruesome killings of young girls who were abducted by the drivers of motorcycle taxis before being murdered and dismembered.

Police have found 18 mutilated bodies on the streets of the capital in the past two weeks, five of them outside a nursery school, and all are believed to be linked to occult rituals.

In some parts of the country traditional healers believe that body parts including eyes, genitals, breasts and tongues have mystical powers, with many believing they bring riches and other good fortune.  Others believe that performing a human sacrifice will bring good luck.

Ritual killings were common in Cameroon until the 1970s but as education spread, the number of murders decreased.

Now families fear the practice is coming back, with the latest wave of killings causing near-hysteria in the capital city.

This week, the sister of a 17-year-old girl whose corpse was found on Friday outside a nursery school, minus the genitals, tongue, eyes, hair and breasts, wrote to Cameroon President Paul Biya demanding action to prevent further killings.

Deborah Ngoh Tonye Epouse Mvaebeme said her sister, Michele Mbala Mvogo, a student at the government bilingual High School Yaoundé was abducted three days before her body was found outside a nursery school. She accused the city’s commonly-used motorcycle taxi drivers of facilitating the murder, and said the government had failed to do enough to protect the victims, who were from the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods of Mimboman and Biteng.

One local said: ‘The moto-taxi drivers are the assassins’ accomplices, and their targets are girls aged 16-25 who get the taxis after nightfall.  For a large sum of money, these girls are delivered to men in the suburbs who do the rest.’

The head of a Mimboman nursery school told afrik.com how she found one of the bodies outside her school.

She said: ‘It was a strong smell of rotting that drew my attention, so I decided to do a tour of the school. ‘That’s how I found, behind one classroom, a body of a young girl in an advanced state of decomposition, with her underwear placed on her feet, before my very eyes.’

Families in the neighbourhood are said to be in a state of hysteria, banning their girls from taking motorbike taxis and keeping them indoors after dark.

Communication minister Tchiroma Bakary said: ‘Ritual sacrifices with a demoniac connotation are unacceptable and intolerable, and the government will do all it can to put a stop to it.’

Ngoh Tonye, whose sister was murdered, told CNN: ‘There is laxity in the forces in ensuring security in the capital.’

The bodies of the five most recent victims were identified yesterday, according to a State security official who said most of the victims were high school students aged 15-26.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the killings but so far no charges have been brought.

The Cameroon capital, which has a population of just over two million, is in a state of distress with families staying behind locked doors as soon as darkness falls. Police warn pedestrians to walk in groups at all times and have cracked down on local bars frequented by criminals, shutting them down in the dozens. Vigilante groups of young men guard the streets at night and hunt for the killers, as the people of Yaoundé say the police are not doing enough to keep the city safe.

The new wave of gruesome killings in the capital has also seen dozens of complaints about mutilated corpses in the mortuaries of Yaoundé’s public hospitals, according to Health Minister André Mama Fouda.

Source:
Ritual Killings: 18 Young Women Found Murdered With Brains, Eyes, Genitals Missing

Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon

Related article:

Wave of Ritual Killings Spark Panic in Cameroon, Increase Safety Measures

Published: 28th February 2013, 14:15 GMT+11
By: Global Press Institute – Nakinti Nofuru

BAMENDA, CAMEROON When Sarah Ewang, 41, heard about the homicide and dismemberment of 18 young women in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, she cried and prayed to God to give strength to the victims families.

Ewang, a jewelry trader in Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest region, can understand the pain the girls endured during the moments before they were slain by alleged ritual killers. I came so close with ritual killers, she says. God delivered me from the hands of those evil men.

During 2005, Ewang traveled from Bamenda to Douala, the capital of the Littoral region, to buy jewelry to restock her shop. In Douala, she entered a taxi already occupied by two men, who appeared to be passengers. As they drove, another woman stopped the taxi. Moments after picking up the second woman, one of the men in the car pointed a gun at them and ordered them to keep quiet. I tried to shout, but one of the men slapped me very hard, Ewang says.

The taxi took a sharp turn off the main road and drove for more than an hour into an isolated forest. Eventually, the car stopped at a strange-looking hut, constructed of sticks, grass and old bags. I knew my life was coming to an end, Ewang says, and the next thing I thought of was my 3-months-old baby.

She says she cried out and received a second slap from the man carrying the gun, causing her to pass out. When she awoke, she discovered that they had removed her from the car. The driver and one of the men walked into the hut, but the man with the gun remained with them. She says they were ritual killers. They didnt request for anything from us, Ewang says, so they didnt look like armed robbers or thieves.

Finally, the two men emerged, along with four other men carrying cutlasses. Desperate, Ewang cried aloud in her local dialect, Bakossi. Oh my God, I will die and leave my 3-months-old daughter to who? she says she cried. Oh God, please come and help me.

Immediately after she spoke, the man with the gun walked up to her and looked her in her eyes but did not say a word, she says. He then led the other men back into the hut, where they remained for more than 45 minutes. Eventually, the man with the gun returned and asked her and the other woman to get into the car.

The men returned them to Douala and told them to walk away without causing any alarm. As they walked away, the man with the gun spoke. Go and look after your 3-months-old baby, she says that he told her in Bakossi. Extend my greetings to her. Tell her that her forest uncle sends his greetings. Your fluency in your dialect has saved your soul.

As soon as she heard the man speaking her dialect, Ewang stopped, fell to the ground and wept. She says he must have been from the same tribe as her in the Southwest region, where she is originally from. The men drove away, probably to look for the next victim, Ewang says.

Now, eight years later, news of recent killings in Yaoundé has brought fear to Ewangs home in Bamenda as she recalls her own experience.

It is an experience I will live to remember, she says, her voice breaking, and then bursts into tears. May God come to our rescue. Her youngest daughter, who was 3 months old at the time, is now 8. She uses her right hand to dry her mothers eyes. Mummy, dont cry, she says.

Since the discovery of nearly 20 young womens corpses in December and January, women in Bamenda say they will stop at nothing to ensure the safety of their daughters from ritual killers. Young women advise each other to not go out at night. Teachers report that lectures on safety tips for their pupils have intensified in their schools. Local police state that they are working to maintain peace and security for the population.

The dismembered corpses of 18 young women were discovered in Yaoundé, some hidden in bushes and one discovered by a headmistress in a primary school classroom, says Mark, a member of the Rapid Intervention Battalion in Bamenda, who declined to publish his last name for reasons of job security. The battalion is a special branch of the police force in Cameroon tasked with responding to emergency situations.

News reports also reached Bamenda that vital parts of the corpses were missing, including the womens breasts, eyes, kidneys and heart, Mark says.

A lecturer at the University of Bamenda, who requested anonymity to ensure his safety, explains that the removal of those body parts is what marks the deaths of these young women as ritual killings.

He explains that ritualists pay killers to come back with certain body parts, which the ritualists then take to witch doctors or use themselves. Ritualists are usually people seeking fame, money, or positions in government and politics.

Although there were occasional reports of ritual killing in Cameroon before, he says, they were not as large in scope or frequency as the massive killing that recently occurred in Yaoundé.

Beatrice Ngwe, a mother of four girls and one boy, lives with her family in Bamenda. Ngwe says she feels the pain of the mothers in Yaoundé who lost their daughters to ritualists.

Being a mother of four girls is not easy, she says with a heavy voice. I fear for their life all the time.

Ngwes friends daughter disappeared during 2008 after the woman sent her 9-year-old to deliver a message, Ngwe says. The girls body has not been found, leading the town to suspect she became a victim of a ritual killing.

Ngwe says she would not want to live with the guilt of being the author of any of her daughters or sons misfortune, so she is taking extra safety precautions. These days, she fears even more that they may be killed for ritual purposes.

I will die to protect my daughters, Ngwe says. If an errand is very important that it cant wait to see the light of the next day, I prefer to go on it myself.

Melanie Vishiy, 22, is a student at Trinity Computer Training Center in Bamenda. She says she fears for her life because of the news of ritual killings of young women in Yaoundé as well as of another girl during January in Nkambe, a town in the Northwest region.

Since I heard of the death of the young girls in Yaoundé and in Nkambe, I dont go out after 6 p.m., she says, shaking her head. No, I dont, not even to urinate at night. I do that in a small bucket meant for the purpose.

Vishiy had heard of incidents of ritual killings before. But she says that she didnt understand the reality of it and was never scared until news broke about the recent series of deaths.

Now, she says she has never been so scared and alert in her life. She doesnt trust any man she comes across while walking alone.

If a man is on a path with me, just two of us, I make sure I start preparing my heels for running, she says. I look at him directly into his face and try to keep a reasonable distance from him.

Vishiy advises girls to stay indoors for their safety.

I am calling on girls and women to stay close to homes, she says. I am not saying that they shouldnt go out there and have fun, but they should do it with limitation and reasoning.

Beyond the home, teachers in Bamenda are doing their part to spread the message of safety.

Sarah Koye is a teacher at Government Bilingual Primary School Group 2 in Bamenda. She says the recent killings in Yaoundé have prompted teachers to introduce safety tips to their pupils.

We ask them to always move in groups when coming to school and when going back home, Koye says.

Some teachers go as far as asking pupils to tell their parents that they should not send them on errands in the dark or on lonely roads.

The children know what is going on in the nation, she says. When she asked her students whether they had heard about the killings, some children shouted that they had watched it on the news, while others had heard about it from their parents and friends. At school, children shared safety tips that they had received at home.

Because all victims since December have been women, Koye focuses extra training on female students. Some ritual killers begin by violating the children sexually, so she has also introduced some elementary sex education and lessons on morality.

Koye helps the students understand that they are too young for sexual activities and advises them to run and scream if a man makes such advances. She asks them not to follow strange men into homes or bushes. Teachers also tell pupils not to speak with or to accept gifts from strangers on the way to and from school.

In our days, we could receive things from strangers, talk with strange people on the way, without any strings attached, she says. Today, such interactions may only lead to danger. We tell our pupils to be very careful and alert.

The students are doing their best to take the advice that they are being given in school, Koye says.

Outside of school and the home, the police is working to protect the population of Bamenda.

Ever since the ritual killing cases in Yaoundé, the commissioner of police has asked the force to be more vigilant, Mark of the Rapid Intervention Battalion says. They are to arrest and interrogate anybody walking the streets late at night.

We patrol the town all night just to make sure that nothing goes wrong, he says. We have arrested and interrogated many suspects that we find in suspicious places in the heart of the night.

Mark says the battalions lines are open to all. They have received many calls both day and night from people who find themselves in difficult situations. He says the force always goes to their rescue and doesnt spare any suspect from questioning and possible detainment.

He says the number of calls they receive and suspects they have pursued is confidential. But so far, there have been no cases of ritual killing in Bamenda.

Security has stepped up in all the towns of Cameroon, Mark says. He asks the public to trust the capabilities of the police.

We will stop at nothing to put this town under serious surveyance, he says.

Source: Wave of ritual killings spark panic in Cameroon, increase safety measures