Why killings for rituals are on the increase in Nigeria (2017 article)

During the past three days I have posted three articles related to the alarming rate of ritual killings in Nigeria, in 2014. The article below contains a similar cry for attention, but now in a 2017 article. In other words, there is no interruption in the occurrence of ritual murders in Nigeria, locally called ‘money rituals’. Moreover, also in November and December 2018 and February 2020 newspapers reported that ritual killing was rampant in Nigeria. In other words, nothing has changed over the years.

This means that ritual murders are a structural problem in the Nigerian society and that both the federal government and the government of the individual states repeatedly and continuously fail to protect their citizens, which is a ****** shame. Governments have an obligation to protect the population, notably the most vulnerable, and to arrest, try and punish perpetrators of heinous crimes.

Warning: the following contains a graphic description of ritualistic acts and murders (webmaster FVDK).

NB This article was posted before, on May 24, 2018.

Why killings for rituals are on the increase in Nigeria

Published: September 2, 2017
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Evelyn Usman

…‘Human parts for sale’

The spate of killings for ritual purposes is gradually assuming an alarming rate in Nigeria with little or no effort by concerned government agencies to checkmate the trend.

One would have expected such pseudoscience acts to be a thing of the past going by increase in religious activities and in civilization. But murdering people to appease the deities appears to be on the increase.

Ritual den

These dastardly acts are carried out in a 21 st century, when other countries of the world are experimenting and advancing in technology.

It is also shocking to know that some acclaimed high and mighty indulge in ritual killings. For instance, some politicians and government officials have been accused by arrested suspects and herbalists who allege that they use human beings for rituals in order   to sustain their affluence as well as remain in positions of power.

Investigations revealed that cases of ritual killings and disappearance of persons are usually high whenever elections are around the corner.

Just last week, this barbaric act assumed a cannibalistic dimension following the arrest of a suspected kidnapper alleged to have killed one of his victims and used his intestines to prepare pepper soup.

The suspect, Roland Peter,  according to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police , Zaki Ahmed,  abducted his victim  from his house on August 2017, adding that the suspect was at the verge of eating pepper soup and yam porridge when the police swooped on him and some accomplices.

These vampires hide under different covers to get their victims. For some, they kidnap their victims from various points , while others who pretend to be commercial bus drivers, pick unsuspecting commuters at bus-stop only to take them to their slaughter slabs to carry out what they know how to do best.

Killings for money rituals

On August 17, 2017 , the lifeless body of the four-year-old girl was found  close to a shrine at 28 Ogbe Close in Iwaya area of Lagos, with her throat slit. In her case , the toddler who strayed from her siblings’ watch, on their way from the mosque, was suspected to have been used for sacrifice on the Ogun shrine which ironically is built in the same compound with her parents . Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be fished out.

A suspected ritualist

A week earlier, precisely August 20, another lifeless body of an eight-year-old girl, Chikamso Victory , was found in the apartment of one Ifeanyi Chukwu Dike (23) at Messiah street , Eliozu area of Port Harcourt. Helpless and defenseless Victory was not only abducted by Dike, she was raped before she was killed. As at the time her body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included her vagina, eyes, tongue and breasts which the suspect kept in a polythene bag awaiting the appropriate time to take them to his contacts. He was however, arrested by members of a local vigilante group while going to dispose of the body. But the incident assumed a laughable dimension following report by the Police that the suspect had disappeared from custody.

Elsewhere in Oyo state, on March 30, 2017 , a suspected ritualist,  Tunde Jimoh, who was arrested by the Police, gave a chilling description of how he and other members of his gang abducted their victim, Akintoye Oyeyemi, took him into a deep forest and murdered him in cold blood. Thereafter, they took the body to a Muslim cleric to prepare concoction for money rituals for him. At the end of the day, the wrists, heart and legs were cut off. Luck ran out on the suspect while on his way to dump the body in the bush.

Not too long ago, reports had it that an evil forest used as ritualists’ den was uncovered in Enugu state with the recovery of fresh and decomposing human parts. The nation’s Federal Capital Territory is not speared from the rising trend of killing for rituals. Late last year, a dismembered body of an unidentified lady was recovered at the  Lower Usuma Dam junction, along Dutse-Bwari Road. One of her breasts was cut off, while the rest of the body was cut into two from the abdomen, an indication that the killing was for ritual.

Badoo ritual killing

In Lagos state, the commercial hub of the country, different methods are devised by ritualists. One of such was the surge in the killing of residents by members of a dreaded cult group identified as Badoo Boys in Ikorodu area of Lagos. So far, over 50 persons have had their lives snuffed out of them by the perpetrators who were initially thought to be invisible, until they were decimated by the Police , under the watch of the new Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr Edgar Imohimi, while he was the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations.

Ritualist den

Before the raid and subsequent arrest of over 200 suspected members of the cult group by the Police with the support of the Oodua peoples Congress, OPC local vigilante and the Neighborhood Watch Corps, Badoo Boys had been  unleashing an orgy of killings, during which they used heavy stones to crush the skulls of their victims.

Their modus operandi included storming victims’ residences while they are asleep. It is suspected that they usually hypnotize their victims, as none of them had ever been conscious of their presence. They would, thereafter, smash heads of their victims with a grinding stone and after which they use a handkerchief to clean the blood and brain before leaving the scene.

During interrogation, one of the suspects confirmed that each handkerchief stained with blood was sold for N500,000 . He further revealed that they were mere errand boys for rich politicians within and outside Lagos state.

But in their case , the blood and semen stained handkerchief were used to prepare spiritual defence for well to do Nigerians.

Mad people in disguise

The latest method devised is the feigning of madness by these criminal elements. Recently in Lagos, some persons who disguised as lunatics were discovered to be using tunnels as dens for their activities. Two instances of note were along Lagos-Abeokuta road and Ile Zik, along Agege Motor road.

The latest was an uncovered ritualits’ den Wednesday , at Challege bus-stop , Mushin, where some suspected members who posed as lunatics were found with sophisticated phones, four ATM cards and over 100 syringes with blood stains.

One of the suspects was lynched by a mob while two others were rescued by policemen from Area ‘D’ command, Mushin.

Not too long  Nigerians received with shock, news of a den in Soka village, Oluyole Local Government area of Oyo state, where about 20 corpses, majority of which were   earlier declared missing   by their relatives, were found while 18 victims were rescued. From all indications, it was obvious that the den had been existing for long before it was uncovered, following a heap of victims’ clothes.

One of the rescued victims was reported to have said he was kidnapped in Ogun while attending an interview. The most celebrated ritual killing appeared to be the notorious Otokoto saga in Owerri, Imo State where a businessman belonging to a cult was alleged to have used his apprentice for ritual. The boy’s corpse was later exhumed at the premises of Otokoto Hotel. It exposed many other bizarre acts in hotels.

Religious leaders also involved

One would have expected such primitive acts to be going down, going by the increasing religious groups in the country. Regrettably,  some leaders of religious have been caught in the act. But investigations have shown that many evil men only use religion as a cover up. They are never true religious leaders.

One of the ready cases that comes to mind was that of the arrest of a Pastor who allegedly killed a seven-year-old boy and buried his head where the church’s alter was mounted. This action was to ensure the influx of members into the church located at  Odokekere/ Odogunyan in Ikorodu area of Lagos state .

Elsewhere in Edo state and Ogun states, some pastors were also arrested over similar acts.

Few months ago, an unidentified woman who left her abode in Sango Otta area of Ogun in search of spiritual cleansing at the place of a Muslim cleric popularly called Alfa , in Badagry area of Lagos, ended up being victim of ritual killing.

A 61-year-old landlord,  Toafeek Hassan, who confessed to have slaughtered the woman, was found with her fresh human head and other body parts which were to be used to prepare concoction by the  alfa

Investigation shows that female parts are more in demand than their male counterparts.  This is because of   what was described as the potency of some parts like the breasts and lower private parts in money rituals and other purposes by herbalists and occult groups.

Ritual used to elongate life —suspect

One of the herbalists who spoke with Vanguard at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID , Oseni Bello, admitted to be preparing concoction with human body parts but said he was not involved in the killings. Oseni disclosed that some of the rituals were done to elongate lives . He added that the heart was used to prepare concoction for boldness and fear.

He stated further that virgins   and   babies on the other hand , were used by some politicians and government officials   for ritual purposes as their blood is said to be used to elongate the user’s life span as well as fortify them against spiritual attacks. These are some of the reasons, he said, killings for rituals are on the increase.

A particular case in mind was that of a South-West politician alleged to have been caught by his driver with a dissected day-old baby whose blood he was drinking. The incident as reported two years ago, occurred inside a bush, while the driver was taking his boss (names withheld) to a function. Half way into the journey, the politician was said to have ordered his driver to pull over.

He thereafter, alighted and headed for a bush with a promise to be back. Having waited   without any sight of his boss, the ignorant and curious   driver reportedly went in search for him,only to meet   him stark naked and pouring the blood of a dissected baby into his mouth. Barely two weeks later, the driver reportedly   died under mysterious circumstance.

The event that occurred   before his death was related by a Pastor friend whom the deceased   confided in before his demise. The lust for money and power drives these people into ritual killings.

While some kill to achieve this unfathomable dream, others   resort to digging graves   and removing needed human parts for ritual purpose.   Saturday Vanguard scooped that most guards at cemeteries connive with agents to sell human parts. It was learnt that  if a fresh human head is needed, an agent will contact some   cemetery workers ahead.

In this case, the cemetery official will be on the look out for fresh dead bodies, preferably those of Muslims   who are usually buried within 24 hours after death. Immediately the body is interred, they exhume the body at night, cut off the needed parts and place the body back in the grave.

Human parts for sale

Those who patronize cemetery officials are usually herbalists, herbal traders and even prominent Nigerians who usually use middle men. Surprisingly, human parts   are sold in some markets in Nigeria. We gathered that a fresh human head could go for N60,000 and above, while a skull is sold for N20,000. Fresh legs are sold for N30,000 each while a decomposed leg is sold for N20,000. A fresh finger is sold for N5,000 each while the decomposed is sold for 3,000. Fresh intestines are sold for N20,000 while dry ones are sold for N5000. Pieces of fresh bones are sold for N2,000 and above.

Public react

Reacting to the upsurge , the president,  Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria , AISSON Dr. Ona. Ekhomu called on the Nigeria Police to set up Special Ritual Murder Squads in various State Commands to focus on the investigation, detection, arrest and prosecution of ritual killers. He said that the high incidence of serial ritual killings demands an urgent action at the level of the police high command.

According to the first chartered security professional in West Africa, citizens were rapidly losing faith in the ability of the police agency to detect and punish ritual killers.   This, he said was responsible for the increase in lynching of suspects as members of the public resort to jungle justice to get redress for the heinous murders.

Said he: “The conscience of Nigerians should be troubled by reports of recent ritual murders including that of   one-year-old Success lme in Calabar whose heart was ripped out from her small body for ritual purposes and was discovered in a Church along with other items for occult rituals. There is also the case of Pastor Samuel Okpara in Ahoada East LGA of Imo State who was kidnapped, killed and cannibalized by ritualists.   The pastor was reportedly beheaded and his liver and intestines used for pepper soup and plantain porridge. What a horrific occurrence?”

He also decried the excesses of the Baddoo murder cult in Ikorodu Lagos State , saying it was a direct challenge to the Police.

Economic recession in the land is not a license to commit ritual murder.   Impunity encourages ritualists to commit murders because they believe they will not be apprehended or punished.

I advise Nigerians against late night outings because if a vehicular breaks down one could fall victim of kidnap by ritualists.   Commuters should always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles which they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. Because ritual murderers always wish to be unidentified.   They want to kill people, but don’t wish to be apprehended. Once information about them has been passed on to someone else, it becomes difficult for them to do evil”.

Nigerians should also assess public transport vehicles before boarding in order not to board the “wrong bus. Likewise, women are advised to carry whistles on them in order to raise an alarm if there is an attempt to abduct them”.

On his part, the national Coordinator,  Network on Police Reform in Nigeria , NOPRIN  Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, attributted the rise in  cases of killing for ritual   to collapse in moral values “ 

It is also caused by , ignorance and superstition,   the inordinate quest and pursuit of quick wealth and lack of effective punishment system.In a way,   poverty and unemployment may also be a risk factor. If Nigerians have equal opportunities to   earn income in legitimate ways ,   there will definitely be reduction in such abominable crimes   like humans killing fellow humans for ritual.”

Also baring his opinion on the matter,  Treasurer of the Action Democratic Party , Cross River State Chapter, Offiong Okon, in a recent interview, advised that:  “Before a church is established, government should carry out investigation before license is granted because many of the church leaders and founders are ritualists, acting in the capacity of being Pastors.”

“Government should investigate the Pastors and checkmate their activities because what they do under the cover of being a religious leader.”

Source: Why killings for rituals are on the increase in Nigeria

Nigeria: how 18-yr-old boy killed girl, 12, for money ritual (2014 article)

This is the third posting in a row on ritualistic murders in Nigeria, locally known as ‘money rituals’. All articles were originally published in 2014. On December 20, I posted ‘Nigeria: ritual killings everywhere‘ and on December 21 ‘Nigeria: ‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect‘. The reason for including the 2014 articles here is to demonstrate that the occurrence of ritual murders in Nigeria is not a recent phenomenon.

In fact, the history of ritual murders in Nigeria is a long one although nobody knows when the first ritual murder was committed or the total number of ritual killings. Nigeria as an independent country exists since 1960. A partial overview of ritual murders since the year 2000 can be found on the website ‘Liberia: Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic, on the page ‘Not only in Liberia – ritual killings in Nigeria.’ The overview includes over 60 ritual murder cases, but it should be emphasized that it does not pretend to be exhaustive.

Warning: Readers are warned that the following article contains a graphic description of a ritualistic act (webmaster FVDK). 

How 18-yr-old boy killed girl, 12, for money ritual

Ikechukwu Friday, the suspect

Published: January 8, 2014
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Ifeanyi Okolie      

LAGOS — The police in Lagos State, yesterday, said they have arrested an 18-year-old boy, Ikechukwu Friday, who allegedly killed a 12-year-old girl for money ritual.

The suspect, who is currently being interrogated at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, was paraded before newsmen.

According to him, a pastor he asked for money instructed him to kill a young girl and obtain her faeces.

He said the pastor promised him N100,000 if he was able to accomplish the task.

According to him, “I attend a popular church around Ketu Street, Aguda but I live with my parents in Badagry. I just finished secondary school and I have been very broke so I approached the pastor for money but he told me that I should strangulate a little girl.

“He said when strangulating the girl, she would pass out faeces. The pastor said I should obtain the faeces and bring it to him. He said if I could do this, he would give me N100,000.

“So, on December 30, 2013, I approached a young girl, Bose Ogoja. Her mother sells food in Badagry and I usually patronise them, so she trusted me. I told the girl that I wanted to show her something and that she should follow me. So I took her to an abandoned NITEL building and locked the door.

“I pressed her neck tightly and she passed out faeces. I was, however, not able to get the faeces because I was caught before I could escape.”

The suspect, an indigene of Onitsha, Anambra State, pleaded for mercy, adding that this was his first crime.

State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said the boy was arrested by neighbours in the area and handed over to the Badagry Police Division.

Braide said the pastor, who allegedly gave the boy the instruction, had been arrested and was already cooperating with the police.

While displaying the gruesome picture of the slain girl, Braide said: “He was arrested in an uncompleted building. The security guard manning the building told the police that he saw the boy entering the building with the girl.

“He said a few minutes later, he heard the girl screaming and later saw the boy leaving. The security guard raised the alarm and the neighbours were alerted and they arrested the boy.”

On entering the building, the discovered that the girl was dead.

“The picture of the girl’s corpse shows that the girl was naked and defecated on the floor.”

Source: How 18-yr-old boy killed girl, 12, for money ritual

Nigeria: ‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect (2014 article)

Yesterday I posted an article entitled ‘Nigeria: ritual killings everywhere‘, describing in great detail the widespread occurrence of ritualistic activities for ‘money rituals’, i.e. ritual murders, in Africa’s most populated country. One of the cases included in the article is about the murder of a 13-year old boy, Rilwan Amuda, by Muyideen Salaam, a 35 year-old apprentice at Aketegbo community in Seme, Badagry area of Lagos. The murderer gave a chilling confession of how he killed his victim.  

Warning: the following article contains a graphic description of the ritual murder committed (webmaster FVDK)

‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect

Published: July 12, 2014
By: Vanguard, Nigeria 

Muyideen Salaam, a 35 year-old apprentice at Aketegbo community in Seme, Badagry area of Lagos, gave this chilling confession of how he killed a 13 year-old boy, Rilwan Amuda, in his crave for materialism.

The Ibadan-born suspect claimed he was tempted to opt for money ritual after his wife left with their two children when feeding became an uphill task for him.

According to him: “ I was alone in the video shop club owned by my master when one of my friends named Nuru came and said he knew someone who could make us rich . He told me all that was needed was just the blood of a boy of about 15 years of age.

He said all I needed to do was to get the person since he had already contacted a herbalist. In my desperation, I told him we would take Rilawan, mama elewa’s son since I had easy access to him because he usually ran errands for me and sometimes I gave him money and used closthes. We felt it was useless to go out and get someone else since Rilawan stayed in the same area with us. I made him understand that getting someone was not the problem but taking him to the herbalist’s shrine where he would be killed.

When we told baba our constraint, he gave Nuru a ring and instructed us to just touch whoever we wanted to bring with it, that the person would follow us without hesitation.

On that fateful day, I called Rilwan and touched him with the ring . To my surprise, he became dumb and followed us to the shrine. We kept him there until it was dark.

When it was midnight and there was no one in sight, we took him away from the shrine and laid him on the ground. While Nuru slashed his throat with a knife given to us by the herbalist, I held a bowl close to his neck for the blood to pour into it.

Rilwan did not put up any resistance as promised by baba because he was hypnotized. And his memory was gone.

After we collected the blood, we gave the bowl to baba and carried Rilawan’s body far away from the shrine to avoid suspicion and dumped it on the expressway so as to give an impression that he was hit by a vehicle. We thereafter, went to bath with the blood as instructed by baba.

He performed some rituals fore us and mixed the blood with a black native soap and gave us to bath with after which he said we would become rich.

But after bathing with the substance, by the third day, we did not see any money as promised by baba. We were as poor as we used to be. We were so angry and decided to go to baba’s place to fight with him.

But on our way, Rilwan’s mother held me and asked me to produce his son for him. She said she was informed that he was last seen with me. She vehemently refused to let go of my trouser even when I denied. This caused a scene and people gathered around me and started beating me. Nuru who was with me managed to escape. Policemen from Seme division came and took me away. It was at that moment I opened up.

But Nuru who lured me into it is nowhere to be found. I am left to bear the brunt alone. If I had known, I would have continued working for my master where I was paid N1,500 every month. The most painful aspect is that I do not have a mother, father, sister or brother. I am just all alone in the world. I do not want to die even though I partook in killing somebody “, he said in an emotional laden tone.

After his arrest, policemen reportedly took him to the herbalist shrine where the suspect showed them the bowl that was used to drain Rilwan’s blood. The herbalist identified as Soji Akodiya did not deny demanding for a human blood from Muyideen and his fleeing friend but he stated that the killing never took place in his shrine.

Out of curiosity, this reporter was forced to ask why he looked so haggard and tattered when he could make money to take care of himself. In response,he looked at the reporter, smiled sheepishly and said, “you will not understand”.

Continuing he said : “ Yes, I told them what they needed for money ritual was human blood. Because money ritual is one of the greatest tasks in our line. I told them they could either use their own blood for it but I believe they never wanted to and brought that of the boy. I was not around when the boy was slaughtered . I did not even know when they brought him. He was not even killed in my shrine….”

But Muyideen interrupted saying “It is a lie. You knew when we brought him. It was even you that gave us knife and a bowl to put the blood. You even told us not to kill him in your shrine for security purpose and you were aware we were going to kill him that night”.

But the herbalist ignored the interjection and continued “ I am a herbalist who speacialise in attending to barren women. I also help people to get jobs and also give charms to traders to sell more than their fellow traders. I collect, N50 to N500 , depending on what the oracle demands. It is then left for my clients to appreciate me.  I got money ritual charm from a colleague ten years ago when all herbalists went for a meeting in Ijebu-ode . Usually, what we do at such meeting is to help ourselves. For instance, if I have the cure for any disease and others do not, I will give to them and vice visa.

That was how the baba gave all of us ogun owo (money ritual charm)and instructed us on how to administer  to our clients . I have never used it before, this is my first time. It was even when Nuru came to me that I realised I had the charm”.

Asked why it did work for the suspect and his fleeing partner in crime, the herbalist relied “ it did not work because they did not follow my instruction. The instruction was to bathe with the prepared concoction nine days after its preparation but they used it on the third day. Had they followed the instruction, they would have noticed a total turn around in whatever they set their hands to do . Their businesses would have been lucrative . And if they leave N1000 in the bag, they would wake up to meet triple of what was there”.

Mystics. Pure mystics. It’s unbelievable the extent many go to get rich. There are the politicians who believe that charms can make them powerful and transport them into powerful positions. Even when the efficacy of these rituals is in doubt, some people still believe that rituals can change their lives for the better. Evil men continue to chase their shadows. One thing is clear. Evil begets evil. There’s a price for every bad thing. Those who indulge in these primitive and devilish tendencies never end up well.

Source: How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual – Suspect

Nigeria: ritual killings everywhere (2014 article)

The following article sounds unreal. Reading it, one wonders if this can be true. Is it gossip, rumor, fantasy, or indeed the reality? The article dates from July 2014 whereas many ritualistic acts described date from much further back, even 2007.

I will return to this page and add more shortly.

Warning: some images and description of ritualistic acts may be shocking (webmaster FVDK).

Horror: ritual killings everywhere in spite of civilization

Published: July 12, 2014
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Evelyn Usman and Ebun Sessou

Looking curiously as this reporter approached her make-shift restaurant around J4 , Aketegbo community in Seme Badagry area of Lagos two weeks ago, mama Rilwan as she is popularly called, stood up from her seat, apparently thinking the stranger had come to patronize her.’ ki lefe ra? (what do you want to buy ?)  she asked.

But when this writer disclosed her mission, the seeming expectation on her face dropped, giving way to a sad expression of a memory she never wishes to recall. She immediately beckoned on two teenagers later discovered to be her children to take over the stand while she went inside the shop, with this reporter following with caution.

After a long silence accompanied with a long stare at this reporter, she said: “ I recognize you now. You were here in 2007 when the incident that threw my entire life upside down occurred. My son, Rilwan would have been 20 years this month (June), had he not been sent to an early grave by my neighbor. He was my first child and  also my back bone”.

Tried as she could to control her emotion as she spoke, her strength failed her. Tears trickled  down her cheeks.

All was going on well for the food vendor until September 1, 2007, when her son , Rilwan, was reported missing. Three days later, his remains were found with the throat slashed, signifying that he could have been a victim of ritual killing which was said to be common in the area.

Accusing finger was pointed at one Muyideen Salam whose shop was close to the deceased’s mother’s place. He was said to have been seen with the deceased before his disappearance. After much persuasion which took a brutal dimension, Muyideen confirmed everyone’s fears, by confessing that  he killed Rilwan and used his blood for money ritual.

In an interview with Sunday Vanguard at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba ,  seven years ago (published October 7, 2007) the then  35 year-old Muyideen gave a chilling account of how he gruesomely murdered the teenager and drained his blood, with the help of his friend, one Nuru.

Strange as this sounded, Muyideen disclosed that he was sent to get the blood of a virgin by a herbalist with which to prepare the  concoction  he would use to bath for nine days, after which he would become rich.

But he never lived to see his devilish  wish come true ,even though he succeeded in killing the teenager. This was as a result of his arrest by policemen at Seme division. He was convicted for murder.

Muyideen’s startling confession was, no doubt, a reflection of a society that is fast becoming bestial. Killing of human beings for rituals or whatever reason, dates back to the ancient times when people used to appease the gods of the land with human blood and for the purpose of winning wars. Twins, who were considered an abomination, were killed until its abolition through Mary Slessor’s missionary works.

One would have expected that such pseudoscience should rather  be imagined than witnessed  in Nigeria in this 21st century, when other countries of the world are experimenting and advancing in technology. More baffling is the fact that some Nigerians still indulge in such superstitious process of ritual killings in spite of  the escalation of religious groups across the country as  well as the exposure of majority of  the populace to education and Western culture.

Sadly, even some acclaimed high and mighty indulge in ritual killings. Some politicians and government officials have been accused by arrested suspects (and herbalists), alleging that they use human beings for rituals in order  to sustain their affluence as well as  to remain in power. Records also show that cases of ritual killings and subsequent disappearance of persons are usually on the increase whenever elections are around the corner.

In Lagos  state for instance, about fifteen cases of kidnap attempts have reportedly been recorded in the last four months. One of the foiled attempts was at Ori-oke, in Ejigbo local council development area, two months ago, where a woman who kidnapped two primary school pupils was heard describing  them as goods to an unknown person on the phone.

The saddest part of this evil act  is that hundreds of victims of ritual murders only get mentioned as missing persons. While some manage, by sheer stroke of providence to escape the slaughters’ slab, others never live to share their ordeal with any person.

Investigation by Saturday Vanguard revealed that agents of these vampires who hide in  forests and other unknown places are spread across the country, lying in wait like a hungry lion for their preys. Majority of their victims  are innocent school children, poor street hawkers, commercial sex workers, stranded visitors  and unsuspecting commuters.

Watch out for these black spots

Investigation carried out by Saturday Vanguard showed that black spots where these agents prowl include areas like Otta, Ibafo and Mowe , all in Ogun state,  Epe, Ikorodu, Shagamu Road Isheri/Olowo Ira,Cele Express along Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Badagry axis, Ikeja, Toyota Bus-stop, Mile Two, Ajah,all in Lagos State; Lagos / Ibadan Express Road; Lagos/Benin by-pass in Edo State; Igwurita ,Rumuokoro in Port Harcourt, Rivers state; Ilorin/Oro Road in Kwara state; Lokoja, Abuja Highway in Kogi State and River Kaduna. Other areas are bush paths, markets, lonely environments, hotels and brothels, popular bus stopovers or terminals, and other hot spots across the country.

Modus Operandi

Some of these agents, most times disguise as lunatics. A typical case in mind was that Clifford Orji  who  was arrested under the bridge at Toyota Bus-stop along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos with human parts in 2001. He confessed  to be selling human parts to prominent Nigerians who undoubtedly used them for ritual purposes. The amazing thing about this peculiar case was the fact that Orji who later died while in Prison custody, was presumed a lunatic. Unknown to passers-by, he only masqueraded as a mad man in order to achieve his sinister motives.

Investigations further revealed that one of their ways is to attack job seekers. They print fliers for recruitment. Some even go the extra mile to advertise for vacancies in national dailies. They then send text messages or email to applicants, informing that they have been listed for the job and will be invited for interviews. In many cases, hotels turn out to be the venues for the interviews. At this point, if the prospective  applicant gets to the designated hotel, he/she will reportedly  be hypnotized and thereafter taken to the slaughter’s slab which is usually in the bush or some remote places. At other times, an applicant will be informed that the venue for interview has changed on reaching the hotel, from where they will provide a vehicle, which unknown to the applicants, have been sprayed with substance that automatically puts them to sleep.

Barely four months ago, Nigerians received with shock, news of a den in Soka village, Oluyole Local Government area of Oyo state, where about 20 corpses, majority of which were  declared missing  by their relatives were found and 18 victims were rescued. From all indications, it was obvious that the den has been existing for long before it was uncovered, following a heap of victims’ clothes. One of the rescued victims was reported to have said he was kidnapped in Ogun while attending an interview.

The most celebrated ritual killing in the recent past was the notorious Otokoto saga in Owerri, Imo State where a businessman belonging to a cult was alleged to have used his apprentice for ritual. The boy’s corpse was later exhumed at the premises of Otokoto Hotel. It exposed many other bizarre acts in hotels.

Female parts

Investigation shows that female parts are more in demand than their male counterparts. This is because of  what was described as the potency of some parts like the breasts and lower private parts in money rituals and other purposes by herbalists and occult groups.

Virgins  and  babies on the other hand are also reportedly used by some politicians and government officials  for ritual purposes as their blood is said to be used to elongate the user’s life span as well as fortify them against spiritual attacks.

Security hints at Saturday’s Vanguard’s disposal reveal that sometimes, these ‘celebrities’ employ the services of some restaurant owners, hotel operators and their trusted domestic workers  to get them virgins who are  subsequently murdered for ritual purposes. Majority of girls who have fallen prey to these death traps were discovered to be secondary school students as well as those in tertiary institutions as they were at the initial stage carried away by money and expensive gifts from their  assailants.

A particular case in mind was that of a South-West politician alleged to have been caught by his driver with a dissected day-old baby whose blood he was drinking. The incident as reported two years ago, occurred inside a bush, while the driver was taking his boss (names withheld) to a purported function. Half way into the journey, the politician was said to have ordered his driver to pull over.

*Joshua caught with some human skeletons

He thereafter, alighted and headed for a bush with a promise to be back. Having waited  without any sight of his boss, the ignorant and curious  driver reportedly went in search for him,only to meet  him stark naked and pouring the blood of a dissected baby into his mouth. Barely two weeks later, the driver reportedly  died under mysterious circumstance. The event that occurred  before his death was related by a Pastor friend whom the deceased  confided in before his demise.

The lust for money and power drives these people into ritual killings.

While some kill to achieve this unfathomable dream, others  resort to digging graves  and removing needed human parts for ritual purpose. Saturday Vanguard scooped that most guards at cemeteries connive with agents to sell human parts.

It was learnt that if a fresh human head is needed, an agent will contact some  cemetery workers ahead. In this case, the cemetery official will be on the look out for fresh dead bodies, preferably those of Muslims  who are usually buried within 24 hours after death. Immediately the body is interred, cemetery worker will exhume the body at night, cut off the needed parts and place the body back in the grave.

Human parts for sale

Those who patronize cemetery officials are usually herbalists, herbal traders and even prominent Nigerians who usually use middle men. Surprisingly, human parts  are sold in some markets in Nigeria. We gathered that a fresh human head could go for N60,000 and above, while a skull is sold for N20,000. Fresh legs are sold for N30,000 each while a decomposed leg is sold for N20,000. A fresh finger is sold for N5,000 each while the decomposed is sold for 3,000. Fresh intestines are sold for N20,000 while dry ones are sold for N5000. Pieces of fresh bones are sold for N2,000 and above.

Arrests made

Five months ago, the Oyo  State Police Command, arrested a Muslim cleric, one  Alfa Gbolagade Dauda Ileanwo, in Agbaje area of Ibadan with  three human skulls and charms. The suspect, according to the command, confessed that he had been in the trade for ten years. Though he claimed to be using the human parts for concoctions to assist sterile women, his accomplice, Saheed Azeez, countered  the  claim, stating rather that his boss was into money making rituals.

The command also arrested two other suspected ritual killers,Musa Dauda and Sango Olojo-Onile with a human head and two heel bones. During interrogation, Dauda revealed that the human parts were removed from a grave at Ojetete village, Kisi, for money ritual.

Olojo-Onile  according to the command was  arrested in April  with a fresh head of a woman which still had cotton wool stuck inside the ears.

Also in Epe, the  lifeless  body of a  68-year-old man,Ade Lekuti, earlier declared missing was discovered at Owode, near Ogombo in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, with the head, hands and  private organs cut off.

Surprisingly, the alleged killer was discovered to be his in-law, one Teju Rajimu. The suspect according to the deceased’s family, confessed to have given the missing parts to a herbalist who prepared  concoction with them for him. The missing parts were reportedly pounded into powdery form and mixed with a greasy substance which was discovered in the suspect’s apartment.

Similarly, in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, a three-man gang  led by one Kamaru Yusuf allegedly  beheaded  one Omobola Moses at Ira, a village in Oyun Local Government Area.  The deceased who was a niece to one of the suspects, was reportedly lured from her parents’ abode into a bush where her head was severed. The suspects, according to report, confessed that they took  the head to  a 52-year-old herbalist whose name they gave as Saliu Oyewole, for money ritual.

From the West to the East and North to the South , the story is same.

In Enugu state for instance, an evil forest suspected to be a den for killers was discovered  in Igbo Eze North local government area with fresh and decomposing human parts littered all over,with vital parts of some bodies missing.

Report said the  victims were taken to the forest and butchered by killers who then removed the vital parts needed for money-making rituals. Some prominent citizens of the state and environs were alleged  to be patrons of herbalists and native doctors who perform rituals in the forest.

One of the mind bugling  incidents was the discovery of another horror sight at the Okija shrine in Anambra state.  The shrine achieved notoriety in 2004 when it was raided by the Anambra State Police Command ,where  50 decomposing or shrunken bodies and 20 human skulls were found. The shrine was also  reportedly patronised by politicians. Till date, politicians still visit Okija shrine.

It is tragic  enough that some Nigerians still believe in gaining power and making money through this practice. But more worrisome and astonishing   is the use of loved ones, such as one’s parents, siblings and wives  for this devilish purpose. One of such horrifying incidents occurred in Abia state, when a 26 year-old boy allegedly killed his mother for ritual. The suspect,Ebi Onu, who hailed  from Igbere, Bende council area of the state, reportedly  went to Nguzu Edda in Ebonyi State where he consulted a herbalist to make charms that would make him become rich. The herbalist was said to have asked Ebi to kill his mother and bring her private part  which he said  would be used  to prepare  concoction for him. He allegedly connived with three of his friends to lay ambush for his mother along a bush path and lured his mother into taking a walk with him along that route.  On sighting them, his killer friends reportedly sprang out from  their hiding and hacked Ebi’s mother to death after which they  cut off her  private part .

Worried by her disappearance, a search party with Ebi  reportedly combed the vicinity for her without luck.  Report said some of the residents said they saw the missing woman with her son and consequently Ebi was subjected to questioning  and tortured by some youths until he allegedly owned up and took the youths to where he buried his mother at the bank of a river .  The angry youths were said to have beaten him to death , thereby depriving him of living to see his  inordinate ambition of becoming rich through ritual means.

In the same vein, residents  of Bale Ilado village in Morogbo area of Lagos State were thrown into panic recently after  a member of the community identified as Segun Adisa allegedly  beheaded his own father for money ritual .

However, in his confessional statement to the Police, the suspect claimed that he had to strike first to prevent his father whom he claimed earlier took him to a shrine where he claimed there was an attempt to kill him for money ritual.

Again in Aba, a landlord was alleged to have killed his two children for ritual purpose. The landlord (names withheld) as gathered, dashed out of his  three-storey  building on Omenazu road in Aba, on sighting some policemen approaching. Policemen from the Abia state command who acted on tip off, were said to have  swooped on the  building and according to residents of the area , two unconscious children identified as his children were found inside one of the rooms transfixed.

Not too long ago in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory , the body of a lady was found in the boot  of  a Honda  car with plate number AG 847  SUL belonging to an Abuja based businessman whose identity was given as Abdullai Ibrahim.  The suspect was said to have been arrested by policemen on patrol while he was cleaning the blood stain on the back seat of the car. Preliminary investigation, according to police sources, revealed that the suspect slit the deceased’s throat with a knife for alleged ritual purpose.

In Kaduna state, three youths were reported in 2007 to have lured a 17 year-old sugarcane hawker,  Ibrahim Shehu, to the outskirts of a village and  strangled him. They were said to have been at the verge of removing his eyes when  policemen  that were  alerted by a farmer swooped on them. The suspects, according to the Kaduna State Police Command, confessed to have wanted to pluck out the eyes for money ritual.

Same year in Ibafo area of Ogun state, a woman who managed to escape from a kidnappers den alerted policemen led by one Charles Ogenegbe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who  stormed the hideout , where a shrine used as slaughter for human beings was discovered.

Also same year in Benue, a 77 year-old woman identified as Adiya Omachi was murdered in her farmland at Odaleko, along Ikachi Adum road. Not done , her assailants reportedly slashed her private parts, signifying they could be ritualists.

In Niger state, three persons were arrested by the police for allegedly   beheading a 10-year-old boy in Amale Village, Kaffi-koro District, Paiko local government area of the state for ritual.

The deceased as gathered, was  lured by one Salleh Ibrahim who took him on his motorcycle from Amale village to meet two of his other accomplices: Usman Sarki and Dantala Doma. During interrogation, Sarki told policemen that he was contracted   by one Gajere to bring the boy’s head  for money ritual. The lad’s headless body was reportedly found in Salleh’s residence while the head was found buried in a shallow grave  near Erena in Shiroro local government, pending when they would take it to the herbalist.

If the startling confession  of 20 year-old Agu Nwanu, who disclosed that he had  so far killed  twenty children for money rituals, all in his bid to ensure he does not end up like his poor father must be taken seriously,  then all hands must be on deck to address this rising incident of ritual killings. Security operatives appear to be doing their best to curb these evil and very primitive rituals. But their best appears not to be enough as the menace is on the increase going by daily reports of these killings.

Police react

When the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide was contacted on the spate of ritual killings, she said about Lagos.

“I will disagree with you on the issue of ritual killing being on the increase in Lagos state. There has not been any of such since my assumption. Sometime last year and   about two months ago ,we paraded some suspects for being in possession of human parts. The arrests were effected by men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad and the suspects were arrested from other states.

“During interrogation, we discovered they had same modus operandi. They always go to the grave yard to exhume corpses. It’s something they commit in connivance with the security men at the cemetery. And the buyers, comprising the native doctors and other persons will be there.

“Let me state here that the Police as security agents do not believe in mystics. We work with facts and   physical evidence. So, when you say people indulge in rituals, we do not understand that language.

What we have also recorded are cases of persons suspected to be kidnappers who were attacked by the mob. It happened at Apapa, Iyana-Ipaja , Shahsha areas . In Shahsha, a man was sighted with a little child in his car and they accused him of wanting to use the child for money ritual and a mob attacked him, without giving him room to explain himself. But for the quick intervention of the traditional ruler of the area who contacted policemen, the man would have been lynched.

“On interrogation, it was discovered that parents of the child begged him to help drop the child in school and on the way, he started crying. We invited the parents who collaborated the claim. If they had killed him, the news would have been all over the place that a ritualist was mobbed.

“Another case was of an elderly woman at Ajegunle who was seen with a day old baby. Before you knew it, people rounded her up and started beating her, claiming she wanted to use the baby for ritual. The local government chairman contacted the police who rescued the woman who said she was the grandmother of the baby and that her daughter just gave birth but was in an unstable condition in the hospital. What we did was to invite the doctor of the hospital who collaborated her claim . The doctor said he advised the woman to take the baby home while they tried to stabilise the mother. I want to use this medium to advise Lagosians not to engage in mob actions.

“On our part, we have a lot of overt and covert policemen in   strategic places in the state, considering the nature of security in the country right now. We have tried to cover up sensitive places like churches, schools, motor parks among other places and we have enough security men.”

Source: Horror: ritual killings everywhere in spite of civilization

Uganda: the country where sacrificing children is a thriving business (2017 article)

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga plays a leading role in the fight against child sacrifice in Uganda. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian organization focusing on education, health, economic empowerment and protection of children. 

KCM was founded in the community of Kyampisi in 2009. At the time, there were several cases of child sacrifice; many homesteads had shrines and practiced witchcraft. 

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga says the mostly gruesome murdering of innocent children happens almost each month. Child sacrifice in Uganda is a widespread phenomenon and crime. In the past I have posted various articles on these cruel practices which are based on superstition and the unscrupulous pursuing of more wealth, prestige or power. E.g. on October 6 and February 28 of the current year and on August 3,  (two posts) and February 6, 2019. The postings partly overlap the article below.

The following article presents various murder cases and interviews with bereaved parents. Fortunately, some children managed to escape from their agressors, like e.g. Allan Ssembatya. His horrifying experience is told below. 

Warning: the following article contains graphic illustrations including a video and description of gruesome ritualistic practices (webmaster FVDK).

Still from video shown below. Two men attacked Allan Ssembatya on his way home from school. The attackers attempted to slice his head with a machete but Allan survived miraculously. The scar is clearly visible.

Uganda: the country where sacrificing children is a thriving business

KAMPALA, Uganda – Each year hundreds of Ugandan children are kidnapped and murdered as part of a thriving human sacrifice business.

A Christian pastor is now teaming up with police and politicians to stop this brutal practice.

Screenshot – the video does not play. The original article shows the video (see ‘Source’).
WARNING: Some of the content in this report is disturbing and will be unsuitable for younger viewers.

Published: March 23, 2017
By: CBN News, The Christian Perspective – George Thomas

It’s a little after 2 in the morning. About an hour’s drive south of Kampala.  

CBN News has joined undercover detectives, armed police and a pastor hunting for a witch doctor accused of kidnapping and killing children.

“Witch doctors believe that when you kidnap a child you get wealth, you get protection.”

Brutal Ritual of Child Sacrifice

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga leads the search. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian effort to stamp out child sacrifice in Uganda.  He describes the witch doctors’ brutal ritual.

“When they get the child, most times they cut the neck, they take the blood out, they take the tissue, they cut the genitals or any other body organs that they wish that the spirits want.”

A few hours in, the trail for the killer goes cold.

Pastor Peter says these gruesome crimes happen almost each month.

“The problem is increasing and many children are killed, and there are very few actually that survive, most of them die.”

Rachel Kaseggu knows the heartbreak of losing a child.

“I had high hopes and dreams for Clive,” Kaseggu told CBN News as she sobbed uncontrollably.

Kaseggu’s 3-year-old son Clive disappeared June 2, 2015 while playing in the backyard of their home.

“It was around 10 in the morning when we noticed he was nowhere to be found,” Kaseggu said.

CBN News met Kaseggu the day police told her what happened to her son.

“I’ve never even heard of child sacrifice, I didn’t even know what that phrase meant.”

Superstition and Desire to Get Rich Drive Child Sacrifice

Detective Emmanuel Mafundo took us to the spot, not too far from his home, where they found Clive’s remains in this pit toilet filled with human feces.

Mafundo said the key suspect turned out to be Kaseggu’s neighbor, a wealthy businessman who allegedly hired two men to kidnap and mutilate Clive’s body, believing the act would bring “good luck” to his new hotel project.

Detective Mafundo said the suspect paid the equivalent of $1,400 for Clive’s life.

“I found it so queer how someone, because of superstition, can be able to sacrifice a three-year-old kid,” Mafundo, a Uganda police superintendent told CBN News.

Child sacrifice in Uganda is such a serious and widespread problem that the government has even set up an anti-child sacrifice and human trafficking task force.

Chief investigator Moses Binoga heads up the agency.

He says that in addition to decapitation and genital mutilation, witch doctors often slice the child’s tongue and mix it with herbs for special powers.

“The tongue is used, they believe, to silence enemies,” Binoga described.

Mike Chibita is Uganda’s top law enforcement official, the equivalent of America’s Attorney General. He says superstition and the desire to get rich quick contribute to high child sacrifice rates in his country.

“The connection is that these witch doctors come and tell people who want to get rich that in order to get rich you need to sacrifice human blood,” said Chibita, who serves as Uganda’s director of public prosecutions.

Three Boys Who Survived

Best friends Kanani Nankunda, George Mukisa and Allan Ssembatya are fortunate to be alive, but bear the physical and emotional scars of their past. The three are child sacrifice survivors.

A few years back, Kanani and his seven-year-old sister were attacked in the bush.

He has a ten-inch scar on the back of his neck where the witch doctor tried to drain his blood.

“I fainted and when I regained consciousness, I found my sister dead with her head missing,” Nankunda described to us in a low voice.

Two men attacked Allan Ssembatya on his way home from school.

“I tried to scream for my parents but my voice was not strong enough for them to hear me,” Ssembatya said.

They stabbed his neck, sliced his head with a machete then castrated him. Allan remained in a coma for two months after his miraculous rescue.

George Mukisa’s mother found him lying in a pool of blood after a man castrated his privates with a blunt knife.

Doctors had to reconstruct his genitals with skin grafted from his forearm.  

The boys say they encourage each other to look past their physical challenges.

“God is helping us in many different ways,” Ssembatya said. “When we think about what happened to us, we just pray and ask God that this would never happen to anybody else.”

The three boys are now under Pastor Peter’s care.

Long-Term Care for Survivors

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries is the only organization in the country providing long-term financial and medical care for survivors of child sacrifice.

“We want to see that the life of a child who has survived is supported, that they are socially able to stand and heal from the injuries, and that they can have a life after that,” said Pastor Sewakiryanga.

Screenshot – the video does not play. The original article shows the video (see ‘Source’).

He also works with Ugandan lawmakers like Komuhangi Margaret to help draft specific laws targeting perpetrators of child sacrifice.
 
“Every Ugandan must wake and and say, ‘No to sacrificing our children’,” said Margaret, a member of Uganda’s parliament. “Our children are the future of this country.”

Rachel Kaseggu says life without Clive will never be the same. Still, she has a message for the men who brutally murdered her 3-year-old son:

“Because of my faith in Jesus, I believe in second chances, and I would give it to them because there’s nothing I can do to bring Clive back. My message to them is: confess your sins and come to the Lord. Because when you come to the Lord, he will forgive your sins!”

Source: EXCLUSIVE: The Country Where Sacrificing Children Is a Thriving Business

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

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

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

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

Uncle murders brother’s son

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, John died mysteriously a week later.

He was buried last Friday.

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

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

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

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

Source: Uncle murders brother’s son

Human sacrifices, myth or reality? – A viewpoint

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human sacrifices, myth or reallity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Human sacrifices, myth or reality?

South Africa: relatives sentenced to life for ritual murder

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

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

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

Relatives senctenced to life for ritual murder

Published: November 18, 2020
By: Letaba Herald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The body parts were destined for sale.

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

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

Source: Relatives senctenced to life for ritual murder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What you need to know:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horrific scene

No suspect has been arrested so far.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Person of interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are working on possibilities revolving around…occultism 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No arrests have been made.

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

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

Muranga County, Kenya

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

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

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

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

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

Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings

Published: September 26, 2011
By: Peace WomenFanuel Hadzizi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings