Zimbabwe: ritual murder unites nation

The news of the ritual murder of a 7-year old boy, Tapiwa Makore – also see my previous, most recent postings – has shocked the nation. Zimbabwe griefs. The following article ‘Ritual murder unites nation’ is somewhat comforting but the parents’ pain after the mutilated body of their son had been found can never be removed. A gruesome crime has been committed. Unfortunately not the first muti murder in Zimbabwe – let’s hope it’s the last one.

Warning: The articles describing the discovery of the victim’s mutilated body and subsequent developments including the arrest of several suspects contain graphic details of the muthi murder (webmaster FVDK).

Ritual murder unites nation

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa,who is also Zanu PF Women’s League secretary for Information and the party’s secretary for Women’s Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona console slain Tapiwa Makore’s father, Mr Munyaradzi Makore, during their visit to family’s homestead in Murehwa yesterday. — Picture: Memory Mangombe

Published: October 10, 2020
By: The Herald 

The ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore (7) of Nyamutumbu Village in Murehwa has united the nation as people from all walks of life have joined hands in consoling the family, with some from the Diaspora contributing towards funeral expenses.

The boy’s uncle, Tapiwa Makore (Senior) (57), is accused of murdering his brother’s child with the help of his herdsman, Tafadzwa Shamba.

Both have since been arrested and remanded in custody on murder charges as police continue their hunt for the witchdoctor accused of processing body parts.

The witchdoctor’s name has not been revealed.

The child had his head, arms and legs cut off in the ritual killing after being kidnapped and drugged.

A lot of the reaction has been directed at witchdoctors who instigate ritual murders and process body parts, with most wanting them hunted down and punished as severely as the actual killers

Yesterday, the Zanu PF Women’s League led by secretary for Women’s Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa paid condolences to the Makore family and donated groceries and cash.

Church members, the local leadership, relatives and members of the community have since the death of Tapiwa been visiting the Makore homestead for prayers and to comfort the family.

The Zanu PF Women’s League expressed dismay that instead of working hard to be successful, some people were turning to ritual murders in a superstitious attempt to get rich.

Cde Chinomona said the Women’s League and the whole nation had been traumatised by the incident and would not rest until justice was served.

She said the boy’s death was no longer a Makore issue as it had affected the whole nation, including President Mnangagwa.

“The death of Tapiwa is an eye-opener. We now know there were murderers in the community and this will put an end to the rituals. The nation is in pain. Everywhere people are affected and waiting for justice to be served. The death of Tapiwa has shown that some people are engaging in evil acts to get rich.

“Let us work hard to be successful. We cannot destroy the nation because of greed. As women, we are going to pray for justice to prevail. I am grateful that women have come in large numbers including members of different churches to console Tapiwa’s mother,” she said.

Cde Chinomona said they would unite as the Women’s League and march against ritual killings to ensure justice is delivered.

“Witchdoctors who are promoting murder should be arrested, shamed and exposed,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said as a mother, she knew how it felt to lose a child and that experience was not easy to get over.

“As a mother I know how it feels. After all the nine-month pregnancy experience, labour pains, the sacrifice one does for the upkeep of the child only to the lose the son to murder. What has happened to our community. What has happened to our culture? Where is humanity? We need to respect life. Let us work hard than rely on rituals to succeed,” she said.

She commended churches that have been comforting the family, saying such emotional support was vital during these difficult times.

Minister Mutsvangwa urged people to value the sanctity of human life.

Chief Mangwende said they were waiting for justice to prevail.

“In Murehwa we have declared that we do not want to see murderers walking freely. Justice should prevail,” he said.

A relative, Mrs Rufaro Musupayi, said the family was overwhelmed by the support it was receiving from many people including those in the diaspora.

“We have received messages and money from people in the diaspora, some of whom we are not related to. Some have also pledged to send Tapiwa’s siblings to school. The emotional and financial support has gone a long way in helping us as family,” she said.

Tapiwa’s father Mr Munyaradzi Makore said the support from the nation had strengthened the family.

“Churches, individuals, politicians and members of this community have really helped us. We feel we are not alone. We are however still waiting for the head so we can proceed with the burial. We will wait until the head is found,” he said.

Apostolic Faith Mission, Pastor Mollete Machese Gunda said although fear and anger had gripped the community, churches were there for emotional support.

“We have to remember that God is with us and he will guide us through this difficult time just as he did to Stephan when he was stoned to death,” she said.

Source: Ritual murder unites nation


New Details Emerge On Murewa Ritual Murder

Published: October 5, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

Tafadzwa Shamba who confessed to killing Tapiwa Makore, a 7-year-old Murewa boy has led police to the recovery of the boy’s legs in a pit latrine.

Tapiwa was murdered two weeks ago in a suspected ritual case and police have so far arrested Mashamba and Tapiwa’s uncle Tapiwa Makore senior.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is still searching for other body parts including the head which is believed to have been given to an alleged sangoma who is still at large. Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi told the Daily News on Sunday:

The ZRP confirms that in the on-going investigations in connection with the gruesome murder of…Makore, two legs were recovered in a pit toilet near a village football pitch in Murewa on October 2. Police are yet to recover the skull and hands.

The suspect, Tafadzwa, led to the recovery of the legs. He indicated that he dumped the legs in the toilet, which led to it being dug up.

Cases of child murder which are allegedly for ritual purposes have been on the rise in the country prompting President Mnangagwa to raise concern over the murders.

Source: New Details Emerge On Murewa Ritual Murder


Herdsman Reveals Gruesome Details Of Murehwa Boy Ritual Murder

Murder suspect Tafadzwa Shamba (40) demonstrates how he killed seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore during an inspection in loco at Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murehwa (29/09/2020). — Picture: Memory Mangombe

Published: September 30, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

Tafadzwa Shamba, a Murehwa herdsman who was recently arrested over the ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore (7) at Makore Village in Murehwa, on Tuesday told detectives what happened from the time they kidnapped the boy to the day after the murder.

Shamba was taken by detectives to the garden where he kidnapped the boy allegedly under the instructions of the boy’s uncle, Tapiwa Makore (Senior).

He also led police to the uncle’s homestead where he said he fed the boy, drugged him with kachasu (an illicit beer brew) and locked him up in a room for hours. He said:

I went to the kitchen hut and brought the boy sadza and dried fish. I washed his hands before giving him the food. After eating, I went to Mrs Katsande’s homestead where I bought five litres of illicit brew (kachasu).

I drank the beer to gather courage. I also put a bit of sugar into the brew and offered it to the boy who took it until he got drunk and slept. I then locked him up in the room before going back to Mrs Katsande’s homestead for more beer.

Around midnight, we opened the door and I carried the boy, who was still in deep slumber to a mountain in the village.

Mr Makore carried the knives and plastic bags. While here (in the mountain), I pressed the boy to the ground and cut off his head with a sharp knife, while his uncle was holding a torch for lighting.

I also cut off the hands and legs, but we packed the parts in different plastic bags.

I carried the one with the torso and the head while Mr Makore carried another one containing the legs and hands.

… The bag was now heavier and dogs were barking. I had to quickly drop the torso and proceeded with the head.

Shamba said Makore instructed him to put the head in one of the rooms, but the following day, he dumped the arms and legs at a nearby grave.

Tapiwa Makore (Senior), the murdered boy’s uncle was also arrested over Tapiwa Makore (Junior)’s murder.

Source: Herdsman Reveals Gruesome Details Of Murehwa Boy Ritual Murder


Murehwa Murder Suspect Arrested

National police spokesperson Paul Nyathy

Published: September 25, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

Police on Wednesday arrested a Murehwa herdboy, Tafadzwa Shamba, on kidnap and murder charges following the discovery of a mutilated body of a seven-year-old boy in the area last week.

Shamba and two suspects who are still at large allegedly kidnapped and murdered Tapiwah and harvested his body parts which they sold for US$ 1 500 for ritual purposes (see article below, dated September 21, 2020 – webmaster FVDK).

In a statement on Wednesday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi gave details of the progress of investigations. He said:

It is alleged that Tafadzwa Shamba, a herd boy in the same village with the victim, worked with the other suspects to waylay the victim at a garden. They took him to a mountain where they kept him for the whole day.

They then killed him at night and one of the other suspects, who is from Juru Growth Point, took away the head leaving the herd boy with the other body parts after promising to give him US$1 500 on coming back.

Tapiwa was abducted while on his way to a garden last week where he had been sent by his mother.

His mutilated body was found being eaten by dogs a few days after his enforced disappearance.

Source: Murehwa Murder Suspect Arrested


Ritual Killings Blamed For The Death Of A 7 Year Old Murehwa Boy Whose Body Was Found With Body Parts Missing

Published: September 21, 2020
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

In an unfortunate incident that occurred in Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa, a 7-year-old boy’s body was discovered with his head, neck, both legs and arms hacked off, The Herald reports.

The body was discovered when a neighbour woke up to find his dogs eating the remains of a human being which turned out to be the body of the missing 7 year old boy who had gone missing the previous day.

ZRP National Spokesperson Assistant Commisioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and said:

Police in Murewa are looking for perpetrators behind the gruesome murder of a 7-year-old boy who went missing on September 17, 2020 after he had been sent to the garden by his mother.

The body of the boy was later discovered on September18 2020 being eaten by dogs with the head, arms and legs chopped off for suspected ritual purposes. We urge parents and guardians to always be on the look out of their minors and prioritise their safety, at all times. Investigations into this matter are in progress.

According to sources privy to the developments, The minor had been sent to look after the garden by his parents with a lunchbox of food and a bottle of water, when the parents went to the garden later to water the garden they saw the lunchbox and the bottle of water but the boy was missing.

They asked his friends about his whereabouts and they said he had been swimming in a nearby pool. The parents searched for him and they could not find him and called for a search party that could not locate the boy. His body was discovered the next day when their neighbour woke up and discovered his dogs eating the remains of a human being.

Source: Ritual Killings Blamed For The Death Of A 7 Year Old Murehwa Boy Whose Body Was Found With Body Parts Missing


JUST IN: Boy (7) murdered, body parts missing

Published: September 21, 2020
By: The Herald, Zimbabwe – Victor Maphosa  

A 7-year-old boy from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa was allegedly murdered last week in a suspected case of ritual killing.

Reports are that the boy was sent by his parents to look after the garden on the morning of September 17.

His parents went to the garden later to do some watering and found that their son was missing.

The parents enquired on the whereabouts of their son from other children who were also looking after their gardens nearby.

They were told that their son has been seen swimming in a nearby pond.

The boy’s parents went to the pond but could not find their son.

They then alerted some villagers and a search was conducted until midnight but they could not find him.

On September 18, in the morning, a day after the boy went missing, it is reported that a neighbour woke up and discovered his dog and its puppies feasting on human body parts in his yard.

He then alerted the boy’s parents and a report was made to the police.

The body had its head, neck, both legs and arms hacked off.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations into the matter are in progress.

“Police in Murewa are looking for perpetrators behind the gruesome murder of a 7-year-old boy who went missing on September 17, 2020 after he had been sent to the garden by his mother.

“The body of the boy was later discovered on September18 2020 being eaten by dogs with the head, arms and legs chopped off for suspected ritual purposes. We urge parents and guardians to always be on the look out of their minors and prioritise their safety, at all times. Investigations into this matter are in progress.”

Source: JUST IN: Boy (7) murdered, body parts missing

Australians help hunt witch doctors who kill Ugandan children in barbaric human sacrifice

Published: June 30, 2019
By: Brinkwire

In the villages of Uganda a new breed of witch doctor is hunting and kidnapping children to cut off their ears, noses and genitals. 

Sometimes the medicine men remove whole arms and legs or drain blood from a boy or girl’s body while the victim is still alive. 

Sometimes the victim’s parents help decapitate their child.

Human sacrifice is not some ancient cultural ritual practised in this east African country, rather it is a barbaric modern way for cruel charlatans to make money.

Children in rural Uganda are kidnapped by witch doctors who torture and often murder them as part of a supposed spiritual sacrifice. 

The witch doctors mutilate the children and use their blood, tissue or organs in rituals they promise can bring clients protection, prosperity and good health. 

In one of the most macabre practices to have developed, children are decapitated and their heads buried in new building foundations to bring success to businesses.

Fighting this terrible trade is pastor Peter Sewakiryanga who saves children scarred by ritual mutilation, and helping him is a small group of Australians.

Pastor Peter, a former accountant, started campaigning against child sacrifice about a decade ago and runs charity Kyampisi Childcare Ministries.

He helps rehabilitate survivors and raise awareness of the practice, working with politicians, police, prosecutors and judges to bring offenders to justice. 

Pastor Peter’s work features in an episode of the SBS program Dateline called How to Catch a Witch Doctor to air on Tuesday night. 

The program follows Pastor Peter and Brisbane civil engineer Rodney Callanan as they hunt for a witch doctor who allegedly almost killed six-year-old Allan Ssembatya ten years ago. 

Reporter Amos Roberts speaks to Allan’s father Hudson Semwanga about what happened to his boy in a village called Busolo in the district of Kayunga on October 21, 2009.

‘My son was coming home from school,’ Mr Semwanga says. ‘They took him to the bush. They cut him.

‘This cut on his head, this cut on his neck, damage to his private parts, in my view it’s very surprising that Allan is alive. 

‘What hurts me the most is that they were people that knew me really well, I grew up with them, I went to school with them. We used to treat each other as family.’ 

One of the two men accused of kidnapping and cutting up Allan is witch doctor Kivumbi Awali, who was secretly filmed by a BBC crew in 2011.

The crew posed as members of a construction company looking for a witch doctor who could bring their business prosperity. 

They were introduced to Awali, who killed a goat for good luck at their first meeting, then a few days later explained what he said was his most powerful spell: human sacrifice. 

‘There are two ways of doing this,’ Awali was recorded telling the bogus businessmen. ‘We can bury the child alive on your construction site.’

‘Or we cut the child, and put their blood in a bottle of spiritual medicine. If it’s a male, the whole head is cut off, and his genitals.’

When Awali was finally arrested by police in the company of Pastor Peter and Mr Callanan he had a machete in his custody. As he was led away he complained his handcuffs were too tight.

Awali was charged with attempted murder and aggravated trafficking. 

His case is still before the courts and if convicted he could face a death sentence or life in jail. 

Allan is one of five child victims of human sacrifice Pastor Peter has helped bring to Australia for life-changing surgery. 

‘Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about what happened to me,’ the now 16-year-old tells Dateline. ‘And sometimes when I talk about it I start crying.

‘I remember the injuries I got, I remember when I was taken, I tried to struggle to run, they hit me up and they did whatever they wanted. So when I think about it I cry.’ 

Pastor Peter is supported by a Brisbane-based charity called Droplets In A Stream which provides education and health care opportunities to victims of child sacrifice who survive.

Doctors at Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital and Brisbane’s Mater Children’s Private Hospital have operated on rescued children free of charge. 

‘Australia has been so kind,’ Pastor Peter said. ‘These children would otherwise be dead.’

Witch doctors practising child sacrifice are motivated solely by money but pretend to be adhering to cultural beliefs to justify their crimes.

‘They prey on the desperation of the people who are sick and are poor,’ Pastor Peter told Daily Mail Australia. ‘Even the elite who live in the city and are rich are now engaged.

‘The problem is a national issue. It started in poor pockets of the community. Now it’s widespread. 

‘It has crossed boundaries into families killing their own children.’ 

The extent of this trade is hard to judge but Pastor Peter says he works with between 20 and 25 cases each year.

‘The issue is done under such secrecy it’s hard to estimate numbers. I can trace it to ten to 15 years ago.’ 

‘It’s not part of our culture. It hides in our culture. It must be condemned.’

Droplets In A Stream, which Mr Callanan co-founded, also helps fund the pursuit of witch doctors who have not been brought to justice.  

‘Unfortunately, the police, the courts in Uganda are grossly underfunded,’ Mr Callanan tells Dateline.

‘Many cases actually don’t go to court or to trial because of lack of funding. And that’s one of our biggest roles in this area and that’s financial support.’

Judge Margaret Mutonyi tells the program: ‘We have a society that believes in witchcraft.’

‘The majority of the population including Christians who go to church, they consult these witch doctors.’

In one scene Pastor Peter examines photographs of a boy approximately ten years old whose body was found dumped in the bush. 

‘So they cut off the ears, they cut through the neck and cut out the throat and cut off the limbs,’ he says. ‘Body parts were missing. The tongue, the legs, the genitals.’ 

The program also features Robert Mukwaya who in 2014 suffered spinal injuries so serious it was thought he would never walk again. 

Robert had been snoozing in his grandmother’s kitchen in a village near Lake Victoria when a man dragged him out of the room and stabbed him in the neck. 

He was left paralysed but surgery at Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital two years ago has allowed him to regain the use of his legs.  

In another scene Pastor Peter and Mr Callanan visit a village to warn about the practice of child sacrifice.  

‘Why we are here is we heard of a story of a child who was sacrificed here and unfortunately the people that kill these children are among us,’ Pastor Peter says.

‘Please, if you know who killed our child, just come and tell us, call the number, we will even put a reward. Please don’t fear. If you fear, next time it will be your child.’

How To Catch A Witch Doctor airs on Dateline on Tuesday, June 25 at 9.30pm on SBS. It can be watched later on SBS On Demand.

Source: Australians help hunt witch doctors who kill Ugandan children in barbaric human sacrifice 

The killing of albinos is overshadowing Malawi’s election

Politicians believe their body parts boost their chances of winning

Published: May 11, 2019
By: The Economist – Lilongwe

His fists clenched on the tabletop, Bon Kalindo, an opposition mp, leans forward conspiratorially to list the magical properties of albino body parts. Place the fibula of one under a bottle of Coke and it will fizz manically, until the top pops off. Pass it in front of a torch and the light will go out. Most handily of all, a bone correctly inserted into a machine made by a reputable witch doctor will cause large amounts of cash to fly out; it’s the magnetic liquid albinos have in their bones, you understand. Sensing scepticism, Mr Kalindo brushes it aside. You are not from here, he says.

For some in Malawi, a belief in the numinous runs deep. Medicine men post flyers boasting of potions and charms to neuter rivals, punish the unfaithful or rekindle lost ardour. Such superstition is not uncommon in much of the world. But in Malawi, it can carry dark undertones. The most potent spells require ritual human sacrifice, according to a local journalist who has approached witch doctors under cover. Murders are not uncommon. Women and children are killed for their breasts and genitals. Albinos, who number no more than 10,000 in Malawi, are said to carry the most powerful magic and are thus most at risk.

You have to register to read this article in full (The Economist)

Source: The killing of albinos is overshadowing Malawi’s election

Mozambique: Arrests over murder of boy with albinism

People with albinism often face discrimination

Published: May 7, 2019
By: BBC – Jose Tembe – BBC Africa, Maputo

Police in Mozambique say they have arrested two people over the abduction and murder of a 12-year old boy with albinism. 

The suspects confessed to the murder, with one of them saying that they had killed the boy “to extract his bones”. A third suspect is being sought, police said. 

The 12-year-old’s body has been recovered. He was abducted from his home in the Muchelelene locality in northern Nampula province last week.

There has been a spate of killings of people with albinism in parts of southern and East Africa, with their body parts used to make charms and potions by witchdoctors.

In Mozambique, people convicted of kidnapping and killing albinos have been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Source: Mozambique arrests over murder of boy with albinism
Africa Live 6-7 May, 2019 (7:25) as it happened – BBC News
Jose Tembe – BBC Africa, Maputo