Zimbabwe: life in jail for 24yr old man who murdered fellow villager for body parts

There is a difference between ritualistic murders which are intended to gain more wealth and/or prestige or increase one’s chances to win elections and the cold-blooded murdering of people to sell their body parts. However, both types of crime have in common that the murdering of innocent people is based on the superstition that the juju or muti which result from these heinous practices works. The following example illustrates this.
(The editor FVDK).

Published: July 5, 2019
By: ZimEye

A 24-year-old man from Chimanimani who killed a fellow villager and harvested body parts for ritual purposes has been slapped with a life jail sentence after he was found guilty of committing murder with actual intent.

The suspect, Victor Dinga of Munaka Village under Chief Chikukwa, showed no remorse since the trial began. He struck the victim with a machete, took several body parts which he then placed in a bag and later asked his brother-in-law to refrigerate.

While reading out the sentence, Senior Mutare High Court Judge, Justice Hlekani Mwayera, said Dinga was supposed to hang for committing the crime and was only lucky due to the ongoing debate around the death sentence.

During trial Dinga left court officials in a state of disbelief as he gave a chilling account on how he committed the grisly murder.

He told the court that he planned the murder because he wanted to sell the body parts in South Africa and then buy a house and a car from the proceeds.

However, his plan hit a brick wall after his brother-in-law refused to refrigerate the body parts and subsequently sold him out to the police.

Ms Jane-Rose Matsikidze prosecuted.

“Dinga and the deceased Cephas Mubarenyana lived in seperate villages and the deceased stayed alone,” she said.

“On September 24 last year in the morning, the accused person approached the deceased at his home and asked him to help carry some planks from Martin Forests for a fee. Unknown to the deceased, the suspect had a machete hidden inside his pair of trousers.”

On arrival in Martin Forest, the accused suddenly pulled out the machete and struck the deceased on the neck and above the left ear, killing him instantly.

He then dragged the deceased’s body into a bush before proceeding to harvest certain body parts. He took the body parts to Chikukwa Business Centre where he asked his brother-in-law, Aaron Mashava, to refrigerate them for him.

“Having refused to refrigerate the human body parts, the brother-in-law later mobilised other villagers leading to the recovery of the body parts and the arrest of the suspect. A post-mortem examination concluded that the death was as a result of severe head injury and exsanguinations,” said Ms Matsikidze.

Mashava told the court that he was inside his shop when the suspect approached him asking him to refrigerate the bag containing the body parts.

He became curious when the suspect told him that the bag should not be opened. On being asked about its contents, the suspect told him that it contained human body parts.

Suspecting that the accused person had killed a person, Mashava informed his neighbour who in turn called the councillor and the trio then approached Constable Blessing Muroda.

The quartet went to the suspect’s house where he led them to a disused toilet where the bag and its contents were hung.

Source: Life In Jail For 24yr Old Man Who Murdered Fellow Villager For Body Parts

Provinces of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: man arrested for ritual murder

Published: July 30, 2019
By: The Herald – Zimbabwe

A Masvingo man, who allegedly killed a two-year-old boy before mutilating the body for suspected ritual purposes, has been arrested.

Darlington Magomana (39) allegedly hid some body parts under a big stone near Mucheke River. He is facing murder charges. Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the incident occurred last Wednesday around 6pm.

“On the said date and time, the accused person took the two-year-old boy from home on the pretext that they wanted to visit a neighbour.
“The accused did not return, prompting the mother and some relatives to look for the two,” he said.

Magomana was located at Sisk Business Centre around midnight and upon questioning by the police, he admitted to killing the boy using a sharp object.

Source: JUST IN: Man arrested for ritual murder

Provinces of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Native doctor arrested over ritual killing of prostitute

Published: December 8, 2018
By: Laila Ijeoma

A native doctor has been arrested by the police, over the ritual killing of a prostitute identified as Samantha Hlahla in Avenues area, Zimbabwe. 

The native doctor identified as Sekuru Hungwe was arrested alongside two minors aged 15 and 17 who received lucky charms they would use to make money after the ritual killing of the prostitute. It was gathered that the arrested teenagers who acted upon the instruction of the arrested native doctor, hired the services of Samantha and upon completing the session, they stabbed Samantha who allegedly became weak.

After they stabbed the deceased, they took blood from her legs into a cooking oil bottle before stealing her property and money.

Source: Native doctor arrested over ritual killing of prostitute

Related article: Sangoma nabbed for hooker’s death
Published: December 6, 2018
By: Staff reporter Bulawayo News 24

A SANGOMA, who was involved in the suspected ritual murder of a hooker in the Avenues area, has been nabbed and is set to appear in court today.

The sangoma, only identified as Sekuru Hungwe, was arrested to answer to questions concerning the death of Samantha Hlahla who was murdered in what is suspected to be ritual killing.

It is alleged that the two minors aged 15 and 17 who stand accused of murdering the hooker, had received some lucky charms from Sekuru Hungwe which they would use to make money.

Zimbabwe: surge in ritual murder cases worries police

Last year was busy for the Zimbabwe Republic Police as several murder cases were recorded despite efforts by the police to curb such cases through campaigns to respect the sanctity of human life.

Most of the murder cases were a result of intoxication, altercations or misunderstandings, family and domestic disputes, among others. The ZRP also recorded an increase in ritual murders and victims who were robbed and killed by armed robbers. (Italics added by the webmaster FVDK).


Recently, a Harare man was allegedly caught with a human head in the car he was driving after a high-speed chase. (Italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

Emmanuel Matsika (27) who has since appeared in court charged with murder, was driving a suspected stolen vehicle. Police had earlier recovered a headless body in a disused toilet in Harare’s light industrial area.

Matsika, who is homeless and lives at a dumpsite near the University of Zimbabwe, appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elisha Singano who denied him bail and remanded the matter to January 7.

Allegations are that Matsika hatched a plan to kill the now deceased David Arendi.

He allegedly went to a disused toilet at the corner of Lytton and Paisley roads in Workington, Harare, on December 21 and confronted Arendi, killed and cut off his head using a knife.

He then allegedly took Arendi’s head and left his body at the scene. Matsika was later arrested after a high-speed chase and police recovered two blood-stained knives and the head in the car he was driving.

Matsika allegedly indicated to the police how he murdered Arendi at the crime scene.

Prosecutor Mr Shepherd Makonde applied for Matsika to be treated as a psychiatric patient, but the magistrate, Mr Singano dismissed the application saying Matsika was in his right senses and fully understood and appreciated the allegations against him.

Matsika is yet to disclose why he allegedly killed Arendi.


Source: Surge in murder cases worries police 

Related news:
Man found with human head confesses in court to clear his conscience
Published: December 26, 2018
By: Agunbiade Sanya

Zimbabwe: Missing toddler found dead at church shrine, ritual killing suspected

Not all rumors are true, but rumors sometimes reflect a real fear. So, whereas we have to be very cautious to believe rumors, we can still attach some importance to their existence. Why is it that people believe so quickly a rumor that is circulating? Is it because it is so easy to imagine that it’s true? Did something comparable happen which indeed was true? Is it because it is so close to people’s fears?

Psychologists will have their expert view on the meaning and explanation of rumors. For the time being I just reproduce on this site some of the rumors that I encounter during my research on the occurrence of ritual killings in Africa. Not because I blindly believe these rumors. I cannot emphasize enough that we have to be careful in believing and spreading them. One of the purposes of this site on ritual killings in Africa is to help eliminate the fear of ritualistic murders that people in many African countries have. Another objective is to plead for the rule of law. Mob justice cannot be accepted or tolerated.

For these reasons I have decided to include the following rumor about a ritual murder in Zimbabwe after a missing toddler was found dead at a church shrine in Manicaland Province in the east of the country. Read and judge for yourself. (webmaster FVDK)

Missing toddler found dead at church shrine, ritual killing suspected

Published: November 9, 2018
By: Timothy
The Marange community is in a state of shock after a two-year-old child who had been missing for 11 days was found dead at a church shrine. Noah disappeared at the same church shrine in October only for his body be discovered 11 days at the shrine in a state of advanced decomposition. This has led to speculation from members of the community that Noah was killed for ritual purposes by a certain Mutare-based businessman whose name had been withheld. The businessman who has some shops at Marange Business Centre is alleged to have attempted to bribe Chief Marange with $10 000 so that the murder would not be publicised.

Speaking to the Manica Post, Chief Marange said,

I heard about the unfortunate death of the baby. The matter was brought before me. Some villagers stormed my homestead accusing me of sheltering the late Noah’s aunt whom they accused of conniving with the businessman to kill the baby for ritual purposes.

I heard that there is a WhatsApp message in circulation accusing me of conniving with him but that is not true. I never received anything from him. Villagers have been forcing me to summon the businessman but I can’t because there is no proof.

I will only intervene as a traditional leader if police confirm that it was murder and if the perpetrator is identified and there is a need for some compensation.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa confirmed that the body had been discovered but refused to provide further details on the case.

Source: Missing toddler found dead at church shrine, ritual killing suspected

Related article:

Toddler vanishes at church shrine … remains discovered 11 days later

Published: November 8, 2018
By: Staff reporter – Zimbabwe Daily

Liberty Dube Weekender Correspondent
A TWO-YEAR-OLD baby was last week found dead at St Noah Shrine in Mafararikwa, Marange 11 days after he mysteriously went missing in a suspected case of ritual killing.

Detectives discovered the body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition in the shrine.

The spine-chilling incident sent tongues wagging in Marange Village with social media platforms, particularly WhatsApp, awash with the occurrence and punctuated by allegations that the baby was killed for ritual purposes by a Marange-based businessman (name withheld). Noah disappeared at a church gathering at the church shrine on October 20 before he was found dead in the shrine on October 31. Police are still investigating the matter.
Noah’s mother Patience Fenyere (28) left him sleeping in a tent at the shrine at around 3pm on October 20. She later returned to discover that he had disappeared. Incessant efforts to locate him proved fruitless. They then alerted police.

‘‘One Arnold Mabiya (44) who works at the shrine stumbled on the body on October 31, which was in an advanced state of decomposition before detectives attended the scene,” said Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa.

Mary Marange

He neither denied nor confirmed if the deceased had missing body parts.

The mysterious death circulated on WhatsApp and the originator alleged that a Marange businessman (name withheld) who has retail shops at Marange Business Centre had a hand in it amid allegations that he attempted to bribe Chief Marange with $10 000 to put the murder case under wraps.

Chief Marange, however, denied the allegations in an interview with the Weekender at his homestead on Monday morning. Villagers interviewed expressed mixed views on the issue with many accusing the businessman of having a hand. Chief Marange confirmed that he last week had to call police after some rouge villagers stormed his homestead demanding to know the truth.

Chief Marange

“I heard about the unfortunate death of the baby. The matter was brought before me. Some villagers stormed my homestead accusing me of sheltering the late Noah’s aunt whom they accused of conniving with the businessman to kill the baby for ritual purposes. I heard that there is a WhatsApp message in circulation accusing me of conniving with him but that is not true. I never received anything from him. Villagers have been forcing me to summon the businessman but I can’t because there is no proof. I will only intervene as a traditional leader if police confirm that it was murder and if the perpetrator is identified and there is need for some compensation,” said Chief Marange.

Noah’s aunt, Mary Marange who was at the shrine when Noah disappeared said: “We went to a church gathering on the fateful day he was left asleep in the tent. We later came back and realised that he had gone missing. It was sad. Days later I was shocked to hear some of my relatives and villagers accusing me of knowing the person who killed the baby.

‘‘We really don’t know what happened and I am completely clean on this issue,” said Mary who was struggling to compose herself during the interview.  Said one villager: “We heard the story. And we are deeply shocked. The fact that the baby went missing in a shrine for 10 days, only to be found in the same shrine dead with the body in a state of advanced decomposition leaves a lot to be desired. We are hearing that this businessman is behind it and everyone is now afraid even to buy anything from his shop.”

Source: Toddler vanishes at church shrine … remains discovered 11 days later

Provinces of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: MP Shocked As School Kids Made to Research Ritual Murders

The reproduced article below is interesting as it refers to the occurrence of the phenomenon of ritual murders in Zimbabwe and the removal of private body parts to practice juju though it does not cite a particular case. I found the news relevant enough for the purpose of this site. Definitely, not all cases of ritualistic killings are discovered or reported and what we know of these atrocities is only the top of the iceberg. Since the original article published  by the Zimbabwean news site NewZimbabwe.com could not be accessed I have used the reproduction by allAfrica.com. The reader should know that articles on the latter site disappear behind a paywall after a certain lapse of time.
(webmaster FVDK)

Zimbabwe: MP Shocked As School Kids Made to Research Ritual Murders, Vows to Fight for the Withdrawal of the New Curriculum

Published: February 4, 2018
By: NewZimbabwe.com

Zanu PF legislator, Joseph Tshuma, has taken a swipe at the education curriculum, describing the new syllabus as retrogressive and shocking.

The MP for Mpopoma-Phelandaba also vowed to fight for the withdrawal of the curriculum in parliament.

“I was shocked to hear of some of the contents of the new education curriculum when I visited various schools with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on a fact finding mission this week.

“For example, the new curriculum requires students to carry out research on how people practice juju by killing other people and get their private body parts. What values are we inculcating in our young people?” asked Tshuma.

He also criticised the new education programme for burdening students, especially those at primary school, with various research projects.

Tshuma and his committee visited various schools to gather information and views on the new curriculum.

“The parliamentary portfolio committee on education is on a fact finding mission to find out the effects of the new education curriculum and other related matters. The committee wanted to find out how the education curriculum is being viewed as well as the challenges which students and teachers are encountering in implementing this syllabus,” added the Zanu PF legislator.

On Tuesday last week, the committee visited Entumbane High school, Mpopoma High, Mpumelelo Primary School, Milton Junior and Petra High in Bulawayo.

The committee has also visited some schools in Norton, Gweru and Chegutu. The team is also expected to visit some schools in Matebeleland South and Matebeleland North.

The new education curriculum, introduced by former Primary and Secondary Education minister, Lazarus Dokora, has faced stiff resistance from parents but Dokora has defended it.

Dokora’s predecessor, Paul Mavhima, has promised to review some aspects of the controversial education programme although he said it was going to remain.

Grisly ritual killing in Zimbabwe…. Body dumped on highway to disguise murder

When I read this newspaper report on a gruesome ritual killing case in Zimbabwe, I remembered what my Zimbabwean friend Muchaneta Nyambuya had told me in Monrovia in the late 1970s.
We were then both teaching at the University of Liberia and we were discussing the wave of ritual killings in the country. I asked him about these horrible practices. ‘Did they only happen in Liberia?’ ‘Did they also happen in other African countries?’ Mucha looked at me, paused, and when he spoke again he didn’t give me a straight answer, but instead returned my question: “Do you think it’s different in other countries?”
It was only much later that I became familiar with the phenomenon of ‘muti murders‘. ‘Muti‘ is the Zulu word for ‘medicine‘. ‘Muti murders’ are ritualistic murders and occur not only in the Republic of South Africa, but in other countries in Southern Africa as well. So, also in Zimbabwe, or Rhodesia, as Mucha’s country was then still called. Forty years after Mucha and I spoke about these age-old practices, apparently, some people in Zimbabwe still believe in the power of ‘muti’. (webmaster FVDK)

By Lex Vambe
Published May 25, 2018

Homicide detectives in Mutare, Zimbabwe, are battling to put pieces together and solve how a man who was initially believed to have been killed in a hit-and-run accident ended up with some of his body parts missing. The mysterious incident which happened in Zimunya on Monday has left villagers with their mouths ajar with many now pointing to ritual murder.

In a bid to conceal the heinous crime, perpetrators of the ritual murder dumped the body of the deceased man in the middle of the road along the Mutare-Masvingo highway.

They wanted it to be overrun by vehicles, conceal evidence and subsequently put traffic cops on a wild goose chase. Indeed some vehicles ran over the body.

Naturally, traffic police officers attended the scene, believing it was a genuine matter that falls under their purview, but they soon raised their homicide counterparts upon realising that they have been sold a dummy.

The corpse had some body parts missing around the private parts area and finger nails.

When The Weekender attended the scene, traffic police officers had moved the body of a man, who is yet to be identified to the roadside where they conducted further examinations.

The cops, who refused to talk to the Press citing protocol, quickly contacted the homicide section and advised them that they suspected murder.

From the crime scene investigations, the road traffic incident was a decoy.

Villagers quickly gathered at the scene and they told horror cases of ritual murders that have ravaged their community in recent months.

Murder victim – Zimbabwe

They said they were now living in constant fear while some were now escorting their children to school. Walking at night in the area is now considered dangerous.

An elderly villager who only identified herself as Gogo MaSibanda said the area was now a hunting ground for criminals. She said most of the murders were being perpetrated in Chigodora and bodies were being dumped there to cloud police investigations.
“I suspect that this man was killed for ritual purposes. Whoever did it went on to dump him on the road so that the body would be run over and destroy evidence. The plan has evidently failed,” she said.


Source: PaZimbabwe, May 25 2018

Related article treating the same crime:
Ritual killing dumped on highway to disguise murder
By Staff reporter
Bulawayo 24 News
25 May 2018, 6:50 hrs