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
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.
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.
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.
“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.”