Shocking news from Zimbabwe, as reported by a national news site: ritual murders in the country are on the rise – allegedly.
Whereas the occurrence of ritualistic murders, locally often referred to as ‘muti murders’, is not in doubt – as demonstrated by the numerous cases reported on the present site, you may consult the dropdown menu ‘African countries’ to access all posts on Zimbabwe – it is nevertheless shocking to hear that there is an apparent recent surge in the number of these cruel crimes. As you may know, the organs or body parts ‘needed’ for ‘muti‘ have to be harvested from a living person.
One would think that the Tapiwa Makore murder case and the sentencing to death of his convicted murderers, his uncle and an accomplice, would deter potential perpetrators of muti related murders. According to recent newspaper reports, this is not the case.
A psychotherapist consulted (see the article below) points to mental illness as a significant factor behind these gruesome murders. I’ve often asked myself the same question: What makes someone a ritualistic murderer? Certainly, more research needs to be done as to why people ‘cross a border’ and decide to kill another human being – in a cruel way – as a means to ‘get rich quick’, to have success in business or to gain a certain (often political) position. Is it superstition? Is it a criminal mind? Selfishness? Greed? Or are ritualistic murderers mentally disturbed persons who should be treated for their ‘illness’ in stead of punished – death by hanging or a long prison sentence?
Asking the question means answering it.
Who knows the answer?
Zimbabwe: Ritual Killings Rise
Published: February 3, 2024
By: ZimEye, Zimbabwe
A disturbing trend is sweeping across the nation, as reports of suspected ritual murders are on the rise, leaving communities in shock and children as primary targets of these heinous acts.
The superstitious belief that killing individuals in a specific manner, particularly involving torture and processing certain body parts, can create and maintain wealth is contributing to an alarming increase in brutal killings, leaving many with unanswered questions.
The resurgence of ritual killings has prompted concerns and calls for action from various quarters.
Traditional healer Sekuru Banda, dismissing the superstitions, condemns those who propagate such beliefs, emphasizing the need for hard work instead of seeking easy money through horrific means. Banda urges a change in mindsets, highlighting the dangers of people being led astray in pursuit of illusory wealth.
To gain further insights, a news crew sought the perspective of psychotherapist Dr. Mertha Nyamande, who points to mental illness as a significant factor behind gruesome murders.
Dr. Nyamande explains that many offenders, especially those involved in removing body parts, may suffer from mental ailments or psychopathy, challenging the notion that these acts are rooted in ritualistic beliefs. From a legal standpoint, Mr. Moffat Makuvatsine sheds light on how the law addresses ritual killings.
While there is no specific provision for such crimes, they can be treated as murder committed under aggravating circumstances, potentially carrying the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The legal expert emphasizes that any murder proved to have ulterior motives may result in severe penalties. Recent cases, including the tragic death of Tapiwa Makore, have brought the issue of ritual killings to the forefront.
Tapiwa’s killers, his uncle Tapiwa Senior and Tafadzwa Shamba, were sentenced to death for their involvement in the gruesome crime.
However, the scourge continues, with a recent incident in Guruve involving the brutal murder of a three-year-old, whose body was decapitated and burnt, with missing body parts.
The perpetrators of this heinous act remain at large, underscoring the urgency for a concerted effort from law enforcement and communities to address and eradicate the deeply troubling surge in ritual killings.
As the nation grapples with this distressing epidemic, there is a pressing need for comprehensive strategies that include education, mental health awareness, and stringent legal measures to curb the prevalence of such horrific crimes.
Source: Ritual Killings Rise