Uganda: some reflections on human sacrifice

Human sacrifice is a widespread phenomenon in Uganda while some specific regions are notoriously known for their ritualistic killings. Yesterday, November 5, I posted an article on the sentencing of a man from Mayunge District who had killed his son for personal gain in 2017, and the day before, on November 4, I posted an article on a mother in the Kiira region who had killed two of her children, also for ritual purposes. These are not isolated cases as the following demonstrates.

Districts of Uganda – Wikipedia

Two witchdoctors in the Kamuli District were arrested earlier this year, suspected of a ritual child sacrifice while in Luwero District on January 7 an 8-year boy was kidnapped from his family’s courtyard and found back without head, fingers and toes. In November 2022 two men from Kayunga District were found guilty of child sacrifice committed in 2009. Within Uganda the Kayunga District has earned the dubious reputation of being one of the most notorious killing places.

Kayunga District shares this reputation with the Kiira region (Wakisi District, Central Region). The most recent ritual murder case in this region is the one reported above but also in August 2022 a man and his wife in Jinja District were arrested for killing their child in a ritual practice. In May 2021 police in Kayunga District had to protect a man from a mob threatening to kill him after he had allegedly killed two of his children for rituals purposes.

In July 2022 a spike was reported in human sacrifices. I’m afraid that the child sacrifice and other ritual murder cases mentioned in this report (see my July 11 posting) and the above mentioned murders are just the tip of the iceberg. After all, it is only logical to assume that not all ritual killing cases are being discovered or reported. An unknown number of children or elderly people, victims of ritualistic practices, may have disappeared without leaving traces.

Since 2021 convicted ritual murderers in Uganda may face the death penalty. In May parliament enacted the Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill, 2020, which includes the capital punishment or life imprisonment for any person found guilty of human sacrifice. The bill inspired me to some reflections – see my May 7 posting.

Since the enactment of the bill a number of convicted ritual murderers have been sentenced to heavy sentences and many years in prison, but the ugly phenomenon has not been eradicated. It’s a sad reality.

Liberia: man narrowly escapes attempted ritualistic murder – suspected link with forthcoming elections (October 10)

Warning: the following story’s graphic content and photo may upset the reader.

One of Liberia’s best and most reliable newspapers, FrontPageAfrica, yesterday published a harrowing and scaring report on an attempted kidnapping, presumably for ritualistic purposes. It all happened in Paynesville, Greater Monrovia, Montserrado County, around 3:00 a.m. last Thursday, September 21.

When hearing or reading about alleged or attempted ritualistic murders I am always wary of the danger of jumping too soon to conclusions. But certain details of the story which the aimed victim Sherman Cooper tells us are very realistic: the black, unmarked car, a Nissan Pathfinder, the way he managed to escape from his agressors, as observed by an eyewitness, and above all his wounds, the cutting marks around his neck and another on his genitals. Moreover, and the author of the article, Lennart Dodoo, also mentions this explicitly, it is election time in Liberia: ‘Ritualistic killings during elections are not a new phenomenon in Liberia.’

Last week I put the spotlight on Dr. Alan White’s testimony before a subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives when the former Chief Investigator of the Special Court for Sierra Leone focused on the frequency of ritual murders in Liberia and the alleged link with the Weah Administration, notably the Office of the President.

It sounds unreal, in the 21st century, but we cannot close our eyes for the at times brutal reality. Investigations into real or alleged ritual killings very often fizzle out in Liberia, reportedly because of the alleged, suspected or real involvement of ‘big shots’ (politicians, high-ranking government officials or other highly-placed Liberians) – similar to investigations into alleged or real corruption.

We’ll see whether we ever hear more about this case…
(webmaster FVDK)

Liberia: Man Narrowly Escapes Attempted Ritualistic Murder; Brother Abducted by Kidnappers, Still Missing

Published: September 27, 2023
By: Lennart Dodoo – FrontPageAfrica, Liberia

MONROVIA – Saved by an act of bravery but severely wounded, Sherman Cooper, a victim of an alleged kidnapping and attempted ritualistic killing, now wonders about the whereabouts of his brother, Michael, whom the alleged kidnappers escaped with.

Sherman jumped out of the black, unmarked speeding Nissan Pathfinder, which had given him and his brother a lift from Paynesville, near the Fabulous opposite Bethesda.

FrontPageAfrica has confirmed that Sherman is currently receiving medical attention at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center’s trauma unit.

Some residents of the area and eyewitnesses say the unmarked black Nissan Pathfinder is often seen patrolling the VOA area in Paynesville.

An eyewitness who was driving behind the speeding SUV said he saw Sherman jump out of the moving vehicle. He said the kidnappers looked foreign and suspected them of being Burkinabe.

In a video seen by FrontPageAfrica, Sherman, who was stark naked and bloody, is seen with cutting marks around his neck and another on his genitals. He also sustained severe injuries on his knee, head, forehead, back, buttock, and thigh.

He is heard wailing, “I’m in pain, oh, I’m in pain, oh. Y’all help me. They carried my brother. They’re going to kill my brother. Y’all, please carry me to the hospital.”

He added, “The people put the windshield [glass] up, I fought. The passenger seat behind [extra cabin seat in the trunk] and two people were sitting behind we didn’t know. When we sat, that’s when they… I said ooh they want to kill us.”

FrontPageAfrica learned that the police and security authorities have been interrogating Sherman as the whereabouts of Michael remain unknown.

According to the eyewitness who saw Sherman jumping down from the car, he stopped his car and observed when he saw Sherman jump from the car. “He started crawling towards me, crying ‘Please help me, please help me,’” he explained.

This happened around Rehab.

According to the eyewitness, the incident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. last Thursday. In his narrative, he said Sherman and his brother were supposed to alight at Rehab, but as the vehicle approached Rehab, it increased its speed, and that’s when Sherman and his brother started fighting.

“The guys put a rope around their necks. They had two guys in the back seat, so they put a rope around their necks, and they started fighting. But he was fighting for his life, so he managed to hold on to the glass, and they tried to put the glass up, but his hands were already between the glass, so he managed to pull the glass down with strength while they were concentrating on taking off his private part, and he managed to jump through the window while they were at the junction,” the eyewitness explained.

Ritualistic killings during elections are not a new phenomenon in Liberia. In 2021, a UN human rights expert called on the government to investigate a series of killings that have occurred this year, some of which have reportedly been linked to ritualistic practices.

At least 10 people were killed in unclear circumstances in December 2021, including five in September, reportedly with suspected links to ritualistic practices or political motivations.

Last week, Dr. Alan W. White, Co-Executive Director of the Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights, delivered a compelling testimony before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, addressing the pressing issue of ritualistic killings in Africa, with a particular focus on Liberia. Dr. White shed light on the Foundation’s mission to combat human rights violations, including ritualistic killings and the alarming allegations linking these acts to high-ranking government officials, including the Executive Mansion.

In his testimony, Dr. White detailed the challenges faced in gathering information and conducting investigations into ritualistic killings, emphasizing the danger faced by sources who dare to speak out against these crimes.

Dr. White’s testimony also touched upon recent cases of ritualistic killings in Liberia, such as the mysterious disappearance of three young men hired for a task in Bong County in October 2020 by the St. Moses Funeral Home. The bodies of these young men were never returned to their families, and investigations into their deaths remain unresolved, raising suspicions of involvement by influential individuals with close government ties.

“The Foundation has received disturbing information about the frequency of such killings and the allegations linking it to the Executive Mansion (The Office of the President) and other high-ranking government officials. Details of these atrocities are difficult to obtain,” he said.

He also linked the past regime to acts of ritualistic killings, saying, “The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration during her 12 years (2006-2018) in office was plagued with ritual killings, and despite vows to bring them to an end, they continued. The same problems continue under the Weah administration, and unlike Sirleaf, there were no insiders reporting her direct involvement with the ritual killings.”

A graphic picture showing the injuries Sherman Cooper sustained. He’s currently receiving medical attention in the trauma unit of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center

Source: Liberia: Man Narrowly Escapes Attempted Ritualistic Murder; Brother Abducted by Kidnappers, Still Missing

Liberia – counties

Dr. Alan White, Former Chief Investigator of the SCSL, on ritual abuse in Sierra Leone and Liberia, links the Weah Administration to extrajudicial, ritualistic killings

A few days ago, on September 19, an important meeting took place in the United States, in the House of Representatives to be precise. A subcommittee on global human rights, of the Commission of Foreign Affairs, held a hearing on ‘Efforts to Address Ritual Abuse and Sacrifice in Africa’.

Witnesses invited to speak were Obed Byamugisha, Program Advisor, Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, Miriam Fullah, Trafficking in Persons Protection Manager, World Hope International, Dr. Alan White, Co-Executive Director, Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights and former Chief of Investigations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL, which sentenced former Liberian warlord and president Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison), and Josephine Aparo, Founding Member, Global Survivor Network and International Justice Mission.

At least three leading Liberian newspapers published articles on the hearing, revelations and accusations notably of Dr. Alan White, who linked immediate past and present Liberian governments to ritualistic killings. The three articles – in the Daily Observer, Front Page Africa, and The New Dawn – are reproduced below. In a separate posting I will pay attention to the testimonies of the other witnesses.

The responsibility for the reporting on Dr. Alan White’s testimony in the three Liberian newspapers rests entirely with the publishers of said newspapers. White’s testimony addresses the roles of former president Sirleaf (2006 – 2018) and president Weah (2018 – present) and he formulates his observations and conclusions carefully. The newspapers’ headings are meant to attract the attention of the readers (buyers), without nuance. Therefore and to avoid any misunderstanding about White’s statements I’ve also included the full text of his important testimony (below).

Dr. White, who – as Chief Investigator of the SCSL – has extensive knowledge of ritualistic practices and abuses which occurred in Sierra Leone during this country’s civil war (1991-2002), also referred to these atrocities in his testimony. Moreover, he said, “This practice continues today in Sierra Leone and surges during election periods where people running for office believe that sacrificing a person, mostly younger boys and girls because it is believed the younger they are, the more power they get.”

With respect to Liberia he provides more than one example of ritualistic abuse and murder. His most serious accusation addresses the previous Administration of President Sirleaf and the present Weah Administration: “The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration during her 12 years (2006-2018) in office was plagued with ritual killings and despite vows to bring them to an end they continued. The same problems continue under the Weah administration and unlike Sirleaf there were no insiders reporting her direct involvement with the ritual killings. However, we have received information that current administration has been linked to ritualistic killings of children. Sources advise the police are not allowed to investigate these matters or if they do, it is done superficially as to not get to close to those involved. Also, because of the high-level links to the government it is taboo to say anything about it or otherwise you could be the next victim.” 

White could hardly be more specific when stating: “The Foundation has received disturbing information about the frequency of such killings and the allegations linking it to the Executive Mansion (The Office of the President) and other high-ranking government officials. Details of these atrocities are difficult to obtain.” 

On October 10, presidential and legislative elections will be held in Liberia. Should I add more?
(webmaster FVDK).

Liberia: Alan White Accuses Weah’s Gov’t of Extrajudicial, Ritualistic Killings

…. Calls for justice for murdered auditors, three missing boys resound at U.S. Congressional hearings

Piublished: September 20, 2023
By: William Q. Harmon – Daily Observer, Liberia

Renowned human rights activist and Co-Executive Director for the Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights (AFHR), Dr. Alan White has told the United States House Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs that President George Weah and his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) are involved in acts of extrajudicial and ritualistic killing.

Addressing the subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, under the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr. White said that at least 10 people were killed in unclear circumstances in 2021, including five in September of that year reportedly with suspected links to ritualistic practices or political motivations.

The killings referenced by Dr. White, all of which occurred during the Weah administration, were never solved and remain fresh on the minds of Liberians as the country goes to the polls on October 10 this year, to elect a president, vice president and 88 legislators. 

On December 10, 2021, the United Nations issued a public statement –“A UN human rights expert today called on the Liberian Government to promptly investigate a series of killings that have occurred this year, some of which have reportedly been linked to ritualistic practices.” 

White told the subcommittee that his organization has received disturbing information about the frequency of such killings and the allegations linking it to the Executive Mansion (The Office of the President) and other high ranking government officials. Details of these atrocities, he said, are difficult to obtain. 

“Sources advise the police are not allowed to investigate these matters or if they do, it is done superficially as to not get too close to those involved,” White told the Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations at a hearing on Tuesday, 19 September.  “Also, because of the high-level links to the government it is taboo to say anything about it or otherwise you could be the next victim.”

White called on the U.S. government and global partners for the prosecution for these heinous crimes. “The killing must stop and hope your legislation can effect change and stop this madness once and for all,” he told the subcommittee. 

White’s AFHR, a nonprofit organization, located in Washington, DC, USA, targets human rights violators, that engage in public corruption and seek justice and accountability for the victims of such atrocities. The group is also actively engaged in conducting investigations and compiling information about those individuals who are committing ritualistic killings, especially in Liberia.

In his testimony, White made specific references to the mysterious disappearance of three young men who were hired by Moses Ahossouhe, owner of the St. Moses Funeral Parlor in Monrovia, to undertake a task in Bong County; the high profile death of four auditors; as well as other mysterious deaths that took place in the country under the Weah administration. 

On October 17, 2020, Robert M. Blamo, Jr, 29, Siafa  Gbana Boimah, 34, and Bobby S. Gbeanquoi, 32, were reported drowned in a river in Fuamah District, lower Bong County, when a canoe they were allegedly riding capsized.

“The bodies of the three young men were retrieved by Ahoussouhe and never returned to the parents. He has close ties to the President and the government,” White told the committee. “And the Ministry of Justice has failed to provide an update or release the outcome of an investigative report on circumstances that led to the conclusion they drowned. Why didn’t they release the bodies to the family?” 

The aggrieved families believed that their children are being kept in a sacred place to be used for alleged ‘ritualistic purposes’. The family members sought the assistance of the international community, including the US Embassy and the United Nations.”

Three of the most recent victims were either former officials or had links to high profile former politicians, he said. “Even a recent death of some young girls involved in political campaign event held by the CDC sparked outrage by the citizens and allegations their deaths were done for ritualistic reasons,” he said while referencing the headline of a local newspaper which said: Citizens to President Weah: ‘No ritual can help you from leaving office after the elections.’ 

White noted that the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration during her 12 years (2006-2018) in office was plagued with ritual killings and despite vows to bring them to an end they continued. “The same problems continue under the Weah administration and, unlike Sirleaf, there were no insiders reporting her direct involvement with the ritual killings,” he said.

Over the past 20 years White has been actively engaged in seeking justice and accountability for victims of human rights violations and conducting criminal investigations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Africa, most specifically West Africa. From July 2002-July 2005, he was detailed to the United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone located in Freetown, Sierra Leone West Africa where he served as the Chief of Investigations. 

“As Chief of Investigations of the Special  Court for Sierra Leone, I directed all criminal investigations which led to numerous indictments and convictions, most notably was former Liberian President Charles Taylor who was the first sitting Head of State to be indicted and convicted for war crimes and continues to serve his 50 year prison sentence.” 

White was one of four witnesses who testified during the hearing on the theme: “Efforts to Address Ritual Abuse and Sacrifice in Africa” on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. The others were Obed Byamugisha, Program Advisor, Kyampisi Childcare Ministries; Miriam Fullah, Trafficking in Persons Protection Manager, World Hope International; and Josephine Aparo, Founding Member, Global Survivor Network and International Justice Mission. 

He applauded the work of the Subcommittee and its members, noting that his organization will continue to work on the issues. “We hope that this Hearing will shed a very bright light on a very dark issue plaguing many African countries and especially Liberia, who experienced this despicable crime against humanity during war and peace, yet it doesn’t stop,” he said. 

His testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee is the latest deposit in a trove of numerous reports with claims of crime and corruption on the part of the Weah administration. So far, some of these claims have resulted in sanctions against three of Weah’s top lieutenants — former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill; former Solicitor General, Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephus; and former Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Bill Twehway. 

Yet, amid the U.S. sanctions, the three individuals continue to wield influence across the country — especially during the current election period, as Both McGill and Twehway are splurging cash to gain favor with voters in order to be elected to legislative office come October 10. 

Dr. White’s hope that the U.S. Congress’ “…  legislation can effect change and stop this madness once and for all,” might resonate with many Liberians at home and abroad, but the October 10 elections will be the litmus test of whether the critical mass of Liberians at home feel the same way about the state of affairs in their country.

Source: Liberia: Alan White Accuses Weah’s Gov’t of Extrajudicial, Ritualistic Killings

AND:

Liberia: Dr. Alan White Highlights Ritualistic Killings in Liberia before U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee; Links Immediate Past and Current Government

Published: September 20, 2023
By: Lennart Dodoo – Front Page Africa, Liberia

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Alan W. White, Co-Executive Director of the Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights, delivered a compelling testimony before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, addressing the pressing issue of ritualistic killings in Africa, with a particular focus on Liberia. Dr. White shed light on the Foundation’s mission to combat human rights violations, including ritualistic killings and the alarming allegations linking these acts to high-ranking government officials, including the Executive Mansion.

The Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., has been dedicated to targeting human rights violators, exposing public corruption, and advocating for justice and accountability for the victims of such atrocities.

Others who testified before the Committee headed by Congressman Chris Smith Obed Byamugisha, Program Advisor, Kyampisi Childcare Ministries; Miriam Fullah, Trafficking in Persons Protection Manager, World Hope International; Josephine Aparo
Founding Member, Global Survivor Network and International Justice Mission.

In his testimony, Dr. White detailed the challenges faced in gathering information and conducting investigations into ritualistic killings, emphasizing the danger faced by sources who dare to speak out against these crimes.

Dr. White’s credentials as Chief of Investigations for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where he directed criminal investigations leading to numerous indictments and convictions, lent significant weight to his testimony. He notably highlighted the conviction of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting Head of State to be indicted and convicted for war crimes, serving a 50-year prison sentence.

Screenshot – to watch the video, click here

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was established to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the devastating civil war in Sierra Leone, spanning from 1991 to 2002, which resulted in the deaths of over 70,000 people. Dr. White’s investigations led him to neighboring Liberia, which also experienced two brutal civil wars, resulting in the deaths of over 250,000 Liberians.

During his tenure as Chief of Investigations, Dr. White bore witness to unspeakable human rights violations perpetrated through ritualistic activities, a phenomenon he had not encountered before. He recounted a chilling story from 2002, where a 70-year-old man seeking a political position in a local Village, believed in black magic and sacrificed a 9-year-old boy to gain power. This horrifying act shed light on the prevalence of ritualistic killings in West Africa, where individuals commission murders to obtain body parts for magic spells and gain political power.

The Foundation has received disturbing information about the frequency of such killings and the allegations linking it to the Executive Mansion (The Office of the President) and other high-ranking government officials. Details of these atrocities are difficult to obtain.

Dr. Alan W. White, Co-Executive Director of the Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights

Dr. White’s testimony revealed the widespread practice of ritualistic killings during Sierra Leone’s civil war, with various rebel groups and warring factions, such as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and the Civil Defense Force (CDF), routinely engaging in such acts. He described how rebels would boast about consuming the organs of their victims, believing it granted them supernatural power.

Importantly, Dr. White highlighted that ritual killings persist in Sierra Leone today, often escalating during election periods when some politicians believe they can gain power through human sacrifices. These alarming practices have also been reported in Liberia, where ritualistic killings are a combination of traditional beliefs and the criminal behavior of unscrupulous politicians.

Liberia has a history of ritualistic killings during its civil wars, with figures like Milton Blahyi, also known as ‘General Butt Naked’, publicly admitting to eating children’s hearts and taking part in human sacrifices to ensure victory in battle.

Dr. White’s testimony also touched upon recent cases of ritualistic killings in Liberia, such as the mysterious disappearance of three young men hired for a task in Bong County in October 2020 by the St. Moses Funeral Home. The bodies of these young men were never returned to their families, and investigations into their deaths remain unresolved, raising suspicions of involvement by influential individuals with close government ties.

“The Foundation has received disturbing information about the frequency of such killings and the allegations linking it to the Executive Mansion (The Office of the President) and other high-ranking government officials. Details of these atrocities are difficult to obtain,” he said.

He also linked the past regime to acts of ritualistic killings, saying “The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration during her 12 years (2006-2018) in office was plagued with ritual killings and despite vows to bring them to an end they continued. The same problems continue under the Weah administration and unlike Sirleaf there were no insiders reporting her direct involvement with the ritual killings.”

Dr. White commended the Subcommittee for its work and called for a thorough examination of the issue of ritualistic killings in Africa, especially in Liberia. He urged legislation that could bring an end to these heinous crimes, emphasizing the importance of exposing those involved and prosecuting them for their actions. The Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights remains committed to addressing this dark issue plaguing many African countries and hopes that the Subcommittee’s efforts will help put an end to these atrocities once and for all.

Source: Liberia: Dr. Alan White Highlights Ritualistic Killings in Liberia before U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee; Links Immediate Past and Current Government

AND:

The killings must stop! 

— Dr. Alan White asks U.S. for prosecution of those in ritualistic killings in Liberia

Published: September 20, 2023
By: New Dawn, Liberia

The U.N. former chief investigator for the special court of Sierra Leone, Dr. Alan White is requesting prosecution for ritualistic killings and despicable crimes against humanity in Liberia during war and in peace, saying “the killings must stop.”

Dr. Alan briefed U.S. lawmakers in Washington Tuesday, 19 September 2023, giving historical accounts of recent killings and those carried out during Liberia’s civil war for ritualistic purposes.

“Those involved need to be exposed and prosecuted for these heinous crimes. The killings must stop, and we hope that through legislature can effect change and stop this madness once and for all,” said Dr. White.

Dr. White indicated that former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s administration was plagued with ritualistic killings, and the same problem continues under incumbent President George Manneh Weah’s administration.

Unlike Sirleaf’s administration, Dr. White said, there was no insider reporting on her direct involvement on ritualistic killings.

However, he said he has received information that President Weah’s administration is being linked to the ritualistic killings of children.

He said sources have revealed that the police are only allowed to investigate these matters in a conspicuous but very superficial manner.

Dr. White explained that notable of these cases is the incident involving victims Robert Blamo, Jr., 29, Siafa Boimah, 33 and Blama, who went missing after being hired by St. Moses Funeral Parlor proprietor Mr. Moses Ahoussouhe to undertake a contract in Bong Mines.

Mr. Ahoussouhe was accused of hiring the three men on Saturday, 15 October 2020 to travel to Bong Mines to do technical work for him at his diamond creek when all three of them went missing. They were alleged to have drowned when a canoe they were riding in had capsized.

Dr. White said Ahoussouhe (St. Moses) retrieved the bodies of the three young men but they were never returned to their parents.

“He has close ties with the president and the Government of Liberia, and through the Ministry of Justice, he has contact as well. They failed to provide update or release the outcome of the investigation or report on the circumstances that led to the conclusion [that] they drowned,” said Dr. White.

Dr. White indicated that the aggrieved families believe that their children are being kept in a secret place to be used for ritualistic purposes.

He said the family members sought the assistance of the international community including the U.S. Embassy and the United Nations, leading the UN to call on the Liberian government to investigate killings which had been reported to link to ritual practice.

In 2021 alone, Dr. White said at least ten people were killed, reportedly linked to ritualistic killing or political motivation.

He added that they were either former officials or had links to former politicians. White noted that recent deaths involving some girls during President George Manneh Weah’s 2023 political campaign outraged the citizens.

He said the allegation is that the killings were done for ritualistic reasons. He also referenced citizens’ message to President Weah which was carried in the NewDawn newspaper’s headline that no amount of money or rituals can help President Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change from leaving office after the 10 October 2023 elections.

Dr. White said his organization will continue to work on these issues in African countries, especially Liberia which experiences despicable crimes against humanity during war and in peace.

He recalled that during the 14 years civil war in Liberia, there were so many cases where gunmen, some of them child soldiers, ate victims’ body parts.

He stated that it was well documented that during Liberia’s civil war, ritualistic killing was a common place, naming Gen. Butt Naked, now Evangelist Milton Blayee as of the notorious culprits.

According to Dr. White, Mr. Blayee testified before Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that he ate children’s hearts.

He said Blayee indicated that human sacrifices were intended to ensure victories in battles.

Source: The killings must stop!
– Dr. Alan White asks U.S. for prosecution of those in ritualistic killings in Liberia

AND:

Full text of the Testimony Submitted to The Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations – “Efforts to Address Ritual Abuse and Sacrifice in Africa” – September 19, 2023 – 10:00 a.m.
Statement of Dr. Alan W. White,
Co-Executive Director – Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights – Washington, D.C. and Founding Chief of Investigations of the United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.

First of all I would like to the thank Chairman Congressman Chris Smith and Ranking Member Congresswoman Susan Wild, of the U.S. House of Representatives Global Health, Global Human Rights, International Organizations and other members of this Subcommittee for holding this very important hearing. I also want to publicly commend Congressman Smith for his tireless and unwavering efforts in seeking justice and accountability for countless victims of human rights violations from around the Globe. You provide a voice that otherwise would go unheard and a platform to those victims, who have suffered and continue to suffer with no one to turn to. Your steadfast support is globally recognized and very much needed in these troubled times we live in, and where so many atrocities are being committed around the world. 

I am the Co-Executive Director for the Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights, a non- profit organization, located in Washington, DC. The Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights targets human rights violators, that engaged in public corruption and justice and accountability for the victims of such atrocities. We are actively engaged in conducting investigations and compiling information about those individuals who are committing ritualistic killings, especially in Liberia. The Foundation has received disturbing information about the frequency of such killings and the allegations linking it to the Executive Mansion (The Office of the President) and other high-ranking government officials. Details of these atrocities are difficult to obtain. 

Sources to the Foundation are endangered just by speaking out – and I will discuss this later in my testimony. 

Over the past 20 years I have been actively engaged in seeking justice and accountability for victims of human rights violations and conducting criminal investigations of war crimes and crimes against humanity on the continent of Africa, most specifically West Africa. During my last 3 years of Federal Law Enforcement service from July 2002-July 2005, I was detailed to the United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone located in Freetown, Sierra Leone West Africa where I served as the Chief of Investigations. As Chief of Investigations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone I directed all criminal investigations which led to numerous indictments and convictions, most notably was former Liberian President Charles Taylor who was the first sitting Head of State to be indicted and convicted for war crimes and continues to serve his 50 year prison sentence. 

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was established to investigate and prosecute those who bear the greatest responsibilty for the civil war in Sierra Leone, which lasted from March 1991 to January 2002 and resulted in the deaths of over 70,000 people. Our investigations led us to neighboring Liberia which had suffered two civil wars, the first from December 1989 to August 1997 and then again in 1999 to 2003 where over 250,000 Liberians were killed. 

While serving as the Chief of Investigations I witnessed and investigated some of the most horrific and unspeakable human rights violations no one could ever imagine that someone could inflict on another human being. The horrors of civil war are always tragic, however, to see those involved in the commission of killing and torturing another human being by engaging in ritualistic activities was something I had not seen before and quite frankly prepared to deal with. Yet shortly after I arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone I recall in August 2002 a news story where a 70-year-old man seeking to become a Paramount Chief of a local Village, a political position in traditional system of local government and an integral element of governance, was convicted of a ritualistic killing. I learned quickly that ritualistic killings were common place, particularly in West Africa. This story reported the man seeking to become a Paramount Chief believed in black magic and in order to get elected he needed to sacrifice a young child and in this case he bought a 9-year old boy for 800,000 leones ($160) from a family desperate for money.  

Reportedly he gruesomely killed the 9-year-old boy by slitting his throat and removing his liver and taking some blood to local witch doctors in the neighboring country of Guinea where they would use in making a liquid concoction he could drink and give him what is known as “Juju”. This was a term I learned later meant power and used in ritualistic killings by rebels fighting in the civil wars, both in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Suprisingly, I learned that ritual killings or human sacrifices to local deities were customary in parts of West Africa, where some people commission killings to obtain body parts for magic spells to gain political power and influence. 

Early on during my criminal investigations of war crimes and crimes against in Sierra Leone I heard routinely about ritualistic killings involving the various rebel group and warring factions in Sierra Leone, which included the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and the Civil Defense Force (CDF). 

The war started in Kailahun, so we started our investigations in that part of the country where we uncovered numerous mass graves and in most cases the victims were civilians, including children. Their identities were mostly unknown, although some names were given. However, our witness interviews revealed that the RUF or RUF/AFRC were identified as the alleged perpetrator. 

There were several causes of death of the victims reported including they were locked in houses and burnt, “ritual human sacrifice for protection” and gunshot and knife wounds. One of the witnesses interviews I recall involved a female RUF ex-child combatant, who advised that ritual killings were routinely practiced on enemy fighters or on civilians, including children. Sadly, the rebels from the various warring factions would boast about killing their enemy, many of which were young child soldiers, and eating their heart, drinking their blood, or eating other body parts claiming they received extra power from doing so. 

This practice continues today in Sierra Leone and surges during election periods where people running for office believe that sacrificing a person, mostly younger boys and girls because it is believed the younger they are, the more power they get. The Voice of America (VOA) in Freetown in 2012 reported on the so-called ritual murders during election time and have been a part of African society for centuries. “In Sierra Leone, some believe ritual murders increase  during election time because some politicians think they will gain political power from another human’s body parts.” 

Chief Minister, NaCSA Boss Indicted in Attempted Ritual Murder of Virgins Girls in Freetown (sierraloaded.sl) 

In October 2021 a senior government official, who reported to the President of Sierra Leone was indicted for an attempted ritual murder of six “Virgin Girls” in Freetown. The Chief Minister in Sierra Leone has been accused of forcing a primary school teacher to kidnap six virgin schoolgirls for ritualistic purposes. Fortunately, the plot was foiled when one of the whistleblowers came forward and reported it to the police which led to the Chief Minister’s arrest and indictment. However, reportedly he was released from custody while the investigation continued and to date no prosecution has occurred. 

Dr Fred P.M. VAN DER KRAAIJ, author of a blog known as liberiapastandpresent.org, who lived and worked in Liberia as an Economist has chronicled a number of the ritualistic killings and other significant events in Liberia. In one of his blogs, he writes — “Today’s practice of ritual killings in Liberia – because it still exists! – mainly is a combination of traditional beliefs which inspire men-eating and modern-day criminal behavior of unscrupulous politicians who consider their ambitions worth more than the life of their victims. During the 14-year civil war (1989-2003) there were so many cases of gunmen – some of them child soldiers – eating their victim’s hearts and other body parts that the Catholic Church issued a formal denunciation of these practices (Stephen Ellis, The Mask of Anarchy, 1999: dust jacket). Liberia.” 

It is well documented that during the civil wars in Liberia that ritual killings were commonplace and one of the most notorious rebels engaged in such horrific acts, is Milton Blahyi aka General Butt Naked, a feared former Rebel Commander who fought in the Liberian civil war. He testified before the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) where he publicly stated “I ate children’s hearts,” and admitted to taking part in human sacrifices as part of traditional ceremonies intended to ensure victory in battle. He also told BBC that his forces his forces had killed over 20,000 people. 

During the first civil war (1989-1996) there were also other reports about Charles Taylor and his rebels accounts reportedly the formation of a group of cannibals called Top 20 of which he was a member. Reportedly the group, comprised of Taylor and 16 rebels of his own army known as the National Patriotic Front for Liberia (NPFL) engaged in human sacrifices at Taylor’s house. 

On December 10, 2004, BBC publicly reported Hundreds of Liberian women had taken to the streets of the capital, Monrovia, protested against a recent wave of ritual killings. Bodies of children had been found with some of their organs missing, taken for what are viewed as magical properties. These killings were reportedly linked to politicians and the wealthy, who many believe to pay for the murders to increase their chances of good fortune. 

There were other media reports documenting, including the Analyst, the discovery of the bodies of two unidentified children around the Du River area. One of the victims was a girl believed to be 12 years old. The media reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the body was discovered with “fresh blood coming from its mouth and nose.” 

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration during her 12 years (2006-2018) in office was plagued with ritual killings and despite vows to bring them to an end they continued. The same problems continue under the Weah administration and unlike Sirleaf there were no insiders reporting her direct involvement with the ritual killings. However, we have received information that current administration has been linked to ritualistic killings of children. Sources advise the police are not allowed to investigate these matters or if they do, it is done superficially as to not get to close to those involved. Also, because of the high-level links to the government it is taboo to say anything about it or otherwise you could be the next victim. 

One of the most notable allegations of ritualistic killings involve the mysterious disappearance of three young men who were hired by the Proprietor of the St. Moses Funeral Parlor to undertake a task in Bong County. On October 17, 2020, Robert M. Blamo, Jr, 29, Siafa Gbana Boimah, 34, and Bobby S. Gbeanquoi, 32, were reported drowned in a river in Fuama district, lower Bong County when a canoe they were allegedly riding capsized while returning to their respective homes. They were reportedly contracted to do a, “piece of job” at the Oriental mining company owned and operated by Mr. Moses H. Ahossouhe (Proprietor of St. Moses Funeral Parlour), and one Mr. Abraham S. Samuels. It was reported by Mr. Ahoussouhe that the three young men drowned. The bodies were retrieved by Mr. Ahoussouhe and never returned to the parents. He has close ties to the President and the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Justice has failed to provide an update or release the outcome of an investigative report on circumstances that led to the conclusion they drowned. Why didn’t they release the bodies to the family? 

The aggrieved families believed that their children are being kept in a sacred place to be used for alleged “ritualistic purposes.” The family members sought the assistance of the international community, including the US Embassy and the United Nations. 

On December 10, 2021, the United Nations issued a public statement –“ A UN human rights expert today called on the Liberian Government to promptly investigate a series of killings that have occurred this year, some of which have reportedly been linked to ritualistic practices.” 

At least 10 people have been killed in unclear circumstances in 2021, including five in September reportedly with suspected links to ritualistic practices or political motivations. According to information received by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Morris Tidball-Binzthree of the most recent victims were either former officials or had links to high profile former politicians. 

Even a recent death of some young girls involved in political campaign event held by the CDC sparked outrage by the citizens and allegations their deaths were done for ritualistic reasons. The local headlines read – Liberia – Citizens to President Weah: ‘No ritual can help you from leaving office after the elections.’ 

On August 24, 2023, the New Dawn News reported Several residents of Montserrado County have told incumbent President George Manneh Weah that no amount of alleged human sacrifice, ritual, and money can prevent him and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) from leaving office. 

“We want to tell President Weah that no amount of human sacrifice, ritual, and money can help in this election,” potential voters said in Montserrado County.” 

The foundation will continue to work on this issue and applauds the work of this Subcommittee and its members. We hope that this Hearing will shed a very bright light on a very dark issue plaguing many African countries and especially Liberia who experienced this despicable crime against humanity during war and peace, yet it doesn’t stop. Those involved  need to be exposed and prosecuted for these heinous crimes. The killing must stop and hope your legislation can effect change and stop this madness once and for all. 

Source: Testimony Submitted to The Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on
Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations – “Efforts to Address Ritual Abuse and Sacrifice in Africa”; September 19, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. – Statement of Dr. Alan W. White, Co-Executive Director, Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights, Washington, D.C.

Nigeria: human eaters… end of the road – the 2019 Favour Daley-Oladela ritual murder case

The murder for ritual purposes of Favour Daley-Oladela in 2019 led to much unrest as well as a wave of articles on the terror of so-called ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria. For briefness sake I may refer here to my posting of January 9, 2020 ‘A selection of articles on the ritual murder of Favour Daley-Oladele, Nigeria’.

As a reminder I will recall what basically happened on the fateful day in December 2019 when the innocent university student was brutally murdered. Favour Daley-Oladele, a final year student of Lagos State University (LASU), was murdered and partly cannibalized for a ritualistic motive, a ‘money ritual’, by her boyfriend Owolabi Adeeko, aided by Philip Segun, a white garment church pastor and his mother, Mrs. Bola Adeeko. 

Last month, a High Court found both men guilty of conspiracy and murder and sentenced them to death by hanging for murder (Owolabi Adeeko) and 14 years imprisonment (Philip Segun) for conspiracy. The court also found Bola, Owolabi’s mother, guilty of eating human flesh and sentenced her to two years imprisonment.

Read the full article below. Warning: the article may upset readers because of its shocking and graphic contents.
(FVDK)

Human eaters…end of the road

Published: August 6, 2023
By: Shina Abubakar, Osogbo – Vanguard, Nigeria

The long arm of justice, after three years, finally caught up with killers and eaters of Favour Daley-Oladele, a final year student of Lagos State University, brutally murdered and used for “victory soup” ritual concoction by her boyfriend, Owolabi Adeeko, and a prophet, Segun Philip.

Last month, a High Court found Owolabi and Segun guilty of conspiracy and murder and sentenced them to death by hanging for murder and 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy.

The court also found Bola, Owolabi’s mother, guilty of eating human flesh and sentenced her to two years imprisonment.

Favour, a student of Theatre Arts, was in a final semester and at home to meet her parents before Owolabi put a call to her to meet him, so they could meet his uncle at Ikoyi in Isokan local government area of Osun State.

The deceased, who had attended church service on the day, also spoke with her father who wished her success in her final examinations before setting out on the fateful trip.

Before leaving home on that day, she also informed her mother that she was going back to school but will also be seeing a friend on her way and the mother never knew that the friend would eventually use her for “victory soup” and together with his mother “eat her up for their own good”.

Days after leaving home, Favour’s parents became apprehensive having tried to reach her on phone severally and were not successful, an unusual character, hence, they reached out to her friends in school who told them she had not returned to school.

The parents had to report a missing person at a police station in Mowe, Ogun State.

Meanwhile, Owolabi and Prophet Philip had concluded plans on how to kill the missing girl and butcher her for ritual soup.

She had journeyed all the way from Mowe to Osun and, upon arrival, she was lodged in a hotel in Ikoyi but rather than allow her rest upon complaint of tiredness, the boyfriend urged her to meet his supposed uncle before she would later come back to the hotel for a complete rest.

At a church, which is secluded from the rest of the community, Favour still complained of the need to rest and her boyfriend urged her to enter into the partial wooden building to rest while he and his prophet accomplice concluded their talk before returning to the hotel.

While Owolabi and Segun chatted outside the building they took time to check on the poor lady and having been sure that she was fully asleep, Owolabi took a pestle and smashed it on her head. Thereafter, the prophet cut her opened and took the vital organs needed for the ritual soup.

Arrest

After Favour’s parents reported that she was missing at the police division in Mowe, the Divisional Police Officer assembled a team of detectives to find her.

The team, according to Ogun Police Command spokesperson, tracked her phone to her last destination, hence, the team mounted surveillance in the town and further tracked the last location of the phone to the church where the prophet was arrested.

The cleric informed the police that the deceased was brought to him by Owolabi who was still in the hotel where he lodged. They were both arrested after Christmas in 2019.

‘I lured her to Ikoyi to kill’

After his arrest, Owolabi told police detectives that he lured the victim to Osun under the pretence to meet his uncle and spend more time together.

He added that she travelled down because of the trust she had in him as the victim had not embarked on such journey before that one which eventually was her last.

His confessional statement which was tendered in court “I called Favour on December 8, 2019 to meet me at Ikoyi-Ile so that we could spend time together. She met me at an hotel in the area, but immediately she got there, she started complaining that she was tired and needed to rest.

“I told her that we needed to visit my dad’s younger brother before she would rest. It was a lie. I tricked her into going to the church of Segun. When we got to the church, again, she complained that she wanted to sleep, so, I asked her to go into the church and rest.

“When she slept off, I used a pestle to smash her in the head and she died. After we confirmed she was dead, Pastor Segun slaughtered her and removed the vital organs from her body which he used to prepare concoction for me and my mum to eat.

“Despite what we ate, things have not improved till I was arrested. My mum’s business has not improved after what we did and despite all our efforts. I think the money ritual did not work”.

He added that his mother was not aware of his evil plans and was made to believe that she was eating ritual soup prepared from goat’s organs.

Owolabi agreed to face the consequences of his actions but asserted that punishing his mother would amount to an injustice.

On his part, Segun admitted to cutting the deceased open after her boyfriend had killed her, removed her vital organs to prepare the spiritual meal for mother and son to be victorious of spiritual attacks.

His words also admitted as confession in court: “It is true I slaughtered Favour with a knife. I removed her heart, breasts, and other vital organs so we could use them for rituals. But, I was not the one that smashed her head with a pestle. Owolabi did it.

“We deceived Mrs Adeeko that the concoction was prepared with goat’s organs. She was not aware we used human parts in the concoction I gave her. I prepared the ritual for them because I was broke and I needed money. I demanded N250,000 but was paid N210, 000.

“I was called by God, but I think I have lost the call because of what I did”.

Owolabi’s mother, Bola, said she was not aware a human was killed in a bid for her to overcome her spiritual challenges.

According to her, she was made to believe the concoction she ate was prepared from goat meat.

Exhuming body

Following their arrest and confession, Owolabi and Segun told the police that the remains of Favour were buried in the church building. The entire community was thrown into frenzy when the remains were exhumed from a shallow grave close to the building.

The already decomposing body was packed in a body bag and transported to Ogun State with a view to delivering it to the family after autopsy.

Arraignment

The three suspects were first arraigned before an Osun State Magistrate Court in November 2020 after investigation by the police on two counts of conspiracy and murder.

They were later arraigned before a High Court sitting in Ikire.

The prosecution, led by Adekemi Bello, called nine witnesses during trial to establish conspiracy and murder charges against the suspects who testified for themselves.

At the end of trial, Justice Christiana Obadina found Owolabi and Segun guilty of conspiracy and murder.

She sentenced the Prophet and Owolabi to death by hanging for murder and 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy.

The trial judge also found Bola, Owolabi’s mother, guilty of eating human flesh and sentenced her to two years imprisonment.

Reaction

The Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ile, Oba Yisau Oyetunji, said the community is peaceful and the people peace loving.

He maintained that the killer-prophet is not an indigene of the community.

The monarch stressed that churches should be properly registered with a view to identifying and preventing such horrible incident.

“From my findings, the self-acclaimed pastor is not an indigene of Ikoyi. The fellow who took the lady to the place, his mother and the victim are also not from Ikoyi”, he said.

“My plea to religious leaders and residents of Ikoyi and Osun State in general is to be vigilant. We should take up responsibility to secure our areas.

“If we see any strange faces or movements, we should try and do our findings on them. Our surveillance should not be restricted to strangers alone. We should not be silent on the issue of security. We should report to the police anyone constituting security risk”.

Meanwhile, the sentencing of the killers means a proper closure to a sad tale for Favour’s parents as justice appears to have been served.

Source: Human eaters…end of the road

Nigeria – political map

Zimbabwe: man kills daughter (1), harvests body parts for rituals

For the past few days I’ve been reporting on ritual murders (‘mui murders’) in the kingdom of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland). Muti murders are not only known in this tiny kingdom where King Mswati III rules as an absolute monarch. Muti murders are known throughout Southern Africa, It’s a sad reality to write down. Zimabwe’s most notorious murder case which shocked this nation when it occurred, in 2020, and also in following years when increasingly more details became known about the gruesome murder of an innocent 7-year old boy by his uncle and namesake, Tapiwa Makore, is still fresh.

Only very recently the murderers of Tapiwa Makore were sentenced to death, yet another ritual murder became known. We will never know how many ‘muti murders’ are committed in Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

Thomas Muzenda, a 38-years old artisinal miner from Gokwe, Zimbabwe, reportedly killed his one-year old daughter to booster his mining business. He butchered her and chopped up the body to get parts for muti purposes. He then reported her missing to cover up his crime.

Warning: the following may upset readers because of its graphic contents.
(FVDK).

Man killed daughter, 1, to boost artisanal mining business: police

‘The suspect confessed to the police that he killed his daughter with a knife for ritual purposes to allegedly boost his mining activities.

Shocking murder … A one-year-old girl was killed by her father in a “sacrifice”

Published: August 5, 2023
By: ZimLife

….an artisanal miner also confessed to killing his 1-year-old daughter in Gokwe to boost his artisanal mining business….

Meanwhile (…), in another incident (…), an artisanal miner has admitted to killing his daughter who is aged 1 year, 2 months.

Said the police, “On 2 August 2023, police in Gokwe arrested an artisanal miner, Thomas Muzenda, 38, of Village 17 Mupukuta, Chireya Gokwe North, in connection with the callous murder of his daughter, Nenyasha Muzenda, 1 year 2 months, who had been reported missing.

“The suspect confessed to the police that he killed his daughter with a knife for ritual purposes to allegedly boost his mining activities after approaching a traditional healer only identified as Dhumba.

“Police have since recovered the remains of the victim from a disused well at Zenda Mining area, Gokwe North.”

Source: Man killed daughter, 1, to boost artisanal mining business: police

More details:

Man kills daughter (1), harvests body parts for rituals

Published: August 6, 2023
By: Bulawayo 24 News

In a spine chilling ritual murder, a 38-year-old man killed his daughter (1) and chopped up the body to get parts for muti purposes.

Thomas Muzenda, an artisinal miner (umakorokoza) from Gokwe, reportedly butchered Nenyasha Muzenda with a knife, then reported her missing to cover up the grisly offence.

Muzenda was arrested on 2 August 2023.

Without giving much detail, police took to twitter and said, ‘’ On 02/08/23, Police in Gokwe arrested an artisanal miner, Thomas Muzenda (38) of Village 17 Mupukuta, Chireya Gokwe North, in connection with the callous murder of his daughter, Nenyasha Muzenda (1 year 2 months), who had been reported missing.

“The suspect confessed to the police that he killed his daughter with a knife for ritual purposes to allegedly boost his mining activities after approaching a traditional healer only identified as Dhumba. Police have since recovered the remains of the victim from a disused well at Zenda Mining area, Gokwe North,” read the tweet.

Source: Man kills daughter (1), harvests body parts for rituals

More reports on the same muti murder:

Man Kills Daughter(1) To Boost Mining Business

Published: August 7, 2023
By: ZimEye News

A horrifying incident has unfolded in Gokwe, Zimbabwe, as an artisanal miner, Thomas Muzenda (38), has been apprehended by the police for the brutal murder of his one-year-old daughter, Nenyasha Muzenda.

Startling details emerged when Muzenda confessed to the heinous act, revealing that he took the innocent life in a ritualistic act aimed at bolstering his mining endeavours. The sh0cking incident has sent sh0ckwaves through the community, highlighting the desperate lengths some individuals may go to in the pursuit of wealth and success.

The tragic events unfolded when Nenyasha Muzenda was reported missing, prompting a police investigation in Gokwe, a region known for its artisanal mining activities. During questioning, Thomas Muzenda sh0ckingly admitted to authorities that he had murdered his own daughter as part of a ritual intended to enhance his mining business. Allegedly, Muzenda had sought the assistance of a traditional healer named Dhumba, who advised him that such a gruesome act would bring prosperity and success to his mining activities.

Following Muzenda’s confession, the police conducted a search and ultimately discovered the remains of the young victim in a disused well located at the Zenda mining area in Gokwe North. The gruesome find further confirmed the harrowing nature of the crime and left the community in a state of sh0ck and disbelief.

Meanwhile, the police are urging anyone with information regarding the murder of Clemence Mwale (30) to come forward and assist with the investigation. Mwale was fatally attacked by unknown assailants on August 3 in Dzivaresekwa, and the authorities are seeking any leads that could shed light on the circumstances surrounding this tragic event.

The arrest of Thomas Muzenda has sent sh0ckwaves throughout Zimbabwe, prompting a broader conversation about the lengths some individuals may go to in their pursuit of success. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of ethical practices and the need to safeguard vulnerable members of society. – My Zimbabwe News

Source: Man Kills Daughter(1) To Boost Mining Business

AND MORE:

Dad kills daughter to boost mining business
Published: August 7, 2023
By: NewsdzeZimbabwe

Artisanal miner killed daughter for ritual purposes
Published: August 7, 2023
By: The Herald, Zimbabwe

Opinion – Tapiwa Makore: The evil men do 

The brutal death of 7-year old Tapiwa Makore not only shocked people in Zimbabwe. Also in neighbouring countries people followed Zimbabwe’s most notorious ritual murder case. After all, ‘muti murders’ are well known in Southern Africa.

The following article was written by Prof. Jairos Kangira, who writes from Namibia.

Warning: Some readers may find the following article disturbing.
(FVDK).

Opinion – Tapiwa Makore: The evil men do 

Prof. Jairos Kangira – University of Namibia | UNAM · Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
PhD in Rhetoric Studies (University of Cape Town)

Published: August 1, 2023
By: Prof Jairos Kangira – New Era Live, Namibia

Last month, when the Zimbabwe High Court sentenced to death the two murderers who brutally murdered seven-year old boy, Tapiwa Makore, for rituals in 2020, there was a sigh of relief in his family and among a groundswell of sympathisers in that country and internationally that had been traumatised by the horrific act of the convicts, Tapiwa Makore senior (the boy’s uncle) and Tafadzwa Shamba. Ironically, Tapiwa Makore senior killed his namesake, his brother’s son named after him.

Both the traditional media and social media were awash with stories and comments saying that the death sentence was an appropriate punishment for the two heartless men who killed Tapiwa and cut his body into parts after severing his head. That the killers cooked the boy’s head and took it to a traditional healer for muti purposes in Mozambique shows that some barbaric African beliefs in ritual killings still exist in some people’s sociocultural milieu in Zimbabwe. 

The killers’ motive in kidnapping the boy and murdering him on that fateful day was to use their victim’s body parts for muti to boost a cabbage business. In normal senses, people may ask what connection there is between human body parts and cabbages which need sufficient manure, fertiliser and water, not human blood, to grow. 

Senseless and irrational to think that their cabbage business could flourish by ritual killing. That the killers summoned the angels of death to play an oversight role as they butchered the innocent primary school boy for business purposes indicated the devils in them. For committing this dastardly and inhuman act, some have argued, these murderers deserved a worse punishment than the death penalty, if something like that exists. Others have argued that the two ritual killers must have their limbs cut off before they are finally hanged so that they can feel the pain before they die. This illustrates the depth of the contempt people have of these murderers.

This cold-blooded murder has led many rightful thinking people to question the sanctity and essence of human life, when a small boy can lose his life just like that to elders who should have protected him in the first place. Is life really worth living? Is life sacrosanct?  Is life sacred? 

These rhetorical questions come into one’s head when one hears about horrendous stories of the ritual killings of children. There are many moral verses in the Bible on what Jesus said about the care and innocence of children such as the seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore who unnecessarily had his life cut short at a tender age. 

I find this verse as one of the appropriate quotes of what Jesus said about children: “If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 18:6). This verse pronounces a death sentence to those who do bad things to innocent children. I am not a preacher, and I am not attempting to be one here. The point I am making is that, truly speaking, the chilling murder of Tapiwa Makore is a negation of what Jesus said about treatment of children.  

Instead of giving him love and kindness, the brutish elders drugged the unsuspecting boy using an illicit brew before they killed him and dismembered his lifeless body. A callous act, indeed.

When I was discussing Tapiwa Makore’s fate with my colleagues recently, we concluded that we could have faced the same fate when we were young. Each of us recounted the countless times we would be sent on errands by our parents to some remote villages on our own. We oftentimes looked after livestock in the plains and forests where we could have easily become victims of murder by unscrupulous elders from our villages or strangers. 

Truly, the murder of Tapiwa Makore is like fiction. It is a story best described as hell has no fire. 

Professor Jairos Kangira is a professor of English at the University of Namibia. Email address: kjairos@gmail.com

Source: Opinion – Tapiwa Makore: The evil men do 

Southern Africa region political map.

Zimbabwe – The Tapiwa Makore ritual murder case: Mystery of Tapiwa Makore’s missing head finally solved

It is one of Zimbabwe’s most notorious ritual murder cases. The violent death of 7-year old Tapiwa Makore upset the Zimbabwean nation since it occurred in 2020.

Tapiwa Makore was a 7-year-old boy from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa District, Mashonaland East Province who was brutally murdered for ritualistic purposes on 17 September 2020.

Much has been said and published about this ritual murder case, also on this site. I will not repeat the background. Interested readers can find all information by using the dropdown menu of the present site, chose the country ‘Zimbabwe’ and search for ‘Tapiwa Makore’.
(FVDK).

Warning: the graphic contents of some articles may upset readers (webmaster FVDK).

Mystery of Tapiwa Makore’s missing head finally solved: convicted murderer’s uncle reveals gory details
Source: Mystery of Tapiwa Makore’s Missing Head Finally Solved: Convicted Murderer’s Uncle Reveals Gory Details

Blood Ties And Deadly Deals: The Chilling Story Behind Tapiwa Makore’s Sacrifice For A Lucrative Business Empire
Source: Blood Ties And Deadly Deals: The Chilling Story Behind Tapiwa Makore’s Sacrifice For A Lucrative Business Empire

Murdered Tapiwa Makore’s head roasted
Source: Murdered Tapiwa Makore’s Head Roasted

Tapiwa killers’ family bizarre claim
Source: Tapiwa Killers’ family bizarre claim

Tapiwa Makore’s family relocates to Harare
Source: Tapiwa Makore’s Family Relocates To Harare

There’s an abundance of publications, as shown below: :

https://www.newzimbabwe.com/judgement-on-tapiwa-makores-murder-to-be-handed-down-thursday/

https://zwnews.com/d-day-for-tapiwa-makores-alleged-murderers/

https://www.zimlive.com/justice-at-last-as-uncle-convicted-of-tapiwa-makore-ritual-murder/

https://www.herald.co.zw/two-found-guilty-of-murdering-tapiwa-makore/

https://www.newzimbabwe.com/tapiwa-makore-murder-killer-uncle-herdsman-convicted/

https://iharare.com/tapiwa-makores-killers-found-guilty-nation-rejoices-as-tapiwa-makore-snr-and-tafadzwa-shamba-convicted-of-brutal-murder/

https://zwnews.com/tapiwa-makore-drugged-killed-to-boost-makore-snrs-cabbage-business-in-murehwa/

https://www.zimeye.net/2023/06/29/breaking-shamba-and-tapiwa-makore-snr-found-guilty-of-killing-7y-old/

https://www.theindependent.co.zw/local-news/article/200013350/tapiwa-makore-killers-convicted

https://www.pindula.co.zw/2023/06/29/justice-for-tapiwa-makore-murder-suspects-await-verdict-in-harare-high-court/

http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2023/06/tapiwa-was-killed-for-cabbages.html

https://www.pindula.co.zw/2023/06/30/tapiwa-makores-father-says-he-hoped-killers-would-reveal-the-whereabouts-of-boys-head/

https://iharare.com/justice-served-tapiwa-makores-killers-sentenced-to-death-for-brutal-ritual-murder/

https://www.sundaymail.co.zw/new-tapiwa-makore-killers-get-death-sentence

https://www.herald.co.zw/tapiwa-makore-killers-sentenced-to-death/

https://www.pindula.co.zw/2023/07/12/tapiwa-makores-killers-sentenced-to-death/

https://www.pindula.co.zw/2023/07/11/tapiwa-makores-killers-to-be-sentenced-today/

https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/main/tapiwa-makores-murderers-sentenced-to-death/

https://iharare.com/justice-served-tapiwa-makores-killers-sentenced-to-death-for-brutal-ritual-murder/

https://www.sundaymail.co.zw/new-tapiwa-makore-killers-get-death-sentence

https://www.herald.co.zw/tapiwa-makore-killers-sentenced-to-death/

https://www.newzimbabwe.com/heart-wrenching-scenes-at-tapiwa-makore-judgment-as-mother-calls-for-his-spirit-to-avenge/

https://www.zimeye.net/2023/07/12/breaking-tapiwa-makore-killers-sentenced-to-death/

https://www.zimeye.net/2023/07/12/tapiwa-makore-murderers-to-be-sentenced-today/

https://www.herald.co.zw/justice-has-prevailed-at-last-say-victims-parents/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz4FKrCA4WY

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: High Court to deliver ruling in the Tapiwa Makore ritual murder case on June 29

Much has already been said and written about the notorious Tapiwa Makore ritual murder case which shocked Zimbabwe in 2020 and 2021. I have extensively reported on the brutal ritual murder of the 7-year old boy, Tapiwa Makore. See for a succinct overview my postings dated October 26, 2020 and April 25, 2021.

I ceased reporting on this murder case on October 26, 2021 but promised to continue to follow this case and to come back on this place with more news once it will have become available.

In October 2022 the two accused – Tafadzwa Shamba and the late boy’s uncle and namesake Tapiwa Makore Senior – were acquitted in a surprising turn of events. The State withdrew the charges against the two for lack of incriminating evidence.

On June 29, the High Court of Zimbabwe is set to deliver judgement on Tapiwa Makore’s alleged ritual killers. Thereafter the case wil be closed. Hence, read the following report.

For the reader who is less familiar with this notorious ritual murder case I may refer to my two postings mentioned above and to the link included in the article which follows below and which can be accessed separately here as well as after the first article below.

Warning: some readers may be upset because of the graphic description of the Tapiwa Makore ritual murder and following events (webmaster FVDK).

The slain Tapiwa Makore

High Court To Deliver Ruling On Tapiwa Makore’s Alleged Killers On 29 June

Published: June 26, 2023
By: Pindula News, Zimbabwe

The High Court is set to deliver judgement on Tapiwa Makore’s suspected killers on Thursday, reported ZBC News.

Justice Munamato Mutevedzi, who presided over the trial, is expected to hand down the long-awaited judgment, bringing the matter to finality.

The prime suspect in the matter, Tafadzwa Shamba and his accomplice, the late boy’s uncle and namesake, Tapiwa Makore Senior, allegedly killed the boy in 2020 for ritual purposes.

They allegedly killed and mutilated the then seven-year-old boy to boost Tapiwa Snr’s cabbage business.

Tapiwa was a Grade One learner at Nyamutumbu Primary School and his teacher, Keresia Makamure, described him as an intelligent, obedient child whose future was bright.

The boy was sent by his parents to look after the garden on the morning of 17 September 2020.

Later that day, Tapiwa’s parents went to the garden to do some watering and found that their son was missing.

His parents and some villagers started searching for him and the search was conducted until midnight but they could not find him.

On the following day, 18 September, in the morning, a neighbour reportedly woke up and discovered his dog and its puppies feasting on human body parts in his yard.

He then informed Tapiwa’s parents and a report was made to the police. The body’s head was missing.

Several arrests people were arrested in connection with the murder, including Thanks Makore, Tapiwa’s uncle amid allegations that he was given the boy’s head and arms.

Thanks was said to be a twin brother of Tapiwa Makore Snr, and a cousin of Munyaradzi Makore, Tapiwa Makore Jnr’s father.

On 13 October 2022, Justice Mutevedzi formally acquitted Thanks Makore and another suspect Moud Hunidzarira of the murder of Tapiwa Makore Jnr at the close of the prosecution case.

Hunidzarira of Budiriro, Harare, was arrested during the weekend of 31 October and 01 November 2020 following a tip-off by the public.

It was alleged that she was in Murewa when the murder occurred and a few days later was seen by some neighbours in Harare, cleaning an item that had blood.

However, the State withdrew the charges against the two for lack of incriminating evidence.

As the charges were withdrawn after plea, the two can never be retried using any of the evidence led during their trial.

Source: High Court To Deliver Ruling On Tapiwa Makore’s Alleged Killers On 29 June

An important background document on the Tapiwa Makore ritual murder case is the following:

Tapiwa Makore was a 7-year-old boy from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa District, Mashonaland East Province who was brutally murdered on 17 September 2020 in a suspected ritual killing. He was the son of Linda Munyori and Munyaradzi Makore

He was a Grade One learner at Nyamutumbu Primary School and his teacher was Keresia Makamure who described him as an intelligent, obedient child whose future was bright.[1]

Contents

Background

Tapiwa Makore Junior was sent by his parents to look after the garden on the morning of 17 September 2020.[2]

Later that day, Tapiwa’s parents went to the garden to do some watering and found that their son was missing.

His parents and some villagers started searching for him and the search was conducted until midnight but they could not find him.

On the following day, 18 September, in the morning, a neighbour reportedly woke up and discovered his dog and its puppies feasting on human body parts in his yard.

He then informed Tapiwa’s parents and a report was made to the police. The body’s head was missing.

Arrests

Herdboy, Tafadzwa Shamba

On 24 September 2020, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) arrested Tafadzwa Shamba (40), on kidnap and murder charges in connection with Tapiwa’s disappearance and murder.[3]

Shamba, a herdboy, was alleged to have connived with two other people to kill Tapiwa, harvest his body parts, and sold them for US$1 500. ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said:

It is alleged that Tafadzwa Shamba, a herd boy in the same village as the victim, worked with the other suspects to waylay the victim in 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.

Police said they recovered the blood-stained clothes Shamba wore on the day he allegedly committed the crime.

Uncle, Tapiwa Makore

Tapiwa’s uncle and namesake, Tapiwa Makore was arrested by the police on 27 September 2020 in connection with the boy’s murder.[4]

Tapiwa Senior was alleged to have worked with Shamba and a witch doctor to murder Tapiwa Junior and harvest his body parts.

Moud Hunidzarira

Moud Hunidzarira of Budiriro, Harare, was arrested during the weekend of 31 October and 01 November 2020 following a tip-off by the public.[5]

It was alleged that Hunidzarira was in Murewa when the murder occurred and a few days later was seen by some neighbours in Harare, cleaning an item that had blood.

She initially appeared before a Murewa magistrate on 02 November 2022 and was remanded in custody.

Two Murewa Villagers

Two Murewa villagers only identified as Mai Mungandire and Mai Katsande were arrested after information gathered revealed they bought human flesh from Shamba.[6]

Another report identified the two women as Joina Tangirire, who sold beer at her homestead, and a relative, Enia Tangirire.

Beulah Makore, the family spokesperson was reported as saying the two women were picked up by the police on 01 November and they both admitted that they bought meat from the alleged killer but had no idea that it was human flesh.

The two women reportedly cooked the meat and ate and were taken to Murewa police station for further questioning and were also ordered to carry the pots that they used to cook the meat.

11-year-old Boy

An 11-year-old boy from Nyamutumbu Village was allegedly paid US$5 to lure Tapiwa from the garden to his uncle’s homestead.[7]

Tapiwa Makore (Snr) allegedly gave the boy $5 plus a T-shirt for his role and warned him against disclosing the matter to other villagers.

The boy is said to have handed over the money to his mother who kept the secret.

The mother is said to have used the money to buy chicken.

He was expected to testify as a witness in the murder trial.

Uncle, Thanks Makore

Thanks Makore (56) was arrested on 10 November 2020 in connection with the ritual murder of his nephew, Tapiwa, amid allegations that he was given the boy’s head and arms.[8]

Thanks was said to be a twin brother of Tapiwa Makore Snr, and a cousin of Munyaradzi Makore, Tapiwa Makore Jnr’s father.

Tafadzwa Shamba’s Confession

On 29 September 2020, Shamba reportedly told detectives he killed the boy by cutting off the head with a knife in the dead of the night, while the boy’s uncle, Tapiwa Senior was holding a torch.[9]

He said after the murder, he carried a black plastic bag containing the head and the dismembered body while his employer, Tapiwa Makore Senior, carried another bag containing the arms and legs.

Shamba also revealed that he kidnapped the boy, took him to his employer’s house, fed him and then drugged him with kachasu and locked him up in a room for hours.

He said around midnight, he carried the boy to a mountain in the village where they killed him.

Shamba said after killing the boy, they went down the mountain and along the way, he dumped the torso near Summer Murwira’s homestead.

He said they took the head to Makore’s homestead where they put it in one of the rooms.

The following day, Shamba said he dumped the arms and legs at a nearby grave.

Tafadzwa Shamba’s Retraction

During his court appearance, Shamba disowned the confession he had allegedly made to the police soon after his arrest.[10]

He claimed that he made indications under duress on how he killed Tapiwa, adding the police had crafted the narration to suit what they wanted.

But High Court Judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi on 10 October 2022 ruled it was clear that Shamba was not forced into giving his account of events. Ruled the judge:

He (Shamba) gave indications under the belief that the second accused wanted him to go to prison so that he could enjoy the benefits of the cabbage deals they intended to benefit from after killing the minor for rituals.

It is the court’s view that his story is preposterous, he wanted to show the court that his indications were rehearsed, but positive results came out from the confessions as it led to the recovery of the body parts. If it was rehearsed the police would not have recovered the body parts.

His explanation that he wanted to exonerate himself by incriminating the second accused does not make sense.

Thinking he was exonerating himself by confessing is stupidity in the highest order, the daftness he tried to show in court was not believable.

Tapiwa’s Burial

Tapiwa was buried on 27 March 2021, about six months after his gruesome murder. He was buried without his head after the police failed to locate it.[11]

His funeral was attended by scores of people who included politicians from ZANU PF, among them Mashonaland East Minister Apollonia Munzverengwi, Housing Minister Daniel Garwe, Chief Mangwende and Murewa senator and ZANU PF Politburo member, David Parirenyatwa.

His father, Munyaradzi, was the MDC Alliance branch chairperson in Murewa North.

Thanks Makore, Moud Hunidzarira Acquittal

On 13 October 2022, High Court judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi formally acquitted Moud Hunidzarira and Thanks Makore of the murder of Tapiwa Makore Jnr at the close of the prosecution case.[12]

The State withdrew the charges against the two for lack of incriminating evidence.

As the charges were withdrawn after plea, the two can never be retried using any of the evidence led during their trial.

However, the prime suspects, who allegedly did the actual killing, Tafadzwa Shamba and Tapiwa Makore Snr, were placed on their defence after the court found there was overwhelming evidence linking them with the murder.

Further Reading

  1.  , Kudzai Chingwe, Boy with United Methodist ties dies in ritual killing, Published 15 October 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  2.  , Victor Maphosa, JUST IN: Boy (7) murdered, body parts missing, Published 21 September 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  3.  , Herald Reporter, Herdboy arrested over Murehwa murder, Published 25 September 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  4.  , Victor Maphosa, JUST IN: Murewa murder: deceased’s uncle picked, Published 28 September 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  5.  , Crime Reporter, Murehwa murder: Woman in court, Published 03 November 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  6.  , Robert Tapfumaneyi, Murewa Villagers Arrested After Buying, Eating Flesh Of Murdered Boy, Published 03 November 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  7.  , Crime Reporter, Boy (11) implicated in Murehwa murder, Published 12 November 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  8.  Another Makore brother arrested over boy’s murderCrime Reporter, Published: 13 November 2020, Retrieved: 13 December 2022
  9.  , Daniel Nemukuyu, Murehwa boy’s killer describes grisly murder, Published 30 September 2020, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  10.  Tapiwa Makore murder trial: Judge trashes prime suspects’ defenceStaff Reporter, Published: 11 October 2022, Retrieved: 13 December 2022
  11.  , Robert Tapfumaneyi, Tapiwa Makore’s Burial Unites Zanu PF, MDC Alliance Politicians, Published 28 March 2021, Retrieved 28 November 2022
  12.  Makore murder: 2 acquitted, 2 face judgmentFidelis Munyoro, Published: 14 October 2022, Retrieved: 13 December 2022
Administrative Divisions of Zimbabwe

South Africa: Limpopo courts to hear several cases including the 2006 muti murder of Ronnie Makgatho 

‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ but: the High Court in Polokwane will continue the trial of four businessmen and a woman who are suspected of killing Ronnie Makgatho for ritual purposes in 2006.

An amazing aspect of this murder case is that there is no dead body. The body of the victim, Ronnie Makgatho, was never found. Therefor it is to be seen if this trial wil end in a guilty verdict. How can you find someone guilty of murder when there’s no dead body?

Two of the five accused share the family name of the victim, Ronnie Makgatho. It is not uncommon that relatives are involved in ritualistic murders.

The first article presented below is silent on the background of the murder and also lacks many details. However, it seems obvious that this is a case of ‘muti’ murder, a ritualistic murder, based on superstition and motivated by greed.

The second article, published by Polokwane Weekly and shared on Facebook, contains more information. Warning: Some readers may find this story disturbing because of its explicit graphic content (webmaster FVDK).

Limpopo courts to hear several cases this week

High Court in Polokwane, LimpopoImage: Twitter@SECTION27news

Published:May 28, 2023
By:  Mahlatse Phaladi – SABC News

Several high-profile criminal cases will be heard in the High Court in Polokwane and other courts in Limpopo, starting from Monday.

(….)

(….)

Ritual killing

Another trial of four businessmen and a woman arrested for allegedly killing Ronnie Makgatho in 2006 will continue in the High Court in Polokwane.

The accused, Marcus Makgatho, Joshua Hlako, Hlako Mohafe, Khumbelo Mabirimisa and co-accused Amanda Makgatho allegedly killed Makgatho for ritual purposes.

Makgatho was reported missing in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.

The remains of Makgatho were never found.

Source: Limpopo courts to hear several cases this week

More background information pertaining to this case:

EXCLUSIVE | HOW RONNY MAKGATHO WAS MURDERED

WARNING: NOT FOR SENSITIVE READERS

Published: May 12, 2022
By: Polokwane Weekly / Facebook

SESHEGO: A state witness in the murder case of Ronny Makgatho has detailed a chilling confession of the victim was killed.

The witness was testifying at the Seshego Magistrate’s Court during a bail application of the murder accused on Wednesday.

According to the witness, Marcus Makgatho traveled to Soshanguve Extension 4 where the victim was staying.

The witness says that Amanda Makgato alongside their accomplices forced the victim into the car and drove from Soshanguve to Seshego, where he was locked up in a shack.

The state witness said that Hlako and Makgato were both holding Ronnie Makgato’s hands and legs before he was brutally murdered for alleged business related rituals.

The witness has also told the court that the accused number 4 Khumbelo Mabirimisa was also present with an unknown woman.

He also told the court that the accused indicated that it was time to start with the job, before beginning with the murder process.

The witness said that Hlako said the victim should die a slow death when they were cutting him with a knife, so that they can get a lot of his blood. The witness also said that there were a bucket that was used to collect his blood.

The state witness also told the court that Ronnie Makgato’s body parts were cut by the accused.

The head was taken to Hlako’s Tarven, hands were taken to Makgato’s lodge. Other body parts were also taken to Hlako’s farm.

The court also heard that after taking the body parts of the victim to the accused’s businesses, the remaining part was buried at the same house.

The murder accused were all denied bail on Wednesday.

Source: EXCLUSIVE | HOW RONNY MAKGATHO WAS MURDERED

Also read: Muti murder confession sends police on wild goose chase
Published: April 28, 2022
By: Kamogelo Olaitan – Scrolla

Screenshot – excerpt from original article. Read the full article here

and:

‘Muthi’ killing, shallow grave, relative bust

It has emerged that Ronald Makgato, who went missing in 2006, was killed for muthi-related purpose.

Published: April 19, 2022
By: Daily Sun

THE Makgato family was left shocked when a family member and his friend were arrested on Wednesday, 13 April.

They were bust by Seshego cops in Limpopo for the kidnapping and murder of Ronald Makgato, who went missing 16 years ago.

Ronald (27) from Mamehlabe Village, Ga-Matlala disappeared in 2006 while staying in Soshanguve, Tshwane.

A witness tipped off his family and the police in 2020.

It’s believed that one of Ronald’s relatives and his friend allegedly killed the victim for muthi purposes, and they apparently buried his body in a shallow grave.

Ronald’s sister, Granny Makgato-Leboho, said it has been hard for the family not knowing their brother’s whereabouts. “When the police arrested my relative and his friend, we knew we were close to getting the truth about what happened to my brother.” 

She said the witness told them that Ronald was given a drug before he was taken to Zone 4 in Seshego, where he was murdered.

“We were told he was dismembered and his body parts were taken for muthi purposes. It’s so painful that my own relative saw it fit to kill his own for his evil intentions.”

Limpopo police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mamphaswa Seabi confirmed that two suspects, both aged 64, were bust and charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

“They briefly appeared in the Seshego Magistrates Court last Thursday, and their matter was postponed to 28 April for formal bail application while the police investigations continues. The body of Ronald has not yet been recovered,” Seabi said.

Source: ‘Muthi’ killing, shallow grave, relative bust

Zimbabwe grapples with ritual murders

Murder cases show a rising trend in Zimbabwe, according to statistics released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency. In 2018 more than 1,450 murders were reported, this number increased to more than 1,700 cases in 2019 and to nearly 3,600 cases in the two-year period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. The yearly average of 1,500-1,600 murder cases means that each month more than 100 persons are being murdered.

It is not known how many ritualistic murders (‘muti murders’) are included in this yearly average of 1,500 – 1,600 victims. Statistics only reveal part of the truth. By definition, ‘muti murders’ are murders committed in secret, and some victims (statistically recorded as ‘missing persons’) are never found. Only discovered bodies of victims with ‘parts’ (often organs) missing indicate that a murder for ritualistic purposes has been committed, but even then one has to be careful and not jump to conclusions as the perpetrator(s) may intentionally mislead the investigators by removing body parts.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the occurrence of ritual murders constitutes a problem in this Southern Africa country (as it does in neighboring countries). Recently, a debate on the persistent problem of muti murders arose after the discovery of a mutilated body in Greystone Parts, near Hatfield, in Mashonaland East and southeast of the capital Harare.

In the article presented below also reference is made to the notorious Tapiwah Makore case, referring to the seven-year old boy who was murdered for ritualistic purposes by his uncle in 2020 (see previous posts). But, as the article relates, Tapiwah Makoreh (also spelled as Tapiwa Makore) was not the only or last victim of unscrupulous murderers who are driven by greed and superstition. Unfortunately, the discovery of the dead body of Faith Musonza in Greystone Park only confirms this sad conclusion. (webmaster FVDK)

Zimbabwe grapples with ritual murders

Some people blame witch doctors for rising cases of ritual murders

Published: February 26, 2023
By: Staff reporter – The Zimbabwe Mail

IT is late afternoon in the heart of Greystone Park, some 20 kilometres from Hatfield, where the gruesome murder of Spar employee Faith Musonza is said to have occurred.

A relative’s home in Greystone Park is where her funeral is taking place.

A gentle breeze steadily blows across the yard as if everything is normal, but this is not the case.

Mourners have been stunned into silence as they struggle to come to terms with the sad news of Musonza’s untimely death.

“We are still trying to process everything; it feels like a dream,” said one of the relatives who appeared non-plussed at the funeral wake.

Musonza’s husband, Fradreck Chasara, was visibly disturbed, as he unsteadily alternated between a black leather couch and the carpeted floor.

Musonza was recently killed in Hatfield by unknown assailants as she headed to her rented house in Cranborne from work.

Her mutilated body was found dumped in a storm drain. Heinous crimes involving grisly murders have become prevalent of late. The sanctity of human life is no longer being observed.

In 2020, the nation woke up to news of the callous murder of seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore in a suspected ritual killing.

He was buried the following year, with his head still missing. The incident left many with a lot of unanswered questions.

Last year, in Nyanga, two related seven-year-olds were found dead in a disused house in the village, with their throats cut open and blood drained.

Several other murder cases have been reported across the country.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, the number of murder cases continue to rise with each passing year. At least 1 453 cases were recorded in 2018, before rising to 1 733 the following year. Between January 2020 and December 2021, 3 583 cases were recorded.

Overall, the cases averaged between 1 500 and 1 600 every year.

“A murder case is recorded every week; in some situations, even two or more, with the trend growing in all provinces,” said Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

Most of the killings, he said, are associated with infidelity, alcohol abuse and rituals. Statistics from the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) also corroborate the same trend.

“In January 2021, we had 630 people incarcerated for murder and the figure rose to 845 by October that same year.

“In January 2022, we had 817 and the figure stood at 984 by November,” said ZPCS.

Mental health issues

Psychologist and University of Johannesburg post-doctoral researcher Dr John Ringson believes most murders are caused by mental health issues.

“When one is mentally unstable, even a small argument can trigger aggression. We have had cases of people who committed murder for beer or small amounts of money. Mental health issues need to be addressed at national level,” he said.

Drugs and substance abuse, he added, were also causing mental health challenges that push people to commit crimes.

Traditionalist Mbuya Calista Magorimbo says some bogus witch doctors who encourage harvesting of body parts for rituals (kuromba) to boost business fortunes are also causing the unnecessary loss of human lives.

“Ritual killings for purposes of becoming wealthy have existed since time immemorial. However, the situation has since gone out of hand due to prevailing economic hardships,” she said.

“Some even harvest body parts for charms to make them powerful at work or to get healed from certain ailments. Women and children are often murder targets.”

She, however, argues that such rituals have never been proved to be effective.

“This is pure cultism, which yields nothing but generational curses, yet some people believe it actually works. Murder only brings trouble!” she warned.

Killings only attract avenging spirits and generational curses, according to Sekuru Peter Maponda, which he believes only serve to perpetuate a vicious circle of crime and murder. Roman Catholic priest Father Paul Mayeresa says avenging spirits exist.

“The Bible values the sanctity of life and does not allow killing under any circumstances. Some murders are due to either temporary or permanent insanity, while others are premeditated revenge,” he said.

“Avenging spirits exist and depending on the relatives of the deceased and their spirituality, some families end up forgiving the perpetrators while others prefer to let the dead fight from the grave.”

House of Refuge International Ministries founder Apostle Partson Machengete is of the opinion that “poverty has left most people desperate to get rich overnight”.

“As a result, they are forced to believe myths that ostensibly offer solutions to their problems. Witch doctors are fleecing the vulnerable and pushing them into unholy acts. They are made to believe the rituals will make them rich.”

He, however, feels some murder cases are genuine accidents and, in some instances, a result of self-defence.

Remedy

There is consensus that communities need to be sensitised on the need to observe the sanctity of human life.

“We need all stakeholders to come together and formulate programmes that educate the community on the issues and bridge existing gaps,” urges Laws of Attraction psychologist Blessed Chinyangare.

“There is a human element and a spiritual element to this issue, hence it has to be tackled from both ends.”

Headman Zvinowanda Pfumbidzai of Machera village in Hwedza said in murder cases, the funerals and burials should be different from ordinary ones.

In African tradition, he said, murder invites curses for both the victim and the perpetrator’s families, hence rituals become necessary to cleanse the parties involved.

“Traditionally, the wronged family conducts rituals — kureverera — to provoke the spirit of the deceased to go and get revenge, so, in return, the murderer should pay damages — kuripa.

“The victim’s family should be given room to indicate their price during the process. Likewise, the victim’s family should also conduct a cleansing ceremony,” he said.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring South Africa, murder cases reportedly increased by 22 percent since 2012.

Most of the killings usually occur between Friday and Sunday.

The South African Police Service has since deployed desk-based police officers to the streets, particularly in identified hotspots, while dedicated detectives track and arrest suspects wanted for violent crimes. – Sunday Mail

Source: Zimbabwe grapples with ritual murders