Zimbabwe: staggering numbers of ritual murders

Before starting to read the first article presented below, readers should prepare themselves that they’re going to read a weird story. The author recounts a number of murder cases including ritual murders (often committed in a far past, the oldest murder cited was committed nearly 60 years ago) with a dead victim fighting from the grave – hence the article’s title. You will better understand what this means once reading the article’s details.

However, in the first two paragraphs the author mentions the overall number of murder cases (reported, committed, solved, murder trials) committed in Zimbabwe in 2021, 2022 and 2023, specified by province.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency at least 40 percent of the 3600 murder cases documented in 2022 were alleged ritual killings.(italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

If true (there is no reason to disbelieve the Statistics Agency but nevertheless I wonder whether there’s a typo here and I will verify the numbers reported) this means nearly 1500 ritual murder cases in 2022 alone!

A quick calculation points out that this means a monthly average of 120 ritually murdered victims, i.e. 4 ritual murders a day. This is very high given the overall population of Zimbabwe, about 16 million people, and it contrasts sharply with another statement of the author.

The author continues: “So widespread are incidents of ritual killing that in recent times barely a fortnight passes without the Zimbabwean media reporting on the heinous act in its various ghastly shades.” (bold letter added by the webmaster FVDK).

Nevertheless it seems safe and justified to conclude that the incidence of rituals murders is high in Zimbabwe even though the reported numbers need a thorough verification.

Be that as it may, a prudent estimate results in a about 300 ‘muti’ murders on a yearly basis, hence one every day – which is still a shocking number.

Concluding, the first article throws a particular light on the phenomenon of the belief in the supernatural in this Southern Africa country. In previous posts I’ve already included some of the ritualistic murder cases mentioned in the article. Some other murder cases are new. A very recent one is the suspected ritual murder of a three-year old girl in Guruve, Mashonaland Central Province. Caroline Makubhwakwa’s mutilated body, with some of the body parts missing, was discovered on January 25 after she got missing on January 17 (see the second article below).

Warning: the articles below contains graphic details which may upset some readers.
(webmaster FVDK)

Provinces of Zimbabwe (Source: Wikipedia)

When the dead fight from the grave

Published: February 3, 2024
By: Elliot Ziwira Senior Writer – The Herald, Zimbabwe

Source: When the dead fight from the grave

Read also:

Police probe ritual murder of a 3-year old girl

Published: February 2, 2024
By: Crime Reporter – The Herald, Zimbabwe

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Source: Police probe ritual murder of a 3-year old girl

Yahoo Boys behind increased ritual killings – Plateau State Governor (2022 article)

As mentioned in my January 4 posting I estimate that no state in Nigeria is spared the evil of ritualistic killings – or ‘money rituals’ as these heinous practices are commonly referred to in Africa’s most populated country.

The article presented below very well illustrates this, even though it dates from 2022. Ritual murders are not only a ‘common crime’ in the south-southern, south-western and south-eastern part of the country – as mentioned in my January 3 posting – but are committed all over the country, hence also in the central part of the country and even the islam dominated states in the north.

Plateau State is the twelfth largest Nigerian state. With an area of 26,899 square kilometres (10,386 sq mi), the state has a population of about three million people. In the past, Plateau State has seen many deadly conflicts between predominantly Christian farmers and Muslim Fulani (Hausa) herders. The most recent violent clash occurred between December 25 and 27 2023 which left at least 200 people dead and more than 500 wounded.

As the following article emphasizes, Plateau State not only suffers from banditry, inter-ethnic violence and terrorist attacks but age-old belief in the power of ritualistic ceremonies and actives including murder also add to the state of insecurity which terrorizes the population.
(webmaster FVDK)

Yahoo Boys behind increased ritual killings – Governor Lalong (Plateau State)

Published: January 10, 2022
By: Chronicle, Nigeria

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state has revealed that the recent cases of ritual killings suspected to be carried out by “Yahoo Boys” will be dealt with by government.

He also vowed to make the state uninhabitable for criminals, kidnappers and others behind criminal activities in the state.

The governor said this at an International Church Service to mark the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Emblem Appeal Launch held at St. Finbarrs Catholic Church, Rayfield Jos.

Lalong expressed outrage over the recent cases of ritual killings in Jos as well as kidnappings which have become a source of concern to the Government and citizens.

He said, “I am deeply saddened by the activities of criminals who are trying to disrupt the peace of our State. Of much concern is the recent cases ritual killings which are suspected to be carried out by yahoo boys that security reports indicate are migrating to Plateau.

“Let me warn that we will make Plateau hot for you and ensure that the State vomits you. After so much work we have done to restore peace and security, we will not fold our arms to see criminals take over. I warn you to vacate Plateau because our people want to live in peace. You have no place here”.

Lalong also said that the State has stiff laws against kidnapping and other violent crimes which include death penalty, warning that anyone convicted by a Court of competent jurisdiction will not be spared.

While commending the sacrifices of fallen heroes and veterans who took part in the First and Second World Wars; the Nigerian Civil War; and Peace Support Operations around the globe, Lalong said there are still very many security challenges that the gallant men and women of the Armed forces are still laying down their lives to ensure address.

“Our Armed forces are today battling criminals who have challenged our national sovereignty through terrorism, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and many other nefarious activities that are aimed at destabilising our country and dividing the people,” Lalong said.

“We must therefore use this solemn moment to commend them for rising up to the occasion and making sure this does not happen. Despite the fact that the security situation in Nigeria at the moment is not what we desire it to be, we cannot afford to dampen the morale of the gallant officers and men who put their lives on the line daily to make sure that we sleep with our eyes closed.

Lalong noted that, “Without giving them their due recognition and honour, we will discourage not only them, but the younger generation from making similar sacrifices.”

In his sermon, the Parish Priest St. Finbarrs Catholic Church Rayfield and Chaplain, Government House Chapel Rev. Fr. Godfrey Gopep said while Nigerians are celebrating the sacrifices of its fallen heroes, there is need for them to give greater honour to the deceased by living in peace with one another to stopping other standing heroes from falling.

He said peace building cannot be possible without justice, forgiveness, tolerance and unity.

In their remarks, Chairman of the Nigerian Legion Plateau State, GOC 3rd Armoured Division represented by Brigadier General DD Kurmi, Gbong Gwom Jos represented by Agwom Izere HRH Rev. Isaac Wakili, CAN Chairman Plateau State represented by Pastor Elijah Akinwale all called on the people of Plateau State to embrace peace and support the Government in its efforts to restore Plateau State to its rightful place as the Home of Peace and Tourism.

They also called on government at levels to fulfill their obligations to the families of fallen heroes and pay proper attention to the welfare of the serving officers and men in order motivate them to continue to make sacrifices for the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.

Source: Yahoo Boys behind increased ritual killings – Gov Lalong

Map of Nigeria showing Plateau State among the 36 states of the Federation

Mozambique: bald man decapitated in ritual attack (2022 article) 

Though it’s not a recently reported crime which follows below, it’s worth drawing attention to the criminal superstition which motivates unscrupulous perpetrators to attack bald people. The practice of murdering bald people for ritualistic purposes is not a great exception in Mozambique and neighboring countries. See my June 24, 2018 posting, Mozambique police warn bald men after ritual attack.
Another interesting part of the crime reported below is the involvement of a man from Mali, in West Africa, about 6,000 km away from Mozambique. Apparently, superstition knows no borders.
(webmaster FVDK)

Bald man decapitated in ritual attack

Published: January 17, 2022
By: Myjoyonline.com – source: BBC

Police in Mozambique say the head of a bald man has been removed by criminals who wanted to sell it to a client from Mali.

When their customer disappeared, they left it in the central town of Muandiwa.

Some Mozambicans believe bald men’s heads contain gold.

The first reports of bald men being killed for their heads in the country were back in 2017.

The trade in body parts is relatively common in Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania where they are believed to bring fortune and luck in love.

The body parts of people with albinism are especially prized.

Source: Bald man decapitated in ritual attack

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.

Swaziland / eSwatini: Nation urged to respect human life 

Referring to my posting yesterday, focusing on King Mswati’s (prudent) condemnation of the increase in ritualistic murders in his kingdom where elections will be held later this year, I am now adding similar remarks made by Deputy National Commissioner of Police, Shadrack Simelane, during a Crime Prevention campaign held in Hlatikulu town last Wednesday. 

It is interesting to note that the Deputy National Commissioner condemned the ritual murders usually associated with the elections due to ill-conceived beliefs and practices (among other issues).
(FVDK).

Swaziland/ eSwatini – King Mswat III

Nation urged te respect human life – Deputy National Commissioner of Police Shadrack Simelane

Published: August 6, 2023
By: Swaziland Observer

Emaswati seem to have lost the sanctity and respect of human life as more lives continue to be lost through acts of violence.

These were sentiments of Deputy National Commissioner – Shadrack Simelane, during a Crime Prevention campaign held in Hlatikulu town last Wednesday. Simelane who was representing the national commissioner of police, said crimes like murder were on the rise and it is a cause for concern.

The town off Hlatikulu is located in the south of Swaziland – eSwatini

He noted that Hlatikulu was a small area and statistics of violent crimes such as murder were alarming. Statistics indicate that between January 2022 and June 2023 at least 17 cases of murder have been recorded while 18 attempted murder incidents were investigated.

Simelane said, “It should be our collective resolve to strive for tolerance and confidence in the power of dialogue whenever a dispute arises.” He cautioned against the tendency of taking the law into one’s hands as it was not a solution but, only served as a path towards self-destruction and irreparable harm. He condemned the issue of ritual murders usually associated with the elections due to ill-conceived beliefs and practices.

Disorder
The deputy national commissioner stated that crime, road carnage and social disorder problems are a threat in the country as they continue causing fear in the community. It does not only affect the quality of life among the nation, but also threatens the success and sustainability of socio-economic environment in the country.

He further stated that the police service has noted with concern an upward trend in certain crimes around Hlatikulu and surrounding areas which are posing a challenge and causing sleepless nights to the organisation.

Simelane noted that gender-based violence crimes continue to be a thorny issue as it reported with high frequency, both in urban and rural communities. He urged members of cthe public to report such criminal activity as it has severe implications on the survivors.

Between January last year and June 2023, in Hlatikulu and surrounding areas at least 82 rape cases were reported to the police. He said in such cases community and family participation is critical as the police cannot make headway without their support. He discouraged the notion of ‘tibi tendlu’ as this was a breeding ground for GBV cases.

The deputy national commissioner also expressed concern on the number of accidents that have occurred along the Yithi Abantu Highway. He stated that the number of lives lost in road accidents was worrying.

Road safety stakeholders were encouraged to join hands in finding ways that will help in the reduction and elimination of these accidents. Statistics indicate that from January 2022 to June 2023, 15 fatalities have occurred along the kaMdabula and Mehlwabovu stretch, while there were 30 serious accidents reported within the same period.

Statistics indicate that a high number of victims in these accidents are pedestrians. He said it was important that all road users be extra cautions along the problematic areas of this road. He urged all road users to show respect to one another and give each other equal opportunities on the road to avoid accidents.

“Road users are reminded to always respect rules of the road and they need to apply safety measures all times to avoid being victims of accidents” said Simelane.

The deputy national commissioner further encouraged community members to establish neighbourhood watch schemes to bring crime under control within the community. He advised all residents to practices honest-citizen habits, which involve desisting from buying/dealing in stolen property but, rather report those selling items suspected to be stolen. He said the police service continued to introduce strategies and interventions that would contribute towards the elimination of crime in the country.

“As the police service we continue to strengthen our mechanisms in a bid to clamp down on crime. This is done through, among other, interventions intensive public sensitisation through our community safety officers, who do public capacitation in communities, schools, faith-based forums including establishing and training community police.”

Simelane commended traditional leaders for the important role that they play in the fight against crime, stating that the police service was always appreciative of the relationship it has with the community. He also expressed the organization’s appreciation to all stakeholders and sponsors who supported the Hlatikulu Crime Prevention event.

Source: Nation urged to respect human life

Southern Africa

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

Namibia: Kavango’s Winter Ritual Murders

There’s not much reporting on ritual murders in Namibia, yet this ugly phenomenon also exists in this southern African country. Petrus Muronga and Puyeipawa Nakashole are to be commended for their investigative journalism leading to this revealing article about a wave of ritual murders in the upper north-eastern part of the country, in Kavango East. A striking characteristic of the more than 20 ritual murders is that they’re all committed during the winter.

In some murder cases the police have arrested some suspects but the frightened villagers want more action of the government. In the absence of effective and satisfying government action jungle justice threatens. Enough is enough. Who are the culprits? Why is government so slow in responding to this wave of ritual murders?

Warning: the following article contains graphic description of ritual murders,. Readers may be upset reading the shocking details (webmaster FVDK).

Regions of Namibia. Kavango East is situated in the north-eastern part off the country.

Winter time – ritual killing time in Kavango, Namibia

… missing body parts include lips, skin, fingers, toes, eyeballs, internal organs and private parts

RITUAL KILLING … Riaan Mukuve’s mother, Regina Mashodhi Mukuve, says she believes her son was mur- dered for ritual pur-poses as his body was found frozen with missing body parts. About 21 people have gone missing in north- eastern Namibia. Photo: James Jamu

Published: June 11, 2023
By: Petrus Muronga and Puyeipawa Nakashole

n Namibia, as winter dawns, the north-eastern part of the country is about to be shaken by shocking news.

Again.

One more body is found mutilated, much to the horror and heartbreak of the people of the Rudhiva and Shadikongoro villages in the Mukwe constituency.

The villages are situated on the south-eastern banks of the Okavango River in Kavango East.

In this part of the country, people draw their breath beneath the dark clouds of what is believed to be ritual killings. And they all seem to take place in winter.

The unsolved deaths all have one thing in common: missing body parts like lips, skin, fingers, toes, eyeballs, internal organs and private parts.

SHATTERED DREAMS

In 2021, on a trip meant to accompany his friends to the memorial service of a loved one, young Riaan Mukuve (22) did not know this would be his last.

Mukuve was found dead at Rudhiva village with his body mutilated and floating in the Okavango River, north of Divundu, in the Mukwe constituency.

As horrific as it is, Mukuve’s story was nothing new to the villagers in the area.

Regina Mukuve says this image of her son is one she will never forget.

“His lips were cut off, he had no nose, no eyeballs, no organs, and his private parts were missing,” she says.

She describes her son as an ambitious individual who dreamed of completing his studies at the University of Namibia at Rundu and becoming a teacher, like her.

The young Mukuve was a second-year student at the Rundu campus and the family’s only son.

“Something of this kind has never happened before in my family, and nobody understands the pain I am going through. Therefore I want justice to be served for my son.

“His body was frozen, and I believe that he was refrigerated before they disposed of his body in the river,” Regina says.

According to her, eight people were believed to have been the last to be in contact with Mukuve.

They were fined N$20 000 each by the Hambukushu Traditional Authority for their alleged involvement in the young man’s disappearance and death.

However, the police say they are still investigating his case.

“Until today, I have not received anything from them, and they all claim not to have a hand in his disappearance. Until today there is no closure on my son’s death,” Regina says.

MOURNING … Felix Thikundeko’s father, Basilius Thikundeko, holding his son’s trousers. He says his son loved playing soccer and cultural dance.

21 MISSING IN SIX YEARS

A year later, also in June, at the same village, another mutilated body is discovered.

This time that of Felix Thikundenko (17).

Over the past six years, close to 21 people have disappeared at Mukwe.
Some are discovered after a few days, with their bodies dismembered.
Only a few cases have been reported on by the media due to the relationship the local police allegedly has with some media outlets, as well as the constraints of bureaucracy within the police.

Investigations into some of these cases take ages to complete, leading to the family members of the dead losing hope.

A FATHER’S AGONY

Thikundenko’s mutilated body was discovered in a swamp adjacent to the Okavango River near Rudhiva.

The Diyana Combined School pupil had everyone frantic with his mysterious disappearance.

His uncle, Basilius Mbamba, discovered his body in the same area where Mukuve’s body was discovered a year ago.

Mbamba, who was also part of the search team, said the search for Thikudenko started when he did not return home.

He was allegedly last seen at a bar opposite the family’s house.

The area where his body was found was searched a day before he was discovered.

“I miss him. Whenever I see other boys in the village playing soccer, I yearn to see him, but he is gone,” says Thikudenko’s father, Basilius Thikundenko.

He says his son loved sport.

“He used to play soccer, and he was good with our cultural dance group, he even used to do athletics. My son was really talented,” Basilius says.

He was robbed of his closest son, who always used to help him with house chores, he says.

The natural beauty of Kavango East…. but villagers on the south-eastern banks of the Okavango River in Kavango East mourn the loss of their slain dear ones and live in constant fear.

‘NO FREEDOM’

Residents of Rudhiva and Shadikongoro say they live in constant fear.
They claim to have lost their freedom, fearing one of them will become the next body to be found floating in the Okavango River, butchered.
So far, two people have been arrested and charged with Thikudenko’s death, and a third suspect was recently identified.

They are Steven Dengwe (22), Kandere Kavanga (36) and Thidjukwe Muduva (32).

Dengwe and Kavanga have been charged with murder and obstructing the course of justice for allegedly dumping Thikudenko’s body in the river.
They remained in custody after their first court appearance in the Mukwe Periodic Court in July last year, and their case was postponed to 5 October this year for further police investigations.

Muduva made his first court appearance on 5 October last year and was kept in police custody pending laboratory test results.

However, in the accused latest court appearance on 8 December 2022, they were granted bail of N$6 000 each.

WITHOUT A TRACE

Cecilia Kaveto (40) says her mother left their homestead on 30 June 2022 and never returned.

Alfonsine Kamwanga (76) went missing when she went to the river.

Kaveto, a resident of Korokoko village in the Ndonga Linena constituency, says her mother sometimes leaves the house to visit her brother or to collect mangetti fruit or thatched grass.

She says the day Kamwanga left the house was the last day she saw her.

“When we traced her footprints, it looks like she went until the field towards the road leading to the river, and up to the riverbank,” Kaveto says.

At first, she says they thought her mother had fallen into the stream, but they noticed she had proceeded towards the main river, where her prints disappeared.

“We alerted the police on the same day. They only came three days later with a boat and searched the area, but they did not find anything.

“We have been asking ourselves a lot of questions. If she had been killed or snatched by a crocodile, we would have found a piece of evidence. I still don’t know what happened to my mother,” Kaveto says.

SYNDICATE

Mukwe constituency councillor Damian Maghambayi says although there is no evidence that people are being murdered in ritual killings, people are losing lives in his constituency.

He says the issue has been ongoing, especially in the vicinity of Kapako, Rudhiva and Shadikongoro. Maghambayi says more than 21 people have gone missing in mysterious circumstances.

“It is now so serious that community members wanted to take the law into their own hands,” he says.

Maghambayi says there have been several demonstrations by community members petitioning the government on the killings.

Although there are about three police stations and substations in his constituency, the councillor suggests a robust police presence in the area and the need to open up a substation at Shadikongoro.

Affected families and community members are pointing fingers at the police in the area for not doing enough to bring the culprits to book.

Some claim that police officers in the area have been bribed and that they are part of a syndicate.

Thitjo Dinyando, a community activist in the area, believes the killings are spearheaded by business owners, especially shebeen owners, who recruit people to harvest organs to boost their business.

Dinyando also pointed fingers at police officers at Rundu and those working at Mukwe.

No significant investigations are carried out to bring the culprits to book, he says. The police in the region are not keen to talk about the issue.

They say they do not believe the killings are ritual-related.

“Ritual killings at Mukwe are not a joke, and I don’t want to comment on that, because I don’t want people to panic.

“ . . . unless one has to come to us with clear information to give us evidence to follow up and link it to ritual killings,” says Kavango East crime onvestigations coordinator deputy commissioner Bonifasius Kanyetu.

*This article was produced by The Namibian’s investigative unit. Email us news tips from your secure email: investigations@namibian.com.na

Source: Kavango’s Winter Murders

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

Nigeria: Money rituals explained – Money ritual seekers’ dark walk into deceit, misery

The following article is highly recommended reading, excellent work by Victor Ayeni!

In Nigeria, nearly every day ‘money rituals’ are reported, maybe not surprising in view of the country’s large population of well over 200 million people – Africa’s largest – even though just one ritual murder is already one too much. However, on the other hand, it could well be that the cases known and reported are only the tip of an iceberg.

But what do we know about ‘money rituals’, as ritual murders are being called in this part of the African continent? Most articles reporting on these crimes, which are driven by greed – for power, prestige or wealth – and based on superstition, are superficial. It is hard to find an article which treats this phenomenon in depth and in a serious way. The Nigerian journalist Victor Ayeni has done a great job and he’s to be commended for this achievement.

The traditional history of ritualistic killings and human sacrifices point to protection of the community’s interest by sacrificing one of its members. Cruel as this might be in our eyes nowadays, in the 21st century, back then relatives of the victim may have been proud of their family member’s contribution to the community.
We see nowadays in many parts of the African continent that the ritualistic act which demands the death of the victim is for the (pretended, aimed) benefit of one person only who thus wants to increase his or her power, wealth or health. Moreover, the victim is often picked at random. Involuntary, the victim is attacked and tortured, what results is a gruesome, a wicked crime. Sometimes, specific groups are targeted, e.g. people with albinism, hunchbacks or bald people.

In some countries ambitious politicians tend to resort to these practices in the hope of increasing their political chances and success, resulting an increase in ritual murders during election campaigns. It’s a shocking reality – even though we don’t known the full scale of it.

‘Money rituals’ in Nigeria show another characteristic: some people consider it a business model, which enables them to ‘earn’ money from superstitious people who believe that by using another man’s organs or other body parts, ‘juju’ will be created, to their personal benefit.

Victor Ayeni explains well how this works in Nigeria. A very informative article which ends with the question ‘Are money rituals real or a fiction?’

The reader may answer this question for him- or herself after reading Ayeni’s valuable article.
(webmaster FVDK)

Money ritual seekers’ dark walk into deceit, misery

Published: March 18, 2023
By: Victor Ayeni, Punch – Nigeria

VICTOR AYENI explores the subject of money ritual in popular culture, religious houses, and Nollywood movies, why the purveyors of the belief succeed in deceiving youths, and its implications on the public

The apprehension in the air was so thick that one could cut through it with a knife as Olajide (surname withheld) narrated his journey through a maze of confusion.

The 27-year-old graduate was helping a friend manage a pig farm in Osogbo, Osun State, when another friend introduced him to Internet scam, which in Nigerian lingo is called Yahoo Yahoo.

But his experience shocked the wits out of him.

“I was being paid N10,000 per month at the farm, but the money couldn’t meet my needs as time went on, so a friend of mine bought me an iPhone and from there, I was introduced to Yahoo Yahoo.

“I started off on a neutral ground and I was getting little money from my clients (victims), but after like three months into it, things became so tough that I couldn’t fend for myself again. I explained my situation to a friend and he took me to an Alfa (cleric),” Olajide recalls, shaking his head in disbelief.

This Alfa was known in Yahoo boys’ circles to be adept in the art of money magic – an occult economy that involves the performance of rituals to supernaturally conjure money.

Abode of fear

When Olajide described his financial difficulties to the Alfa, he was given two options.

“Alfa said he would help me out with small osole. I asked what he meant by that and he explained that osole (spiritual assistance) is different from oso (human body parts).

“Alfa told me oso required the use of human parts for material wealth with repercussions such as untimely death or insanity, whereas osole required the use of plants and animals for the same purpose but with lesser repercussions like being poor. I opted for osole,” he added.

Olajide was instructed to pay a sum of N12,000 into the cleric’s bank account for the materials and return in four days.

Five days later, when Olajide put a call through to the Alfa, he was asked to return for the materials.

He said, “When I got there, he gave me a small black soap and told me to find small palm oil and go to a flowing river to bathe that I had to cleanse myself first before I would use the materials.

“He explained to me that the soap was made with pepper mixed with some herbs and directed me to rub the palm oil on my body first before bathing with the soap. He warned that if I didn’t use the palm oil first, I was going to disappear and I would not be seen again. So, I did as I was told.”

Olajide said he complied with all the instructions.

“When I went back to him, he gave me three different materials: a soap to bath with every morning by 4am, a potion which I must swallow daily after taking my bath, and a powdery mixture to be licked every night before I go to bed.

“He said the herbal concoction was made from animals like crow, chameleon, cat, pigeon, and some leaves. He also told me that I would experience more hardship during the first two or three months of using the ritual materials, but I should endure it because after that, the tide will turn and money will be flowing in from my clients,” he added.

The idea of recipients conjuring money through magic is a familiar theme in many Nigerian films and religious houses.

Whether through animal sacrifices or trafficking in human parts, it is erroneously believed that these rites bring stupendous wealth to those who practice them.

When our correspondent inquired from Olajide if the magic worked, and in what specific ways the money came to him, he was silent.

When he spoke, he recalled faithfully following all the instructions given to him, but for the next two months, as the cleric predicted, he experienced serious financial hardship.

At this point, he said his friend introduced him to a client (victim), who had been defrauded several times.

Olajide then began to siphon money from the victim.

The inexplicable ease with which his ‘client’ gave him money implied that he (client) had been hypnotised.

“I ended up getting plenty money from this client. The cleric had assured me of having lots of money from osole, but he advised me to return to him for an upgrade of the ritual by paying N450,000, saying I would be making millions of naira after using the alleged ‘upgraded’ soap.

“But I didn’t go back because I asked my friend who took me there about what the new upgrade entails since that was what he did, and he warned me sternly against it because of the repercussions behind it.

“He said once I bathe with the ‘upgraded’ soap the cleric would prescribe, I could only wear the clothes and shoes I had and I must not change them for the next two years,” he added.

Four months after he dabbled in osole, Olajide realised that his fortunes began to dwindle as reality pulled the plug on his gravy train.

He said, “Things suddenly turned sour after four months. The client I was getting money from was arrested and ended up in jail and I no longer had any financial link. I ended up becoming more broke than before.

“My friend found me another client but I ended up wasting money rather than gaining some. Then, I was taken to another voodoo practitioner. This one said he would perform a ritual for me but one of its conditions was that I must never have sex with more than one girlfriend for the next three years and if I did otherwise, I would run mad.

“It was then I decided to withdraw from this stuff and went back into teaching for some time. Later on, I was introduced to the crypto business that I now do.”

The poverty factor

The belief in gaining wealth through mystical practices has gained much appeal over the decades in Nigeria with the exponential rise in poverty and lack of equal economic opportunities, especially for young people.

According to the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index Survey released by the National Bureau of Statistics, 63 per cent of Nigerians, which account for 133 million citizens, are multi-dimensionally poor due to a lack of access to health, education, living standards, employment, and security.

The unemployment rate in Nigeria has not only increased constantly in the past years, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group has also projected that the country’s unemployment rate will hit 37 per cent in 2023.

However, investigations by Saturday PUNCH showed that many Nigerians fervently believe that they can make a lot of money regardless of the dire economic situations in the country through a supernatural supply of money.

Ritual killings

In Nigeria, there are various tales around wealth creation that foster the concept of one becoming rich through the manipulation of metaphysical forces in nature.

 Among the Yoruba, South-West Nigeria, there is the aworo phenomenon that is believed to draw large patronage to a trader in a marketplace.

There is also awure (wealth booster) which can be prepared as a traditional soap or concoction.

Research shows that many Nigerians plank their belief in money rituals on mostly unverified reports.

This has drawn many into desperate measures, including taking the lives of close family members and friends.

In December 2021, a suspected Internet fraudster from Edo State, identified only as Osas, allegedly murdered his girlfriend, Elohor Oniorosa, for ritual purposes.

In November 2022, another Yahoo boy, alongside his herbalist, one Ike, aka Ogenesu, was arrested after policemen recovered suspected human parts at the herbalist’s place in Obiaruku, in the Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State.

But Ogun State appeared to have the highest number of reported incidents of such killings.

For instance, the state recorded at least 15 cases of ritual killings between January 2022 and 2023.

In January, the Ogun State Police Command arrested a 36-year-old herbalist, Taiwo Ajalorun, who reportedly confessed to the gruesome killing of a 26-year-old mother of two and two others in the Ijebu Ode area of the state.

On December 28, 2022, in the Ijebu-Ode area of the state, a gang reportedly killed three women, including a girlfriend of one of them, after sleeping with her.

In February 2022, two suspected criminals who were alleged to be ritualists were set ablaze by an angry mob for being in possession of human parts in Oja-Odan in the Yewa-North Local Government Area of the state.

Also, in October 2022, two suspected Internet fraudsters allegedly killed a 40-year-old man, Abdullahi Azeez, in Owode-Egba.

But probably the most pathetic was that of some teenagers who were caught burning the head of a female, Sofia, whom they killed for money ritual in the Oke Aregba area of Abeokuta.

One of the teenagers, Soliu Majekodunmi, who was Sofia’s boyfriend, said in January 2022 that he learnt the practice through Facebook.

Majekodunmi said he typed, ‘How to make money ritual’ on Facebook and got the details, adding that the link instructed him to behead and burn a female skull in a local pot.

Shaman or sham man?

Our correspondent found many Facebook accounts and groups created for seekers of money rituals.

Most of the social media pages had photographs of new naira notes placed in African traditional pots, calabashes, and cowrie-strewn bags, and some showed animal blood splattered on the ground around them.

Posing as a school teacher, our correspondent reached out to one of the acclaimed shamans, Babatunde (surname withheld), who resided in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State.

In his response, he introduced his shrine as the ‘Arab Money Family’ and sent his phone number to our correspondent.

In a rather confident tone, Babatunde said, “If you are ready, even if it is this night, you will pay me and I will get the materials ready to start the ritual work for you. Most of my ritual work is done overnight and by tomorrow, it will be completed and your money will come out.

“You will send me your bank account, photograph, and full name, and you will be receiving money in your account. You will be receiving cash thrice every two weeks.”

When our correspondent inquired whether it is spirits that would be sending the money, he interjected in a mildly exasperated tone, “Listen, I will prepare the money here in my shrine and the money will be entering your account.”

He sent his ritual material price list and asked our correspondent to select the amount of money he wishes to receive in his bank account.

The list says, “N15,500 for N200,000; N20,000 for N300,000; N30,500 for N500,000; N50,000 for N1million; N75,000 for N5million; N90,000 for N20million; and N120,000 for N50 million.”

When our correspondent selected “N20,000 for N300,000,” he reiterated that his brand of ‘money magic’ utilises native materials instead of human blood.

“I make money without human blood and I only make use of native materials. I only make use of materials called ‘Cash of Hope’ and the ‘Money Drawer Oil.’

“Mind you, my work does not require any side effects or human being blood for sacrifice or repercussions, okay? Never say never to the high spirit.

“You don’t need to travel down for the ritual; I will just send them to you and you will get your money, but you must come down to my shrine with a token of appreciation for my work, any amount your heart chooses,” Babatunde added.

When the reporter complained about being unable to afford the cost of the ritual material, the magician urged him to find the money by any means possible and contact him when ready.

Babatunde was also observed to regularly post videos on his Facebook and WhatsApp statuses featuring ‘clients’ who claim to have acquired money through his rituals but the veracity of their claims could not be confirmed.

The second acclaimed money magician, who resides in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, goes by the Facebook name, Iya Ifa Bomi.

In this case, our correspondent posed as a greenhorn ‘Yahoo boy’ and asked her for spiritual assistance in order to obtain money from his ‘clients.’

She said, “You mean you are talking to your clients and they are not giving you money? I can perform a ritual for you and it will involve the use of big Titus fish, pepper, and some fresh leaves, but it will cost you N25,000.

“When you have the money, you can come to Ogbomoso and pick up the materials. I will prepare them for you. I have done this for many Yahoo boys like you and they all come back to testify that their clients are cooperating although some of them are ingrates. We also have some of us who do this work who are scammers and have made people not trust our works.”

Another cleric contacted by our correspondent, Alfa Abdulmumeen Aremu, advertised himself as a practitioner of “money rituals for engineers, contractors, business owners and ‘Yahoo boys.’”

He first demanded a sum of N2,000 and told our correspondent to send his full name and his mother’s name for spiritual consultation before he could recommend osole to him.

In a voice note, he explained, “There are different types of osole and I perform them for people like you, so don’t worry, I am adept in this work. Send me those things first and I will do some consultations to know your destiny in five minutes and I will revert to you.”

Our correspondent sent him a pseudonym along with the name of his late grandmother.

After some minutes, Aremu sent a voice note saying, “I can see you have a very bright destiny but you have some enemies. They are divided into two: some from your family and others from your workplace.

“You will cook ritual meals like rice and semo with tasty stew and give them to the children in your community. They will eat it with relish, and some of them will go to sleep. After you do that, you will be spiritually clean and we can proceed to the next stage.”

Divergent beliefs 

A student of Business Administration, Kazeem Akinpelu, says money rituals are real.

“If they have not been working, people will no longer be practicing them. I grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State, and I know of a market where they sell human parts at night.

“The people selling in this particular market practice voodoo and they are patronised by those who perform money rituals. There was also one time the body parts of a lynched motorcyclist here in Ibadan were used by ritualists,” he added.

However, a civil servant, Nnamdi Okeke, dismissed money rituals as a fantasy that existed only in the realm of make-believe.

“Well, I have not come across any money rituals and I haven’t thought of doing such either. I don’t believe there is anything like ‘blood money.’

“Someone can watch a film and tell you the story, but no cult will tell you what to bring if you have not passed through their ranks, and that is if such things exist, because I don’t believe in them. The question is, the person who wants to make you rich, why is he poor and even why are their  children not rich?” he asked.

Similarly, a medical scientist, Mike Okechukwu, said the whole concept of ritual killing boiled down to superstition.

“People would believe what they want to believe to obtain money. Desperate people will employ desperate measures. For me though, I don’t think ritual killings are effective; I have not seen any proof to make me believe so. It all boils down to superstition,” he stated.

But a sales representative, who gave her name as Judith for security reasons, said she once dated a man whom she believed was involved in such rituals.

She said, “I was dating this Yahoo-Yahoo guy and one day, I visited him unannounced and found that he didn’t want me to go inside his room. He was just acting weird that day.

“But while I stood at the door, he didn’t know I saw a native pot placed on the floor. From that day on, I began to suspect him and that was what made me leave him eventually because I don’t want anybody to use me for money rituals.”

Money ritual mirage

Commenting on popular beliefs about money rituals, a Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the Lagos State University, Danoye Oguntola-Laguda, said herbalists appeal to Internet scammers for pecuniary gain.

He said, “My experience is that there is nothing called money rituals. What many people mistake for money rituals is the prayer for getting rich. That could definitely involve some sacrifices of animals or birds or cooking for the whole community (saara) which brings the blessing of feeding multitudes and people may not be able to determine how you become rich.

“I don’t want to say that those who believe in osole or perform oso are wrong because there are a lot of myths that point in that direction, but if you ask many of them to tell you or show you the real thing, you will see that they have nothing to show.

“I want to say that most of these traditionalists do not even know that those who consult them are ‘Yahoo boys.’ They just see them as people seeking a way to be rich and they do a ritual, pray for them and tell them to go and kill one goat. The babalawos are also human beings who have families to feed so when they see a victim with such a proposal, they grab it with both hands.”

Oguntola-Laguda also explained the difference between religious practice and occultism.

“Religion is experiential; it is about your experience. If I tell you that prayer doesn’t work, it’s because I tried it and it didn’t work and if I tell you that it works, it’s because I tried it and it worked for me.

“There is a need to separate occultism from religious practices. Occultism is the appropriation of spiritual agents, who in most cases are negative, and it’s not limited to African traditional religion; it is something that cuts across the board.

“Many religious people appropriate these negative spiritual agents for these money rituals and power to be able to do things that are extraordinary, like the power to be able to tell the sun to go down or to tell the rain to stop.

“So, it is occult people that will tell you that they will make you rich and invite a spiritual agent to do that for you but they always come with a price and that is what many people have come to call oso or osole.

“In the past, in Yoruba traditional society, the wizard who is called oso doesn’t mean he is rich but has power appropriated through spiritual agents that he deploys for good or evil of society,” he added.

Nollywood magical realism

The scenarios of materially wealthy people enmeshed in sinister rituals and pacts with spirits, is a recurring theme in Nollywood plots.

Findings by Saturday PUNCH revealed that whether in the predominantly Muslim North or the largely Christian South, many religious Nigerians believe in the reality of an unseen world, and the fictive representations from Nollywood plots have heavily shaped their perceptions of reality.

A Nollywood screenwriter, Mr Abiola Omolokun, argued that the depictions of money rituals in films are a true representation of Yoruba culture.

He said, “First, I don’t write such stories, but they are true representations of reality. Money rituals are real and are reflected in our cultural beliefs; they are not fiction.

“We tell a story just to teach morals and make people see things differently. Our stories make them know that for every action, there are consequences.

“Through our movies, we teach that patience is a virtue that youths need to walk on the right path, and in due time, with hard work and perseverance, everything will lead to success.”

However, a researcher in African Studies, Akin Faleye, contended that such stories lack historical precedent and are fraudulent.

“As a student of global history, I will say that there is no evidence that the Yoruba practised money rituals in the pre-colonial time. All these stories of money rituals are fraudulent and emanated from psychopaths rather than people with some actual spiritual knowledge of how to make money,” he stated.

Money rituals in other cultures

In some other cultures, what could be termed as money rituals are often symbolic acts or dramas that appeal to psychological and cosmic powers through an application of symbolic structures.

In Ireland, there is a tradition of taking a piece of straw from the nativity scene/crib in the church at Christmas and keeping it in your purse or wallet, which is believed to bring financial prosperity throughout the year.

An Indian author, Suresh Padmanabhan, in his work, I Love Money, devoted a chapter to ‘Money rituals’ and wrote, “Take a currency note in your hand and wish it ‘Good morning.’ “Express gratitude to your wallet, accounts book, cash box, bank passbook, or any other tools connected directly to money. Smile at yourself in the mirror and pat yourself when you perform a task well.”

Some practitioners in western traditions also perform what they define as money spells/rites, which involve the invocation of spirits and archangels, drawing ritual circles, erecting a temple and an altar, and presenting offerings to ancient deities.

However, these rituals are often believed and practiced by religious groups on the fringes and are based on cultural paradigms that only allow clearly defined routes of financial access through hard work, lucrative business, and clever exploitation of market gaps.

Lamenting the lack of profitable skills available to Nigerian youths, a United Kingdom-based personal development coach, Mr Toyyib Adelodun, highlighted the need for popular magical ideas about money to be refuted.

“Nigerian youths need to understand that money is a unit of account to measure, therefore the more value you produce for the community, the richer you are supposed to be. So, the first thing a young person should seek is education and skills to earn money.

“Money is always circulating in an economy. It is the Central Bank of Nigeria that prints money, it doesn’t come from anywhere else. We saw a practical example of this recently when the CBN embarked on the naira redesign and there wasn’t enough money in circulation. So, there is no magic that is going to bring money from anywhere unless you offer your skills as a person of value.

“I have been to several countries in the world and I can see that money only comes from value creation. Unfortunately, Nigerian youths are not equipped with the relevant skills; we just go to religious houses to pray and sit back at home and don’t market skills or deliver an excellent service in order to generate wealth. We don’t have to resort to crimes,” he said.

Clerics urge re-orientation

A Senior Pastor at Christ Life Church, Ibadan, Prof. Wale Coker, told Saturday PUNCH the youth need a re-orientation that would see them embrace a new value system other than the present mad rush to become wealthy overnight.

“The scriptures state that ‘wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he that gathers by labour shall increase’. Youths should be encouraged to walk in the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom,” he added.

The National Missioner of the Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Shiekh, Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, stated, “All those who claim to be Muslims and Alfas that are involved in money rituals know within their hearts that they are doing something wrong and deceiving people.

“The reality is that there is no money ritual. It is not only against the letter and spirit of the laws of Islam but also against human conscience. Islam recognises only three sources of legitimate wealth: direct labour or hard work, inheritance, and a legitimate gift and this doesn’t mean a Greek gift or bribe or something induced.”

On her part, a traditionalist, Omitonade Ifawemimo, said, “There is no shortcut in Isese (traditional spirituality). If you don’t work, you won’t be wealthy. Nollywood and the fantasy it creates bears responsibility for the concept of money rituals.

“Human sacrifice for money rituals does not exist in Isese. It is fake, madness, and a scam! It’s tragic that Yoruba movies have messed up people’s thinking into believing all these lies.”

Source: Money ritual seekers’ dark walk into deceit, misery

Uganda: Family piles pressure on police to recover head of suspected ritual victim

Another suspected ritual murder in Uganda. This time an eight-year old boy was killed apparently for ritual proposes. The boy, Yasin Sserunga, who was a pupil at Destiny Primary School, was found dead with head and toes missing.

A suspect was arrested but his arrest won’t bring back the boy to his parents who are unable to recover from their grief at their son’s death. They pay the price for someone’s belief in witchcraft and superstition.
(webmaster FVDK).

Family piles pressure on police to recover head of suspected ritual victim

Yasin Sserunga, a pupil at Destiny Primary School went missing from his parent’s home at Kisule Butanza village, Katikamu Sub County in Luwero district on January 7th.

Sylvia Namutebi aka Maama Fiina condoling with Nabatanzi the mother of slain Yasin Sserunga.

Published: March 3, 2023
By: Mazima – Uganda (thanks to URN)

A family in Luwero District has asked the Police to find the head of an eight-year-old boy who was killed in a suspected ritual murder.

Yasin Sserunga, a pupil at Destiny Primary School went missing from his parent’s home at Kisule Butanza village, Katikamu Sub County in Luwero district on January 7th.

Sserunga was found dead the next day with his head and toes missing. Sserunga’s torso was buried at Kasanga village in Nakasongola District but to date, the Police are yet to recover the head and other parts.

Yasin Sserunga, the father of the deceased says that two weeks ago, residents arrested a key suspect Robert Mawanda, a neighbor, and handed him to Police but investigations have dragged on.

Sserunga says the family is still in pain for burying their child without some body parts. He also fears that the police may release the key suspect because they have detained him for two weeks without appearing in court, which is contrary to the mandatory 48 hours.

Abubaker Sande Ssebwoya, the uncle to the deceased says that the suspect was linked to the murder after residents and relatives found him at the scene of the crime at around 2 am when they were searching for Sserunga.

Ssebwoya adds that the Police also obtained phone printouts that linked the suspect to the scene and other people have recorded statements on the matter.

The child’s family abandoned their home after the murder and are staying with relatives.

Patrick Lule, the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson has asked the family to remain calm because the police are determined to ensure they get justice and recover the missing body parts.

Lule says that Police detained Mawanda but he has denied participation in the ritual murder and knowledge about the whereabouts of the missing body parts.

Lule, however, notes that the Police are pursuing scientific investigations to link him to the murder and his file has been sent to the State Attorney to sanction charges against him. 

According to the Police report, 58 people were murdered in 2022 in Luwero and the district ranked eighth in the country with the highest number of homicide cases. 

Source: Family piles pressure on police to recover head of suspected ritual victim