On October 10 general and presidential elections will be held in Liberia. At least 20 candidates are vying for the presidency. The opposition is determined to make incumbent president George Weah, a famous soccer star turned politician, a one-term-president. The ruling CDC wants to stay in power. After all, elections in Liberia – and elsewhere on the African continent – is all about access to resources, ideologies and political vision hardly play any role.
Elections and ritualistic murders often go hand in hand in Liberia (also elsewhere on the continent). Reportedly there was a surge in ritual killings in this West African country in recent years. Recently, people in Montserrado County, the seat of the government and the country’s capital Monrovia, told President Weah that no ritual, human sacrifice or money can prevent his loss and that of the ruling CDC in the ensuing elections.
Of course, such a public outcry is no proof or indication of any real or suspected involvement of an ambitious politician, named or unnamed, or of the ruling coalition or the fragmented opposition in criminal acts such as ritual murders. However, the hidden message is noteworthy.
That’s why I consider it worthwhile to include it here. (webmaster FVDK)
No ritual & money can help CDC
Published: August 26, 2023 By: Lincoln G. Peters – The New Dawn, Liberia
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 Montsrrado County.
They were responding to President Weah’s urge for his supporters to consider the tragic motor accident that killed some of his supporters last week and then give him a resounding one-round victory this October.
But some Liberians in Montserrado have criticized Mr. Weah’s statement, describing it as completely heartless and worthless.
” We listen to the President telling his supporters to not allow the death of the Daughters of Weah to go in vain. President Weah urged them to use the death for a resounding one-round victory for him and CDC,” the citizens said.
“We are aware that he used the death of those people to remain in power. But let them be informed that it will not work because God is not sleeping,” they noted.
On Wednesday, 23 August 2023, President Weah and his party held a program to mourn the death of some members of the Daughters of Weah who were involved in an accident while en route to Gbarnga, Bong County for a political campaign.
During the mourning, President Weah urged supporters of the CDC not to allow the death of their partisans to go in vain.
Mr. Weah urged CDCians to ensure that the deaths of the Daughters of Weah be repaid with a resounding one-round victory.
“I want to urge every one of you here today, don’t allow the blood and death of those that died in the accident go in vain,” said Mr. Weah.
“We [want] you to ensure that this be repaid with a resounding one-round victory. We have to make sure that we pay for the death of those that died by giving me, CDC one-round victory, ” President Weah stated.
In response Thursday, 24 August 2023, one of those interviewed, Mr. Jeremiah Doe, a resident of Logan Town Community, said President Weah is daydreaming.
Mr. Doe said Liberians have resolved to democratically remove President Weah, claiming that no amount of human sacrifice, rituals, and money spent by President Weah and the entire CDC can help them to remain in power.
” We are aware that President Weah and the CDC sacrificed those girls. But what I want to say is that President Weah is daydreaming because he can never be elected again,” Mr. Doe alleged.
“This President has failed us and the only way to prevent this is to stop him from being re-elected,” he noted.
Although not the main focus of this website I find it useful and necessary to draw attention to this phenomenon which is based on superstition, violates human rights and creates many innocent victims – not only elderly women and men but also children, just like ritual murders.
I wish to commend Charlotte Müller and Sertan Sanderson of DW (Deutsche Welle) – see below – for an excellent article on this topic. It’s an impressive account of what happens to people accused of witchcraft and victims sof superstition. (FVDK)
World Day Against Witch Hunts: People With Dementia Are Not Witches
Published: August 4, 2023 By: The Ghana Report
August 10 has been designated World Day against Witch Hunts. The Advocacy for Alleged Witches welcomes this development and urges countries to mark this important day, and try to highlight past and contemporary sufferings and abuses of alleged witches in different parts of the globe.
Witchcraft belief is a silent killer of persons. Witchcraft accusation is a form of death sentence in many places. People suspected of witchcraft, especially women and children, are banished, persecuted, and murdered in over 40 countries across the globe. Unfortunately, this tragic incident has not been given the attention it deserves.
Considered a thing of the past in Western countries, this vicious phenomenon has been minimized. Witch persecution is not treated with urgency. It is not considered a global priority. Meanwhile, witch hunting rages across Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
The misconceptions that characterized witch hunting in early modern Europe have not disappeared. Witchcraft imaginaries and other superstitions still grip the minds of people with force and ferocity. Reinforced by traditional, Christian, Islamic, and Hindu religious dogmas, occult fears and anxieties are widespread.
Many people make sense of death, illness, and other misfortunes using the narratives of witchcraft and malevolent magic. Witch hunters operate with impunity in many countries, including nations with criminal provisions against witchcraft accusations and jungle justice.
Some of the people who are often accused and targeted as witches are elderly persons, especially those with dementia.
To help draw attention to this problem, the Advocacy for Alleged Witches has chosen to focus on dementia for this year’s World Day against Witch Hunts. People with dementia experience memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion.
Their thinking and problem-solving abilities are impaired. Unfortunately, these health issues are misunderstood and misinterpreted. Hence, some people treat those with dementia with fear, not respect. They spiritualize these health conditions, and associate them with witchcraft and demons.
There have been instances where people with dementia left their homes or care centers, and were unable to return or recall their home addresses. People claimed that they were returning from witchcraft meetings; that they crash landed on their way to their occult gatherings while flying over churches or electric poles.
Imagine that! People forge absurd and incomprehensible narratives to justify the abuse of people with dementia. Sometimes, people claim that those suffering dementia turn into cats, birds, or dogs. As a result of these misconceptions, people maltreat persons with dementia without mercy; they attack, beat, and lynch them. Family members abandon them and make them suffer painful and miserable deaths. AfAW urges the public to stop these abuses, and treat people with dementia with care and compassion.
Published: August 10, 2023 By: Charlotte Müller | Sertan Sanderson – DW
Witch hunts are far from being a thing of the past — even in the 21st century. In many countries, this is still a sad reality for many women today. That is why August 10 has been declared a World Day against Witch Hunts.
Akua Denteh was beaten to death in Ghana’s East Gonja District last month — after being accused of being a witch. The murder of the 90-year-old has once more highlighted the deep-seated prejudices against women accused of practicing witchcraft in Ghana, many of whom are elderly.
An arrest was made in early August, but the issue continues to draw attention after authorities were accused of dragging their heels in the case. Human rights and gender activists now demand to see change in culture in a country where supernatural beliefs play a big role.
But the case of Akua Denteh is far from an isolated instance in Ghana, or indeed the world at large. In many countries of the world, women are still accused of practicing witchcraft each year. They are persecuted and even killed in organized witch hunts — especially in Africa but also in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
Witch hunts: a contemporary issue
Those accused of witchcraft have now found a perhaps unlikely charity ally in their fight for justice: the Catholic missionary society missio, which is part of the global Pontifical Mission Societies under the jurisdiction of the Pope, has declared August 10 as World Day against Witch Hunts, saying that in at least 36 nations around the world, people continue to be persecuted as witches.
While the Catholic Church encouraged witch hunts in Europe from the 15th to the 18th century, it is now trying to shed light into this dark practice. Part of this might be a sense of historical obligation — but the real driving force is the number of victims that witch hunts still cost today.
Historian Wolfgang Behringer, who works as a professor specializing in the early modern age at Saarland University, firmly believes in putting the numbers in perspective. He told DW that during these three centuries, between 50,000 and 60,000 people are assumed to have been killed for so-called crimes of witchcraft — a tally that is close to being twice the population of some major German cities at the time.
But he says that in the 20th century alone, more people accused of witchcraft were brutally murdered than during the three centuries when witch hunts were practiced in Europe: “Between 1960 and 2000, about 40,000 people alleged of practicing witchcraft were murdered in Tanzania alone. While there are no laws against witchcraft as such in Tanzanian law, village tribunals often decide that certain individuals should be killed,” Behringer told DW.
The historian insists that due to the collective decision-making behind these tribunals, such murders are far from being arbitrary and isolated cases: “I’ve therefore concluded that witch hunts are not a historic problem but a burning issue that still exists in the present.”
A pan-African problem?
In Tanzania, the victims of these witch hunts are often people with albinism; some people believe that the body parts of these individuals can be used to extract potions against all sorts of ailments. Similar practices are known to take place in Zambia and elsewhere on the continent.
Meanwhile in Ghana, where nonagenarian Akua Denteh was bludgeoned to death last month, certain communities blamed the birth of children with disabilities on practices of witchcraft.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is usually the younger generations who are associated witchcraft. So-called “children of witchcraft” are usually rejected by their families and left to fend for themselves. However, their so-called crimes often have little to do with sorcery at all:
“We have learned of numerous cases of children suffering rape and then no longer being accepted by their families. Or they are born as illegitimate children out of wedlock, and are forced to live with a parent who no longer accepts them,” says Thérèse Mema Mapenzi, who works as a mission project partner in the eastern DRC city of Bukayu.
‘Children of witchcraft’ in the DRC
Mapenzi’s facility was initially intended to be a women’s shelter to harbor women who suffered rape at the hands of the militia in the eastern parts of the country, where rape is used as a weapon of war as part of the civil conflict there. But over the years, more and more children started seeking her help after they were rejected as “children of witchcraft.”
With assistance from the Catholic missionary society missio, Mapenzi is now also supporting these underage individuals in coping with their many traumas while trying to find orphanages and schools for them.
“When these children come here, they have often been beaten to a pulp, have been branded as witches or have suffered other injuries. It is painful to just even look at them. We are always shocked to see these children devoid of any protection. How can this be?” Mapenzi wonders.
Seeking dialogue to end witch hunts
But there is a whole social infrastructure fueling this hatred against these young people in the DRC: Many charismatic churches blame diseases such as HIV/AIDS or female infertility on witchcraft, with illegitimate children serving as scapegoats for problems that cannot be easily solved in one of the poorest countries on earth. Other reasons cited include sudden deaths, crop failures, greed, jealousy and more.
Thérèse Mema Mapenzi says that trying to help those on the receiving end of this ire is a difficult task, especially in the absence of legal protection: “In Congolese law, witchcraft is not recognized as a violation of the law because there is no evidence you can produce. Unfortunately, the people have therefore developed their own legal practices to seek retribution and punish those whom call them witches.”
In addition to helping those escaping persecution, Mapenzi also seeks dialogue with communities to stop prejudice against those accused of witchcraft and sorcery. She wants to bring estranged families torn apart by witch hunts back together. Acting as a mediator, she talks to people, and from time to time succeeds in reuniting relatives with women and children who had been ostracized and shamed. Mapenzi says that such efforts — when they succeed — take an average of two to three years from beginning to finish.
But even with a residual risk of the victims being suspected of witchcraft again, she says her endeavors are worth the risk. She says that the fact that August 10 has been recognized as the World Day against Witch Hunts sends a signal that her work is important — and needed.
Hunting the hunters — a dangerous undertaking
For Thérèse Mema Mapenzi, the World Day against Witch Hunts marks another milestone in her uphill battle in the DRC. Jörg Nowak, spokesman for missio, agrees and hopes that there will now be growing awareness about this issue around the globe.
As part of his work, Nowak has visited several missio project partners fighting to help bring an end to witch hunts in recent years. But he wasn’t aware about the magnitude of the problem himself until 2017.
The first case he dealt with was the killing of women accused of being witches in Papua New Guinea in the 2010s — which eventually resulted in his publishing a paper on the crisis situation in the country and becoming missio’s dedicated expert on witch hunts.
But much of Nowak’s extensive research in Papua New Guinea remains largely under wraps for the time being, at least in the country itself: the evidence he accrued against some of the perpetrators there could risk the lives of missio partners working for him.
Not much has changed for centuries, apart from the localities involved when it comes to the occult belief in witchcraft, says Nowak while stressing: “There is no such thing as witchcraft. But there are accusations and stigmatization designed to demonize people; indeed designed to discredit them in order for others to gain selfish advantages.”
Maxwell Suuk and Isaac Kaledzi contributed to this article.
In Nigeria, the number of ritual killings, ritual murders, ‘money rituals’, cannot be counted. Occasionally I report on these widespread crimes in Africa’s most populated country, but it would be a daily job to (try to) cover all of them – though I doubt if this would ever be possible, also in light of the fact that presumably not all ritualistic murders are discovered.
Often, so-called Yahoo-boys are involved in these ritual practices which are nothing less than ordinary violent crimes committed by ruthless, greedy people who butcher innocent people – men, women, children – whose organs are being sold to superstitious people.
It is to be expected that in a country of over 200 million people many crimes are committed including crimes for ritualistic purposes. In Nigeria, the crime of ritual murder is so persistent and widespread that one wonders if there are other reasons than superstition, greed, and the country’s vast population which explain this ugly crime.
In Nigeria there’s a general lack of security which goes hand in hand with the lack of rule of law. Bandits, Boko Haram rebels, terrorists, ritualists, political activists, the Nigerian government is confronted with multiple agressors. Nigeria’s recently installed president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, faces many challenges of which the eradication of ritual murders in the country is just one.
The focus on Yorubaland in the article presented below is by no means meant to suggest that the problem of ritualistic killings elsewhere in Nigeria is less serious.
PS The reproduction of articles here and elsewhere on this site does not imply that the webmaster agrees with the contents of the articles published. (FVDK)
Unprecedented spate of ritual killings in Yorubaland and the absence of elders
Published: August 12, 2023 By: Dr. Tayo Douglas – The Nation, Nigeria
One of the epigrams often cited in Yorubaland whenever the household or the whole community is thrown into orgy and disarray is namely this;
“Agbà kó sí ní ìlú, ìlú bàjé, baãlé ilé kú tán ilé di ahoro.” Loosely taken, it means; “the absence or death of the elders turns the household into an empty shell.”
In recent times, never has Yoruba land witnessed the flurry and plague of mindless and imbecilic killing of human beings for ritual purposes. It is now a daily occurrence and it appears there won’t be an end to it. The question which all right-thinking men and women of Yorubaland should be asking themselves is; where are their morals and where have they got it wrong?
It seems these elders are yet to come to terms with the fact that they now have big problems on their hands. At the moment, it would appear that politics and how to get rich quickly through any means are now the major preoccupation of an average Yoruba man. Nobody cares any longer about morals or the good names of each family. Orientation or good upbringing in each household or family setup is already lost to vulgar and questionable lifestyles among the Yoruba youths.
If a fool would reason at all, he would be quick to point out to you that the fallout is a result of poverty or hardship in the country. A fool has reasoned indeed! The Yoruba saying of old is very much replete here and that is, “ohun tí otí bá nínú òmùtí ni òmùtí fi se ìwà wù,” That is, let no criminal plead that he committed the crime because he is drunk. After all, lawyers always tell us that an act is considered blameworthy because an accused mind is equally guilty (actus reus reum nisi mens sit rea). In essence, a murderer has gone to kill a human being for ritual purposes of getting rich quickly and not because there is hunger, poverty, and hardship in the country.
In the days of old, our parents always drummed it to our ears to remember the children of whom we were – (Rántí omo eni ti ìwo n’se), I doubt if these youths on killing spree today have houses again let alone keeping the names of the owners.
Before it is too late, a time is coming (and that is if it hasn’t come already) when whatever is left remaining of Yorubaland ethos and dignity would soon be thrown to the dogs and the winds if care is not taken. These boys’ excesses, I mean the ritualists, yahoo boys, and whatever other evil names they are called, have to be curtailed at all costs. That time is now. Instead of the Afenifere warlords turning themselves to Peter Obi or any other politicians, campaign managers, and spin doctors, they should come back home and address the real problem that is turning their lands into graveyards and other abominable monuments.
It’s quite unfortunate that these so-called elders have left leprosy untreated but keep running after ringworm. Overnight, Tinubu became their major headache. His election as president of the country was then and up till now an “abomination” that must be prevented. It is better in the sight of these Yoruba elders if ‘yahoo plus’ and other ritualists continue their nefarious activities in Yorubaland but Tinubu must not be president. “Over” their “dead bodies” are their slogans. SMH.
Never in the history of the Yoruba race have we ever witnessed the unprecedented carnage, a gory obscenity and orgy of ritual seppuku, and disembowelment of human beings for money purposes. It is highly unfortunate.
• Dr. Douglas, Ph.D. is a lawyer and social commentator, sent this piece from Lagos.
Residents of Wassa Nkyirifi, a farming community in the Western Region woke up on Friday morning to the horror of a suspected murder of a seven-year-old girl by her uncle for money ritual purpose.
After allegedly killing and burying the body in a nearby bush, the suspect, identified only as Augustine, a 37-year-old farmer reported to the police that his niece had gone missing.
The 7-year-old victim has been identified as Sandy Manu.
The suspect then went further to make public announcements on radio asking for help to locate his niece.
The police in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipal area however, suspected foul play because of Augustine’s responses to the questions and why he was desperately concerned about the missing young girl.
Augustine’s body language, his responses and his eventual exhibition that he was terrified according to a police source, prompted an intense interrogation by the police during which he burst into tears.
According to the police source, he then confessed that he had killed the niece for money ritual so he could evade poverty.
He is said to have told the police that, he complained about poverty to one elderly man in the Wassa Nkyirifi community and the elderly man told him to use one of his many nieces for money rituals.
Upon meditation, he went to see a spiritualist the next day to help him go through the process of money rituals.
The suspect said the spiritualist then told him to bring human head – that is the head of one of his nieces.
From there, he went in for Sandy and killed her.
After killing and beheading her, he buried the headless body and concealed the head for the process.
He then led the police to the nearby bush where the headless body was buried and the body was exhumed.
The head was also retrieved from another location.
The body has since been deposited at the morgue and the suspect is currently in police custody.
A video from the scene where the body was exhumed has been shared on social media by some of the community members.
Man allegedly kills 7-year-old niece for money rituals
Published: August 5 2023 By: Myjoyonline, Ghana
Residents of Wassa Nkyirifi, a farming community in the Western Region, woke up on Friday morning to the horror of a suspected murder of a seven-year-old girl by her uncle.
After allegedly killing and burying the body in a nearby bush, the suspect, identified only as Augustine, a 37-year-old farmer reported to the police that his niece had gone missing.
The suspect then went further to make public announcements on the radio asking for help to locate his niece.
The police in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipal area, however, suspected foul play because of Augustine’s responses to their questions and how he was desperately concerned about the missing young girl.
Augustine’s body language, his responses and his eventual exhibition that he was terrified according to a police source, prompted an intense interrogation during which he burst into tears.
According to the police source, he then confessed that he had killed the niece for money ritual so he could evade poverty.
The seven-year-old victim has been identified as Sandy Manu.
The suspect is said to have told the police that, he complained about poverty to one elderly man in the Wassa Nkyirifi community. The elderly man advised him to use one of his many nieces for money rituals.
Upon meditation, he allegedly went to see a spiritualist the next day to help him go through the process of money rituals.
The suspect said the spiritualist then told him to bring a human head. From there, he went in for Sandy and murdered her.
After killing and beheading her, he reportedly buried the headless body and concealed the head in the process.
The suspect then led the police to the nearby bush where the headless body was buried and the body was exhumed.
The head was also retrieved from another location. The body has since been deposited at the morgue and the suspect is currently in police custody.
Meanwhile, a video from the scene where the body was exhumed has been shared on social media by some of the community members.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
Msombuluko Mantimakhulu and two teenagers who are allegedly his cousins were arrested by police and soldiers and accused of involvement in the disappearance of Mantimakhulu’s sster-in-law. Relatives accused Mantimakhulu of ritually murdering his sister-in-law, using her body parts for ‘muti’ purposes. It’s election time in Swaziland, hence people fear ‘muti murders’ by ambitious politicians who sometimes hire other people to do the dirty work.
After all, recently, “(…) his Majesty the King (…)warned against ritual killings. He said now that it was elections time, there were people who believed that if they used human body parts, they would be successful. The King warned that such should stop and gave an example that it appeared the people who performed rituals sometimes targeted people with albinism people. He said the ritual killers believed that a person who had albinism would bring luck. His Majesty then said this was not true and that such should not be practiced.”
Msombuluko Mantimakhulu and the two teenagers were heavily beaten and tortured. The soldiers tried to extract a confession. It all happened last month. It’s a frightening story about the abuse of power by law enforcement officiers. It turned out later, that Mantimakhulu’s sister-in-law was alive and had gone to stay with her relatives.
It is not known what happened to those who were responsible for torturing Msombuluko Mantimakhulu and the two teenagers. The rule of law in the kingdom of King Mswati III leaves a lot to be desired…. (FVDK)
Swaziland / Eswatini: Soldiers torture man accused of ritual murder
Published: August 5, 2023 By: Joseph Zulu – Times of Swaziland
MAFUCULA – When his sister-in-law vanished, Msombuluko Mantimakhulu had no idea that her disappearance would leave him with injuries all over his body.
Mantimakhulu, who works in South Africa (SA), had returned to his home area around Mafucula, but it is alleged that his sister-in-law then disappeared. It was gathered that her in-laws did not know where she had gone, but feared that she had been murdered. He said some of the relatives were of the view that because it was general elections time, maybe she had been kidnapped and then killed for ritual purposes. They allegedly accused him of killing his sister-in-law for body parts. Mantimakhulu said some of the family members were of the view that he was involved in her disappearance. He said he did not have a reason to kill his sister-in-law, because they were close and that he sometimes even gave her some money.
According to Mantimakhulu, trouble started when the matter was first reported to the local community police that a woman was missing. He said when the community police were called, they picked up two teenagers who are said to be Mantimakhulu’s cousins. Mantimakhulu alleged the community police members assaulted the two teenagers, so as to force a confession from them. He alleged they beat the children then also handcuffed them to keep them from running away. “It is not right to handcuff children,” he said. The children are alleged to have been tortured for over an hour, demanding that they reveal who killed the woman.
When Mantimakhulu was asked why the teenagers were accused of killing the woman, he said he did not understand why but that he was the target. He said they wanted to force the children to confess that he was the one who had killed his sister-in-law. He said as if the assault was not enough, the men allegedly took the children to a nearby pond where they were assaulted. Mantimakhulu said the community police members then allegedly dipped the children’s into the pond and threatened that they would drown them.
Mantimakhulu alleged that the children’s heads were held under the water and threatened that they would be drowned if they did not reveal who killed the woman who was missing. He purported that after realising that they were not getting any answers from the children being assaulted, the police from Tshaneni Police Post were called in. He said police officers also arrived to investigate the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom at the time, it was alleged she had been murdered.
He alleged that after he was suspected of having killed his sister- in-law, the matter was then reported to the police. Mantimakhulu said police officers from Tshaneni were called, and that they went to interview him over the allegedly missing woman. However, unlike the community police members, the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) officers are said to have refused to arrest Mantimakhulu and then left, leaving him at the homestead in Mafucula, around a place known as Duma.
Mantimakhulu then said after some of the family members noticed that the police officers had left without arresting him, they then decided to call some soldiers who are said to be based around Maphiveni near Simunye. It is alleged that about four soldiers then pounced on Mantimakhulu on July 27, 2023, at around noon. Mantimakhulu said when the soldiers arrived, he told them that the police officers had already spoken to him and that they left him behind because they did not believe that he had murdered his sister-in-law.
However, the soldiers are said to have responded that they were not like police officers. He said the soldiers told him that police officers do not want to work. Mantimakhulu said before they began assaulting him, they told him that by the time they left, they would make sure that he revealed how he allegedly killed his sister-in-law. “I told them I am not a killer, but they did not want to hear my side of the story,” said Mantimakhulu. Mantimakhulu said the soldiers then began to assault him and that they hit him all over his body. He alleged that he was kicked, and then forced to confess that he had killed his sister-in-law. “I refused to agree to something I did not do,” he said. He mentioned that he was punched, kicked with boots and blunt objects, but he could not tell what they were using to assault him.
He said he was then taken to a nearby lake, where he was allegedly submerged into the water so that he did not come up, out of the water. “I felt like I was drowning,” he said. He said one soldier who pressed against his body with foot while another would press against his head while being held under the water. Mantimakhulu said the soldiers continued assaulting him for several hours. He said no matter how many times he cried for them to stop, they continued assaulting him until they stopped when they realised that he had not killed anyone.
He also revealed that before they began to assault him, they warned some of the nearby residents against taking videos of the alleged assault. antimakhulu said they used vulgar language, as they assaulted him, demanding that he should reveal what he did to his sister-in-law. It turned out later, that the woman was alive and had gone to stay with her relatives. Mantimakhulu said his sister-in-law had left without telling anyone because there were some disputes at their home. He was also asked why some of the family members suspected that he had killed her. He said he did not know the reason but that it could be that they found some fencing material belonging to her in his house. He said maybe with this information, they could have concluded that he had killed her and taken some of her fencing material.
“I have no reason to kill the woman,” he said. Sipho Mngomezulu, an uncle to Mantimakhulu said he was shocked at the manner in which his nephew was treated. He alleged the soldiers beat him as if they were killing him. Mngomezulu also alleged that the matter was reported to the police but that they had not taken any action to arrest the soldiers. Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, speaking through Inspector Mazwi Ndzimandze said the assault had not been reported to the police at Tshaneni. Also, Ndzimandze said there was also no case of a woman reported to have gone missing, but was later found alive.
Mantimakhulu, when told that the police said they were not aware of his assault, said this was not true. He said instead they allegedly told him they would not be able to arrest the soldiers. Mantimakhulu said the police told him that soldiers always protected each other and they would not handover their colleagues to be arrested by the police. Lieutenant Tengetile Khumalo, the Public Relations Officer for the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) was called regarding the alleged assault by the soldiers who are based at the Maphiveni unction, leading to Tshanenini, Simunye or Lomahahsa. She had not responded to the questions sent to her at the time of compiling the report.
Khumalo was also asked if there was any means members of the public in such circumstances could report if they were not treated fairly. Noteworthy, Mantimakhulu insisted that both matters had been reported to the police and that officers from Tshaneni Police Station even interviewed him about his sister-in-law when it had been alleged that she was nowhere to be found, that she may have been killed.
Meanwhile, his Majesty the King, in his speech during the Correctional Day and Pass-out Parade warned against ritual killings. He said now that it was elections time, there were people who believed that if they used human body parts, they would be successful. The King warned that such should stop and gave an example that it appeared the people who performed rituals sometimes targeted people with albinism people. He said the ritual killers believed that a person who had albinism would bring luck. His Majesty then said this was not true and that such should not be practiced.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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).