“It is time we put an end to these barbaric practices.”
What can I add to this cry for the rule of law, to respect human life, and to act. Governments can no longer ignore these barbaric practices based on superstition, poverty and ignorance, and fed by greed. The numerous examples of ritual murders given in this Op-Ed are frightening: all over the country though I’ve pointed at the widespread occurrence of ritual murders in Nigeria in previous postings (webmaster FVDK).
The Illusion of money-making rituals in Nigeria – Editorial
Published: February 20, 2023 By: Editorial – This Day, Nigeria
Ritual killing remains largely a crime driven by ignorance and poverty
The recent arrest of two teenagers by operatives of the Edo State Security Vigilante Network has once again brought into sharp focus the bizarre practice of money rituals. The young men were apprehended following a tipoff by the female herbalist from whom they sought help in their desperate bid for wealth through diabolical means. But they are not alone. Just recently, some young men were reported to have stormed a health centre in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state capital, asking for day-old babies. The unanswered question remains: What do they want to do with day-old babies? We can hazard a guess. They must belong to the growing group of desperadoes murdering innocent people, particularly women, children and sometimes the physically challenged, for ritual purposes.
These murderers, sometimes called headhunters, can go to any extent in the search of body parts for money-making rituals. And they are all over the country. Not long ago, there was a shocking discovery of three human heads inside a hotel room in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State. The three heads said to have been kept inside polythene bags were reportedly discovered by police officers following a raid on the hotel. Eleven persons suspected to be kidnappers or ritualists were arrested but typically, nothing was ever heard again about the case. At about the same time, the police in Kagura in Rafi Local government area of Niger State arrested four people in connection with the alleged murder of a 13-year-old son of an Islamic scholar. They reportedly lured the young boy to a secluded area where they removed his intestines and other vital organs after he had been murdered.
So rampant is this crime that in cosmopolitan cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Benin City and Kano, cases of ritual murders have now become commonplace. Indeed, incidence of ritual killings is said to account for many missing people in the country. But illiteracy is also a great factor in this crime. Even though the belief lacks common sense, many people indulge in these bestial acts for the purpose of making “instant wealth”, what some have aptly dubbed “blood money”. Yet, it is difficult to prove that these sacrifices, done at the instruction of some crafty traditional medicine practitioners and witch doctors, can catapult people from penury into instant wealth. At least, for now, there is no single person that can be named to have become rich because of human sacrifices, except the characters in some Nollywood movies. So, to that extent, ritual killing remains largely a crime driven by ignorance and poverty.
Meanwhile, the old image of the country as a citadel of humanitarianism, peacefulness, fraternity, cultural and moral renaissance seems blurred. There is disorderliness and chaos everywhere. Amid the moral confusion, it is difficult for many young Nigerians to understand that work comes before wealth. The estrangement from pristine values now finds dramatic expression in crass materialism, inordinate ambition to get rich quick at all costs. But on the prevalence of money rituals, this is also a law-and-order failure. Indeed, the increasing cases of abduction and killing of many innocent men, women and children is a poignant reminder that the police and the other security agencies have not sent a forceful message on what awaits the perpetrators of such a most heinous crime. The largely indifferent treatment of those caught has encouraged the commitment of more crime.
This is an issue that the relevant authorities must deal with and very quickly. There is also an urgent need for enlightenment campaigns to put a lie to the erroneous belief that money can grow out of the body parts of murdered people. It is time we put an end to these barbaric practices.
In Zimbabwe, during the fourth quarter of last year the number of ritualistic murders or suspected ritual killings could no longer be counted. I’ve raised the question before whether there was a real surge in ritual murders or an increased interest of local media and the authorities for these heinous crimes – in the wake of the tragic death of the 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore, in Murehwa village, in September 2020.
To illustrate the foregoing I have selected a small number of recent ritual murder cases. I must emphasize that by presenting these cases I do not pretend to be exhaustive. It is to be feared that the murder cases reported and described here only represent the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Warning: the following articles contain graphic details of ritualistic activities (webmaster FVDK)
Horror as Mwenezi men kill brother’s child, cut off privates in another brutal ritual murder
Published: December 31, 2020 By: iHarare, Zimbabwe – Tim E. Ndoro
In yet another very disturbing incident of ritual murder, two men from Mwenezi were arrested after they brutally murdered a 6-year-old girl, and cut off her private parts intending to sell them in South Africa for ritual purposes. One of the alleged murderers is the older brother of the victim’s father.
iHarare has learnt that Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), both from Chomutamba Village 3 under Chief Mazetese in Mwenezi West, were arrested on December 30, barely 24 hours after committing the heinous crime.
Local publication TellZim reports that Dube who is a frequent traveller to South Africa told Sithole that his boss in South Africa was looking for the private parts of a young girl. He went on to say that if they delivered the gruesome package, they would be handsomely rewarded with a car and a lot of cash.
After being enticed by Dube’s promises of how to get rich quickly, Sithole plotted to kill Irene Sithole, his younger brother’s daughter.
On December 29 at around 8 pm, Sithole is alleged to have brutally assaulted Irene with a log until she collapsed and died due to the injuries sustained in the diabolical assault.
When he noted that his niece had died, Sithole placed her body in a plastic-weave bag, commonly referred to as Shangani Bag, and went to Dube who was waiting for him outside the Sithole homestead.
The two men then carried the body into the bush, where Dube proceeded to cut off the young girl’s private parts with a knife he had come prepared with. After getting the privates, Sithole and Dube burned Irene’s body in an attempt to destroy the evidence of their heinous crime.
However, Sithole’s wife who was appalled when she saw her husband brutally assaulting the little girl alerted the other villagers, who promptly informed the police.
Police officers from Mwenezi were dispatched to the village, where they discovered the little girl’s burnt remains. However, the private parts are yet to be recovered.
Sithole and Dube were arrested and charged with Irene’s murder. The two appeared before Mwenezi Magistrate Honest Musiiwa on Thursday. The Magistrate did not ask for them to plead and remanded them in custody.
In the last few months, Zimbabwe has been plagued with cases of brutal ritual murders in which minors are being murdered by people for money-making charms. Some of the cases include that of 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa who was murdered and decapitated allegedly at the instructions of his uncle and namesake Tapiwa Makore Senior.
Published: December 31, 2020 By: TellZim News – Cephas Shava
MWENEZI – In probably one of the most gruesome murder akin to the Murehwa boy’s callous murder, two Mwenezi men connived and allegedly murdered a six-year-old girl and burnt her body after removing her genitals
The two accused, Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), who both reside at Chomutamba Village 3 under Chief Mazetese in Mwenezi West, were arrested yesterday, December 30, after allegedly committing the offence the previous day.
The two were not asked to plead when they appeared before Mwenezi Magistrate Honest Musiiwa today, December 31.
Musiiwa remanded them in custody for the murder of the minor who is daughter to Sithole’s younger brother.
It is alleged that on December 29, the two accused persons connived to kill Irene Sithole who lived at the same homestead with Sithole. On the same day at around 20:00, Sithole began to assault Irene using a log and she collapsed and died as a result of the assault.
Upon realising that the girl had died, Sithole took a Shangani bag and placed the deceased’s body inside and went to meet Dube who was reportedly waiting for him outside the homestead.
In the dead of the night, the two carried the body to the bush where Dube reportedly used a knife to cut the girls’ vaginal lips which he allegedly intended to sell to South Africa.
In an attempt to conceal the evidence, the two accused allegedly burnt the girls’ body using some firewood.
The matter came to light after Sithole’s wife, who had seen her husband beating the deceased, alerted other villagers who later on informed the police. Mwenezi police attended the murder scene where they recovered the minor’s burnt skull, teeth and ribs.
The girls’ private parts was not yet recovered by the time of writing.
Sources said the two decided to kill the girl after Dube, who often travels to South Africa, promised that upon delivering the private parts to his boss who is outside the country, they would be rewarded with a car and a lot of money.
In a yet another case of ritual murder, two men from Mwenezi allegedly murdered a six-year-old girl and burnt her body after removing her private parts.
This comes after the dust has hardly settled following the murder of a 7-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, which was followed by another gruesome murder of a juvenile in Gokomere, Masvingo last month, yet another murder case of a minor has been recorded in Mwenezi.
The suspects, Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), have since appeared in court to answer to murder charges following an incident which happened on the 29th of December, 2020.
The deceased, Irene Sithole, allegedly died after being assaulted by her uncle, Taruziva Sithole, who is said to have carried the body to a nearby bush where Shackmore Dube allegedly cut off the deceased’s private parts.
The two accused allegedly burnt the deceased’s body using firewood and were arrested after villagers reported the matter to Mwenezi police.
Police officers found the deceased’s burnt skull, teeth and ribs at the crime scene.
The two accused persons were remanded in custody to the 14th of January 2021.
In yet another very disturbing development, a man from Honde Valley, Manicaland recently confessed to murdering his own brother’s son for ritual purposes. The uncle to the deceased boy revealed that he harvested the minor’s private parts, arms, ears, and eyes after being contracted to do so by his other brother and a local businessman.
The case comes at a time when the country is still reeling from the brutal ritual murder of 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa, who was also murdered for ritual purposes at the instruction of his uncles.
iHarare has learned from the Manica Post that Jacob Muranganwa confessed after seemingly being tormented by the spirit of his nephew Zedek. Zedek was murdered last year, allegedly by Jacob.
The issue came to light when Jacob made the bizarre confession during a session of the traditional court held by Chief Mutasa. At the court session, Jacob’s other brother John said he wanted protection from his siblings James and Abraham. He alleged that the two were harassing him and accusing him of killing Zedek for ritual purposes.
Jacob shocked the court, however, by confessing to the ritual murder of Zedek and exposing everyone who was involved in the fiendish plot.
“I cannot endure this torment anymore. Every morning I wake up sleeping outside. At first, I thought I was sleep-walking, but when I started seeing Zedek’s image every night, I knew his avenging spirit was behind it all.
“Whenever it gets dark, l see the boy’s image. I am the only one who sees him, even when I am with someone else,”
Without being prodded, Jacob went on to narrate in graphic detail what had transpired.
“Sometime last year, my brother John, Kwambana and another businessman asked me to harvest a young boy’s body parts for money-making rituals.
“The next day I saw Zedek coming from school and I lured him to my workplace — John’s grinding mill. I promised to give him some money for his school fees and he obliged. I gave him sadza laced with Maragada pills.
“He ate the sadza and dozed off moments later. I took a hammer and hit him once on the head. Zedek died instantly. I took his body and hid it behind the grinding mill.
“After closing the grinding mill, I cut off the body parts. When John and his partners came to collect the body parts, they placed the body in a refrigerator. It stayed there for three days before they instructed me to hang it near Zedek’s home to make it appear like the boy had committed suicide,”
After noting that the matter was beyond his jurisdiction, Chief Mutasa handed the matter over to the local police station.
In another twist to the saga, John mysteriously died a week later and was buried last Friday. The local community as well as the Muranganwa family believe that he was haunted to an early grave by the spirit of his murdered nephew Zedek.
Curiously though, Jacob is reported to be walking scot-free after the police released him from custody despite the damning confession.
When reached for comment on the case, the police could neither confirm nor deny the matter. Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa said,
“We have called Ruda Police Station and they could neither confirm nor deny that they are handling such a case. However, word doing the rounds in the community confirms the murder case. We will need to dig deeper with the investigations to get to the bottom of the issues,”
The father of the 9-year-old Zimuto boy who was brutally murdered in yet another ritual killing has spoken out saying he doubts that the perpetrator, his cousin, is mentally ill.
The nation was shocked to learn that 22-year-old Clever Chitiga had brutally murdered 9-year-old Trevor Mapxashike (also known as Mapwashike) and dismembered his body. Clever and Trevor’s father, Henry Mapxashike are cousins. After killing his nephew, Clever stewed the body in a pot after pounding it and seems to have prepared to feast on it. He was caught before he could continue with his bizarre ritual.
Trevor’s heartbroken father narrated how he made the gruesome discovery to local publication Herald,
“I almost collapsed, after forcing the door to one of his rooms, open. A trail of blood, which we believed to be my son’s, led us to his head which was being stewed in a big pot.
“The door had been locked from inside and I had to gain entry through the window and opened it from inside.
“My mother, who accompanied me to Clever’s homestead, used a stick to shove the head so that we could properly see what was in the pot and to our shock, it was my son’s head which was being stewed. He had shaved it using a broken beer bottle and pounded it with a pestle and mortar.”
Despite the shocking crime, Henry said that he bears no ill-will towards his cousin who brutally murdered his son and instead called for unity among his family members. He, however, questioned the narrative that Clever was mentally ill saying that his actions showed that some planning had gone into committing the vile deed.
“My only appeal and prayer is for the family to unite and get to the bottom of this because I think there is something behind this. We need to sit down and cleanse our family because this is strange and bizarre. It’s unheard of. When I got to Clever’s homestead, he had already fled from the scene after I had asked him if he had seen my son,” he said.
“I believe there was juju at play because from what I know, Clever never had a history of mental illness. In fact, his discreetness and the way he tried to conceal evidence of his diabolic act smacks of someone who is mentally stable.”
Clever’s brother, Brine Chitiga (40) also ruled out mental illness. Brine said that he suspected that his young brother was being tormented by the spirit of a person whom he murdered when he was into gold panning a few years back. He also said that his younger brother may have been into occultism and juju.
“I suspect that he (Clever) might be tormented by an avenging spirit. He might have killed a person in Mberengwa where he was panning for gold since 2018.
“He started acting strangely after he returned from Mberengwa. He always threatened to kill people and was acting strangely,” he said.
The local community as well as the traditional leaders have called on the Mupxashike family to hold a cleansing ceremony to remove the dark could hanging over the family following the death of Trevor. Most of the community said that they had never witnessed or heard of anything like the Zimuto ritual killing of young Trevor