Last week, Senator Mike Nyambuya spoke at the sad occasion of the burial of the two children, cousins Dilan and Melissa Benza (both seven years old), who were murdered for ritualistic purposes on April 13. Among the suspects arrested is Dilan’s maternal uncle.
Their fate cause much unrest in the country where emotions were already high after the ritual killing of a boy, Tapiwa Makore, seven years old, who was brutally murdered, also by his uncle, in September 2020. I reported extensively on his tragic death. Due to certain circumstances I haven’t yet reported on the ritual murder of the Benza cousins. Hopefully I will in the near future.
Senator Nyambuya’s remarks struck me, not only because of the contents of his message but also because his name reminded me of my very close friend Muchaneta Nyambuya. May his soul rest in peace. Muchaneta and I were colleagues at the University of Liberia where we were both teaching at the College of Business and Public Administration and we became close friends. In the late 1970s, a surge in ritualistic murders caused much upheaval in Liberia and I asked Muchaneta whether this phenomenon was unique for Liberia. Read here what he had to say to my question.
I have learned a lot after these years in Liberia. More than 40 years have passed since then. Mucha, as we affectionally called him, left for Zimbabwe on the eve of the official independence of his country. Following the Lancaster House Agreement, Zimbabwe became an independent republic in April 1980. The days of Ian Smith, who in 1965 had made history with his Unilateral Declaration of Independence, were definitely over. The new strongman was Robert Mugabe. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. I will not dwell on his fate, Mucha’s. He died suddenly and unexpectedly, after what people call ‘a 24-hour treatment’ in the interrogation rooms of Zimbabwe’s secret police. But that’s another story.
Back to 2021 in Zimbabwe and the recent surge in ritual murders. (webmaster FVDK).
‘Ritual Murder Instigators Should Face Stiff Sanctions’
Published: May 1, 2021 By: Pindula, Zimbabwe
Senate deputy president Senator Mike Nyambuya has called for the enactment of legislation to punish people who incite others to perform ritual murders.
Nyambuya was speaking on Friday last week at the burial of the slain Benza cousins at the Benza homestead in Kanganya Village in Mutasa, Manicaland Province.
Dilan and Melissa Benza (both seven years old), who were cousins and pupils at St Robert’s Mbaza Primary School in Mutasa, were brutally murdered on their way home from school on 13 April.
The prime suspect is Solomon Manyama, Dilan’s maternal uncle, while Passmore Sambaza is another suspect.
They were both remanded in custody to 6 May when they appeared at Nyanga magistrate’s court last week on Tuesday facing murder charges.
The Benza family spokesperson, Johannes Benza, revealed that the two were not killed at the same spot as was initially thought.
Benza said Melissa was the first to be killed on the grass near the Blair toilet where their bodies were dumped, while Delane was slain in a maize field near the Sambaza homestead.
Speaking at the burial which was attended by over 500 people, Nyambuya said the two cousins’ deaths had touched the whole nation. He said:
It could have been one of your children or grandchildren dying in such a cruel manner. It could have been any one of us here being murdered in cold blood because these ritual killers know no age. We are still in shock.
Where have our norms and values gone to? We should respect the sanctity of human life. Laws should be enacted to punish the perpetrators and those who incite people to conduct ritual killings.
The nation is still mourning the death of Tapiwa Makore from Murehwa and now we are burying the two Benza children who were ruthlessly murdered.
We don’t know who will be the next victim. Communities should be on the lookout for ritual killers. All those convicted should face the full wrath of the law.
Tapiwa Makore was also 7-years-old when he was brutally murdered by his uncle Tapiwa Makore Sr and his herdsman Tafadzwa Shamba in September last year.
He was buried several months after his murder without his head and other body parts which were allegedly harvested for ritual purposes.
Police in Mashonaland East province this week held a meeting with local traditional leaders as part of efforts to curb the rise in criminal activities, especially ritual murders.
Officer Commanding Mashonaland East police Commissioner Grace Ndou said there was need for law enforcement agents to work with the traditional leaders to combat crime and urged chiefs to warn their subjects against engaging in “weird” practices.
“Ritual murders are now making our society dangerous to live in. Our children are living in fear and parents are grappling with deep fear as well, fearing the worst each passing day. As a united community, we can work together to create an environment where our children can safely live,” Ndou said.
“As our chiefs, we believe in your counsel to dispel some beliefs in some of the people who believe in weird ritual acts that may be behind these ritual murders.”
Other crimes that have been prevalent in the province include domestic violence, stocktheft and murder.
Provincial chiefs’ council chairperson Chief Nechombo, who is also a senator, hailed the police for the engagement and emphasised that traditional leaders would play their part in combating crime.
The province has recorded several murder cases among them, the Tapiwa Makore ritual murder that occurred in Nyamutumbu area, Murewa, in September last year.
The following reflection is important. It shows that there are good-hearted and highly educated Zimbabweans who convincingly argue that the recent ritual murders necessitate an adjustment of the country’s laws. This reaction is partly motivated by the ritualistic killing of Tapiwa Makore (7) of Murehwa and the two Benza cousins Delan (7) and Melissa (7) of central Mutasa (see my previous postings).
The author of the article presented below also focuses on a person who is often behind these ritual killings: the songoma or faith healer. Too often, the songoma is left out of the investigations following the ritual murder and not implicated in the trial of the actual killer(s) whereas in fact the songoma can be considered an important driving force behind the heinous crime which is committed during the murderous traditional ritual.
Let’s monitor how swiftly Zimbabwe’s rulers including lawmakers and the judiciary act! I will keep you informed (webmaster FVDK).
Time to look beyond ritual murderers
Published: April 30, 2021 By: Zimbabwe Independent – Sharon Hofisi
I ONCE represented people charged with murder in court. That was where I had my first real encounter with the subject of intentional or negligent killing. It was not a positive experience. Nevertheless, I got some acquittals. I remember the cases well. They took my inexperienced product of law school and taught me to understand the criminal laws and procedures of this country with deep preparation. So I took the cases on a pro deo basis. Put simply, this means acting for God. But with the increasing ritual killings, a lack of deliberate offences on ritual killings and honour crimes is a serious lacuna in our criminal justice system.
The purpose of criminal laws should mirror the nature of the society itself. Societies that are governed through laws are called to heal the divisions caused by violators of the law. When a society seems to be in danger of endless commissions of heinous crimes, focusing too much on investigation machinery and work and neglecting criminal law reform may pose further deep seated challenges. What often happens, however, is that even if the laws are reformed, we need to guard against reactionary responses to endemic problems. If the purpose of criminal law reform is to curb impunity in all forms of killings and deal decisively with utter disregard of the sanctity of human life, then a law can be a healthy first step in protecting the rights of vulnerable sections of society such as women, children, persons with albinism and other disabilities.
Even a criminal law reform committee will be horrified to learn that ritual motivators are not part of the suspects to be arrested. We are encouraged by the fact that our criminal laws allow for the arrest and prosecution of accomplices. But psyched people are usually afraid of the unknown. The psyched ritual killers strike fast, simultaneously attacking unsuspecting children or persons with disabilities.
The details that usually emerge after the gruesome killings are too numerous and disturbing. We definitely cannot bring our conscience to understand the difference between the actual killer and the one who motivates the killer to do so. The killer believes it is going to be an “all-for-purple-life” killing. Later, he is taught that the act was natural after all when he gets caught. It was his darkest ritual psyched moments that brought the longest, bloodiest, most heinous crimes to carry out. It costs innocent lives and no financial rewards as promised. And most families of the killers are left destitute. The breadwinner is locked up and the family is drawn into incessant wars of appeasing vengeful spirits as contemplated in our traditional faiths.
The hideous scars born by the families of the victims will last a very long time. But these ritual killing motivators are cunning and they will continue to hoodwink many people into psyched killings. They may never get their comeuppance. Certainly the time has come to act decisively on criminal law reform on ritual murder and honour crimes in Zimbabwe. Legislation, the passing of Acts in Parliament, is the most important of Parliament’s many tasks. I believe many stakeholders can agree on the explanatory memorandum for a Ritual Murders and Honour Crimes Bill. The long title of that Bill can deal with issues relating to the ritual murders and honour crimes and other purposes connected with these issues. The enacting formula can be decided by the nature of offences being committed usually against vulnerable sections of societies such as children, elderly women, persons with disabilities and so forth.
Perhaps the major point to grasp about ritual killings is that a psychic person, or even a bogus part of a psychic person, promises someone a lavish lifestyle once a heinous crime is committed. It could be the killing of a sibling, distant relative or some stranger. Exactly what is meant by “ritual” is not necessarily obvious since the killing of the person is controlled by the killer who uses the elaborate descriptions from the psychic leader. A small change in the psychic instructions can make a huge difference – so we hear from failed ritual killing missions. Each small step is catalysed and crystallised by the need for hot porridge riches. Many of these random killings may do the killer no harm if he observes the instructions (muko). Sometimes the killer will destroy the fighting powers of the deceased through some further rituals, kutsipika ngozi. This means that in any event, the killer is fully aware that they intentionally committed murder.
Reading stories about gruesome murders of young children by people who were promised material or financial gains tests our resolve as a polity of relationships between crime and fighting crime. We are given a set of criminal instances and must choose another set of responses that is related in the same way.
Many reforms of criminal laws are possible. Reading the modus operandi of criminals test our ability to understand and interpret the criminal laws we can promulgate in response. This is probably the most important ability we need as a society at the moment.
In analysis of the killings of children in our media reportages, we are presented with situations detailing criminal events and then a result of something that is steered by someone who is believed to possess some supernatural or magical powers to make people rich, overnight.
Our task is to decide in the legal and non-legal fraternity whether certain statements or motivations to commit crimes provide adequate explanations of how we can curb violent crimes. Each new crime provides us with a new format for criminal law reform.
For Zimbabwe and the disturbing killings, it’s now much more than just a usual ritual murder, headlines and efficient state response. We need to move beyond crime scene visits and the arrest of suspects. Ritual murders are now shaping an entire generation of criminal inquiry. It’s now the time to transform the changing and disturbing criminal scenes of the last ten or so years into a clear and widely-reformed criminal justice system in Zimbabwe. The motivating variable in this urgent need for criminal justice reform is steeped in legal realism. Law may be stable, but it cannot stand still if I may employ Roscoe Pound’s philosophy.
Are these ritual crimes something reflective of honour crimes, where relatives and close acquaintances are the pawns in the much bigger chess game? Barely when the Makore killing had left our minds we hear of the gruesome murder of two children. Zimbabwe has witnessed the targeted ritual killings which encourage criminal responsibility to be broadened in scope. Each killing achieves a disturbing measure of brutality and mental intention to kill. The recurring pattern of failed rituals that are broken by arrest of the suspects and eventual incarceration of such suspects all have at most one thing in common: each killing in its own way forces the killer and the ritual motivator to forge an unholy alliance; share the same mental and actual intention to kill, only from the opposite perspective.
The actual killer is psyched to kill. The ritual motivator psyches the ultimate killer. Each fails to see that confronted with effective investigation machinery the prospective ritual will inevitably not succeed. Equally gruesomely, each fails to see that the criminal path between hatching a heinous act of killing and frenzied killing act is not only false but leads towards a catastrophic breakdown of the family fabric.
The falsity of the ritual shows that one or two or more or many suspects are arrested. The ritual motivator, the instigator of the death of the innocent young souls remains. He or she continues hoodwinking many people into killing many young children.
All in the name of enhancing business or getting filthy money! Here too, there is more criminality in the sangoma or faith healer than criminal intention in the actual killer. The sangoma or ritual motivator does not simply aim to alleviate poverty through the loss of innocent blood of a family member, gruesome murder, psyched actions, and so forth. Efforts to control and encourage killing, no matter how important or necessary, are only one aspect of “intentional killing”. The sanctity of human life, and human life itself, as we know from our Constitution and even various types of our faiths, depend on more than the alleviation of poverty and the satisfaction of material needs. The reason for which we were created is to enjoy life and the maker of it forever.
Hofisi is a transformative transitional justice practitioner, normative influencer and disruptive thinker.
The following plea and and cry from Zimbabwe, following the ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore (7), and the two cousins Delan (7) and Melissa (7), is long overdue but 100% warranted. Child sacrifice and more general human sacrifice is not a rare phenomenon in Zimbabwe, neither is it in a number of other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa. The gruesome murders have recently led to a general campaign to stop child sacrifice, the 777 Campaign. It goes without saying that I join this initiative.
Warning: the following article contains graphic details of ritual killing of children (FVDK).
The death of a child of any age is devastating. The pain and anguish can be compounded when the death comes at the hands of another human being. Parents and family members can face many complicated issues, even as they try to make sense of the incomprehensible – that someone knowingly, willingly or intentionally killed their child.
Children are gifts from God, they are precious and bundles of joy. Birth of children represent generational continuity and procreation is devine as God commanded: Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Mwanachipo Africa Trust is a local NGO that works with people who are infertile and childless. As people who are infertile and childless, we are pained most when these gifts we are failing to get are hurt or ill treated and when they are murdered, our hearts are pierced. We are hurt most because, some of us have undergone unimaginable ordeals and forked huge sums of money in trying to bear children whilst heartless people and cowards, who prey on vulnerable children, are busy chopping off their heads and mutilating their bodies. To us, killing of children for whatever reason is termination of generational continuity and destruction of families instead of growing and expanding them.
The recent surge in ritual killings and murder cases of children in Zimbabwe is not only worrisome but also inhumane and horrifying.The gruesome murder of Tapiwa Makore (7) of Murehwa who was buried without a head and the recent heinous killings of two Benza cousins Delan (7) and Melissa (7) of central Mutasa by uncles should not go unchallenged. These brutal killings have prompted Mwanachipo to initiate the Stop Child Sacrifice:The 777 Campaign.
The 777 Campaign is in honour of the 3 slain innocent children (Tapiwa, Delan and Mellisa) who were all murdered aged 7 and the suspected ritual killers being uncles. Tapiwa was fed with food and later drugged with Kachasu( traditional illicit beer) before being brutally killed in a mountain. His torso was found the following morning being dragged by dogs and his head is nowhere to be found up to this day. Mellisa and Delan’s remains were found stashed in a toilet pit.
These gruesome murders are targeted mainly at children for ritual purposes. Vulnerable, innocent children are mutilated and murdered by ruthless and criminal people who want to increase their wealth, health, power or reputation – by all means. Like Tapiwa, Delan and Mellisa, a lot of children have fallen victim to murderers and ritual killers. Due to their vulnerability, they are easily abducted on their way to or from school or when conducting their daily home activities such as fetching water and collecting firewood. Children are the main victims because they are considered pure or unblemished ,easy to lure and their blood sacrifice is considered more powerful than that of adults as children represent new life, prosperity and growth to the one procuring the sacrifice. They are sacrificed by witch doctors to appease ‘the gods’ and bring a myriad of solutions which include wealth, good health and political power among others.Adults drawn to the practice are tricked into believing that the purity of child makes the ritual more powerful. Hearts, ears, livers and genitals are considered as key ingredients of the rituals.These body parts are said to be removed when children are still alive and they die as a result of bleeding or are killed by the murderers to conceal evidence.
The repeated occurrences of these ritual killings is a blatant violation of UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 1989. The CRC applies to all children below the age of 18, and contains 54 articles covering almost all aspects of the life of a child.More so, this child sacrifice violates the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. According to this charter, an individual is entitled to respect for his life and integrity of his person.
Biblically, God sanctified life.This means that human life is sacred ( made in the very image of the Creator himself according to Genesis 1:26-27), holy and precious. The sanctity of life is inherent as man cannot create life. Therefore, man has no authority to destroy life including the life of children. God chooses when life begins and ends and murder in all its forms is forbidden. It is the only way for humankind to exist.
Through the Stop Child Sacrifice: 777 Campaign , Mwanachipo Africa Trust is mobilising resources to be used to prevent sacrifice of children. Our children are not safe until every child is safe. Let us join hands to end child sacrifice. Everyone is duty bound to protect every child.Be part of the change which starts with all of us.Together we can make Zimbabwe a safer country for our children.
A recent surge in ritual murders of children has shocked Zimbabwe. Within a short period, three children were murdered for ritualistic purposes: Tapiwa Makore (7) of Murehwa and the two Benza cousins Delan (7) and Melissa (7) of central Mutasa. I have extensively covered the murder of Tapiwa. The following days I will provide more details about the murder of Delan and Melissa.
The child sacrifices have led to many reactions. One of these comments follows here. It contains a plea for tougher measures for the culprits, even the capital punishment. There is much to say about (and against) the death penalty but let us know focus here on the editorial comments. To be cont’d. (webmaster FVDK)
EDITORIAL COMMENT : Combined effort needed to thwart ritual murders
Published: April 27, 2021 By: The Herald, Zimbabwe
The murder of three children for what appears to be ritual purposes in just seven months is a worrying dark cloud over Zimbabwe and requires action at both community level and among a number of sections of society.
These are not the first such killings, perhaps just the best publicised for some time since the victims were all seven-years-old and the police moved swiftly and effectively to track down the suspects, with other family members among those arrested and remanded.
There is a superstitious belief among a minority that killing a child or another young person in a particular way, which can be equated to torture before the murder, and then processing certain body parts in a set-down manner will create, increase and maintain wealth.
This is nonsense, and with the competent homicide investigations now in progress it must be becoming obvious that initiating such a killing is totally unlikely to bring anything, but a very long jail sentence for the killers.
Although the death penalty is still on the books for aggravated murder by an adult man, and aggravating circumstances do not come more aggravating than pre-meditated murder of a child for financial gain, the fact remains that Zimbabwe does not implement death penalties any more, and instead life imprisonment is substituted.
There are already many positive developments that can help to end this practice of ritual killings. It is now clear that communities are willing to take action, rather than quiver in fear and keep quiet.
People are not afraid to stand up and be counted and are willing to pass on whatever information they have to the police.
In fact one of the major problems now in such investigations is that some are passing on confusing fifth-hand hearsay, which still needs to be properly investigated, rather than hard fact of what they saw. But homicide detectives are trained to separate the chaff from the hard fact, and better that too many try and help than too few.
A second problem is more serious, and has already been mentioned by legislators, including recently Senator Michael Nyambuwa who visited the Mutasa families.
We need investigations to be pursued to bring the person who gave the ritual advice and who might well have promised to process any body parts.
Even if they did not initiate the killings, and accept some sort of lie when organs are presented, they are still involved in a murder and can be tried as an accomplice.
N’angas still have a lot of respect and are feared by some, so it can be difficult to get a name, let alone evidence.
Obviously the actual killers believe in the powers of the n’anga they are using; even in the days when the killers were hanged they refused to give the name and walked silently to the gallows.
Here communities need to encourage people to come forward. There will be a lot of vague and wrong information, but police can then run down the leads. The point is that a person ready to apply their traditional learning to criminal purposes cannot be totally unknown in an area.
The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association can also become more involved, first by teaching very clearly that such killings do not create wealth, only misery, and then encouraging people to come forward.
In fact traditional healers in a particular area might well have a better idea of which one of their number has turned to the dark side than the average lay person, and should be encouraged to pass on this information.
Traditional leaders, who have already made their abhorrence of such crimes very clear, can also go further in prevention, as well as doing what they do now by calling on their communities to assist after a crime.
The ideal is to have a murder trial with both the killers and the n’anga who offered advice all in the dock, with sufficiently good evidence that all can be convicted and then go to jail together.
Detectives chosen for such investigations might need to be carefully selected; there is still a significant number of superstitious people, and even some Christian churches who worry about the creativity of evil, although this is a heretical belief in mainstream Christianity.
Such severely aggravating murders also stress the need for Zimbabwe to upgrade its sentencing laws for murder, now that we have effectively abandoned the death penalty as an active punishment.
The reforms need to give judges setting sentences more discretion, and as we have argued before we need a system of parole.
In his latest clemency order, the President, with Cabinet consent and what must have been detailed advice, in effect set 15 years behind bars as the absolute minimum for a life sentence. This is not unreasonable and is the effective minimum period of incarceration in many jurisdictions for an “ordinary” murder.
However, countries that have formally abolished the death penalty and substituted life imprisonment usually allow the sentencing judge to make a recommendation over the minimum term in each case.
In most cases this is whatever the standard is in that country before parole can be considered, frequently 15 years.
But where there are aggravating circumstances the judge can set a longer minimum term before release can even be considered and, in exceptionally aggravating circumstances, can even call for a “whole life” sentence, or “life imprisonment without any possibility of parole”, as some American states word it.
Because the killer is not executed this can always be adjusted later if perceptions change or new evidence emerges, but meanwhile the deterrent is in place.
A parole system also means that a released lifer is monitored for the rest of their lives, forbidden to do certain jobs, enter certain businesses and possess anything on a list of prohibited items, such as anything that could be used as a weapon.
And parents clearly need to be protective. This is always difficult, of deciding where do you draw the lines. But one general rule is safety in numbers and having older children helping to shepherd younger children.
We have all seen gaggles of schoolchildren who live near each other moving as a group and automatically having some older teenagers in that group.
Admittedly a lot of this breaks down, as in the latest two cases, when relatives are suspected to be involved, people who are normally trusted.
But every bit helps and at least there are witnesses if a child is whisked away by an uncle or aunt.
That is precisely how the police made their initial arrests in the latest two child killings, by following up reports from people who saw something that in retrospect needed to be told.
More ritual murder cases have been reported recently whereas – as I have said repeatedly – discovered or reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg. I fear that most cases remain unknown to the outside world, even within the country.
According to the report presented below, ritual killings of kids are on the rise after the Tapiwa Makore ritual murder. To listen to the report, click on the link below the screenshot. More in the next few days (webmaster FVDK).
The following plea to end ritual killings focuses on children who are targeted in numerous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Vulnerable, innocent children are mutilated and murdered by ruthless and criminal people who want to increase their wealth, health, power or reputation – by all means. The Nigerian author of this article, which dates from 2016 but could have been written yesterday, OmoTola Omolaya, specifically mentions a number of countries notably Botswana, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
I don’t know the author’s reasons to limit himself to aforementioned countries. In each and every African country where ritual murders are committed, also children die at the hands of unscrupulous murderers who very often get away with their ugly crimes.
However, I fully agree with his conclusion: African governments need to act!
Warning: the following article contains graphic details which may shock the reader (webmaster FVDK).
It’s time for Africa to protect its children from the web of ritual killings
In 2011, BBC did a documentary on witch craft and ritual killings in Uganda and one of the gory stories was about a three-year old boy found in the outskirts of Uganda lying in a pool of blood. His penis had been cut off by ritualists and he was rushed to the hospital to save his life. While speaking with a BBC correspondent, even though the parents are advocating for the ban of witchcraft in the country, the mother is more concerned about her son’s future. She said, “every time I look at him, I ask myself how his future is going to be as a man without a penis. Also I wonder what the rest of the community is going to look at him with a private part that looks like that of a female.”
Like the little boy, a lot of children have fallen victim to kidnappers and ritual killers. Due to their vulnerability, they are easily abducted on their way to school or heading to fetch water. These children, considered pure, are sacrificed by witch doctors to appease ‘the gods’ and bring a myriad of solutions which include wealth, good health, and fertility among others. Hearts, ears, livers and genitals are considered as key ingredients of the rituals.
Although the BBC documentary was released in 2011, not much has changed in Uganda. Very recently, six cases of mutilation and murder of children were reported by a charity organization during the recent Ugandan elections. The Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), a charity that cares for survivors of attempted child sacrifice, reported that children were used as good luck sacrifices during this period in order to bring wealth and power. Though Moses Binoga, coordinator of the anti-trafficking task force at the interior ministry, did not confirm KCM’s report, he agreed that children had been reported missing in the election period.
This shocking revelations show that it is now unsafe to be a child in Africa. Ritual killings is not peculiar to Uganda, it takes place in other African countries such as Liberia, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. The repeated occurrences of these killings without a penalty is a blatant violation for the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. According to this charter, an individual is entitled to respect for his life and integrity of his person. However, disrespect for a person (children) life thrives in several African country.
Why ritual killings are still prevalent in Africa:
Ritualists are often patronized by the rich and wealthy
In Tanzania, children with albinism are targeted for sacrifices by witch doctors who gets paid by politicians to be successful in their election bids. Also, the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law reports that in Swaziland and Liberia, politicians allegedly commission ritual killings to improve their odds in elections. The same pattern obtains in Uganda as well, where the wealthy pay witch doctors in a bid to expand their fortunes. In Ivory Coast, (where the rate of child abduction is so high that the UNICEF had to intervene) there are speculations that ritual killings by corrupt businessmen and politicians used body parts in ceremonies to confer supernatural powers.
Superstitions, culture and religion.
Africa is still entrenched in dogmas, myth and belief in magic. There is still a prevalence of confidence in charms and witch craft which has been handed down since time immemorial. Ritual killings are culturally acceptable in some parts of South Africa, therefore, the practice is not usually reported by community members. Occultism and other forms of religion permit ritual acts to appease the gods, abate misfortune and seek supernatural help. Many also perform these rituals out of fear of unpleasant spiritual consequences if they falter.
The web of culture, religion and superstition often results in an ethical conflict between protection of human rights and respect for the beliefs and practices of other cultures.
Not many have been convicted of crimes associated with ritual killings in Africa. Due to the coat of secrecy surrounding ritual killings, it makes it difficult to hold the responsible parties accountable and liable for their unlawful actions.
A part of the Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations says that the countries should:
Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
Children are the most vulnerable in any society and it is the duty of leaders all around the world to provide a safe haven for its young. Africa needs to stop neglecting the safety of these innocent children. Its leaders should enact laws that protect them from gruesome murders that cut their lives short even before their prime.
It is time to enforce the African Charter, because although it permits religious practices, it does not favor jeopardizing a human life (under which ritual killings fall). African governments need to hold those responsible for taking human lives accountable. It is time for Africa to protect its children.
“In Shona cosmology, once “ngozi” is committed, it has to be recompensed in order for restorative justice to occur between individuals, families, and the community in general. However, failure to appease “ngozi” results in inexplicable misfortunes such as sicknesses or eventual death or deaths of the person or persons who would have committed the “ngozi.”
Also, Timothy Myambo is the author of an interesting book on Ngozi, entitled ‘A Biblical Evaluation of the Avenging Spirits (Ngozi): A case of the Shona people of Zimbabwe‘ (2010) which is also useful for better understanding the phenomenon. This is what he says about ‘Ngozi’, the avenging spirits:
The main reason for posting here a case of ‘ngozi’ forces – the first article below, entitled ‘Castration the ultimate price for ngozi‘ – is because it relates to a ritual murder committed nearly 30 years ago. Subsequently, in order to demonstrate that this case is not an isolated case of ‘avenging spirits’, I have added a second, recent case, however, not related to a murder for ritual purposes. Ngozi forces are not limited to avenge a ritual murder. A third case, presented here, again refers to ngozi seeking to avenge a ritual murder, committed some 45 years ago (in 2013, when the case was reported).
A fourth case, ‘Ngozi Haunts Marange Family‘ (dated March 6, 2021), allegedly refers to a ritual murder too. Unfortunately, the page is not accessible for technical reasons. As soon as it will be restored I will include the corresponding link here.
To conclude here a final remark: I do not pretend to know more about ‘ngozi’ than the average reader. Therefor, I have no opinion or judgement on this phenomenon. The focus of this site is on ritualistic activities based on superstition and motivated by an unstoppable greed for power or wealth and which are a violation of people’s human rights.That’s why I am presenting these reports.
Warning: the following articles contain graphic details which may disturb the readers.(webmaster FVDK).
Castration the ultimate price for ngozi
Published: February 26, 2021 By: The Manica Post – Tendai Gukutikwa, Post Correspondent
Four Marange families are at the mercy of an avenging spirit that is allegedly castrating its victims and killing them soon afterwards.
The avenging spirit is now demanding 50 beasts as compensation from the five families.
The Manica Post understands that male members from the Mukanjari, Denga, Ndova and Mauchaza families who have fallen victim to the avenging spirit woke up with blisters all over their bodies.
Suddenly their private parts fell off, leading to their instant deaths.
The spirit of Ruwizhi Makondo Mashato, who was allegedly murdered 29 years ago, is claiming that this is how he was killed by members of the aforementioned families.
Through manifestations on various members of the families, Mashato claims that his private organs were chopped off by his five neighbours before his head was cut off for ritual purposes.
His body was later dumped in a well.
Two of the alleged murderers – Dunmore Mukanjari and Dorcus Ndova – are still alive; while the rest – Manzinde Denga, Godfrey Denga and Agnes Mauchaza are now dead.
Mauchaza committed suicide a few years ago after being tormented by Mashato’s spirit.
The matter has since spilled into Chief Marange’s court and Mukanjari has confessed that he did take part in Mashato’s murder.
Ndova, however, insists that she had nothing to do with the murder. She says she only witnessed the crime.
However, the avenging spirit claims that Ndova held the dish that collected his blood as the gruesome murder was being committed in 1992.
Speaking to The Manica Post, Dorcas Ndova’s nephew Takesure Chadambuka said his family is going through hell due to Mashato’s avenging spirit.
“We need her (Ndova) to address this issue as a matter of urgency before we perish like the Denga family. The Denga homestead has been turned into a grave yard.
“Manzinde Denga and his son Godfrey were part of the gang that murdered Mashato. It is so scary because we do not know who is next. My brother died last year in December because of this avenging spirit,” said Chadambuka.
Following Mukanjari’s confession, Chief Marange said the matter needs to be handed over to the police.
“In matters like these, both the traditional and criminal courts should be involved. The perpetrators need to appease the avenging spirit and serve jail terms upon their conviction,” said the traditional leader.
Veresy Mutungwazi, who married into the Mukanjari family, said she has lost five children to the avenging spirit.
She said her late sons all woke up feeling weak and with blisters all over their bodies.
Their private organs fell off before their sudden deaths.
“I am only left with two children and I fear for their lives if nothing is done. I pray that someone will knock some sense into my father-in-law’s head so that he appeases this spirit. It is not fair to lose my children because of someone’s evil deeds.
“After my first child’s death, we all thought he had succumbed to a rare disease. But eyebrows were raised when the next child died in the same manner a few months later. After the death of my second child, Mashato’s spirit began manifesting and revealing all these details. The spirit has threatened to wipe off the entire Mukanjari family unless it is appeased,” said Mutungwazi.
Mercy Nyaude, who also married into the Mukanjari family, said two of her children have also died in the same manner.
“Some of the family members died after bleeding from their private organs. Their private organs were mysteriously chopped off, and then they died.
“Mashato’s spirit says he suffered excruciating pain when his private organ were cut off by his murderers, hence all the victims should go through the same ordeal.
“The avenging spirit is also targeting our livestock and most of our cattle and goats are now blind. Some of the livestock’s sexual reproductive organs also mysteriously disappeared,” said Nyaude.
Chief Marange said some of Mashato’s remains was recovered from the well it had been dumped for proper burial.
However, Mashato’s son, Harrison, claims his family never received their late father’s remains for re-burial.
“I do not know where the remains were put when they were retrieved as I was very young then. We never buried my father’s remains. In fact, he is also manifesting in our family asking for closure on the case through a proper burial,” said Harrison.
The chief is also unaware of how the remains were handled as he was not yet in office when they were retrieved from the well.
“I hear it took them three days to find some of my father’s remains. These men and women were our neighbours and we never suspected that they had a hand in our father’s disappearance,” said Harrison.
Related article (based on the previous article in The Manica Post):
Horror As Marange Avenging Spirit Castrates Killers’ Family Members
Published: March 1, 2021 By: iHarare, Zimbabwe – Tim E. Ndoro
In what reads like the script from a Nollywood ‘African Movie,’ an angry avenging spirit, Ngozi in local parlance, is reported to be castrating and killing family members of the alleged killers.
iHarare has learned from the Manica Post that the avenging spirit is haunting four families from the Marange area in Manicaland. According to reports, the Ngozi is affecting the male members of the Mukanjari, Denga, Ndova and Mauchaza families. Those who are unfortunate to be attacked, are reported to have developed blisters all over their bodies. Once the blisters break out, their private parts mysteriously fall off and they die.
According to the families of those affected, the avenging spirit belongs to Ruwizhi Makondo Mashato who was allegedly murdered by members of the four families for ritual purposes in 1992. Mashato’s private parts were allegedly chopped off first before his head was decapitated by five of his neighbours.
Those who have been privy to the mysterious events claim that the avenging spirit said that Mashato felt excruciating pain when his privates were cut off. Because of this, all the victims of the avenging spirit must also feel the pain of losing their privates before they die.
Mashato’s avenging spirit is demanding 50 beasts as compensation from the four families.
The neighbours who are alleged to have killed Mashato 29 years ago are Manzinde Denga and his son Godfrey Denga, Agnes Mauchaza, Dunmore Mukanjari and Dorcus Ndova. Only the last two, Mukanjari and Ndova are still alive. Mauchaza is said to have committed suicide after being tormented by the Ngozi.
Mukanjari already confessed to the murder when he appeared before traditional leader Chief Marange. Ndova on the other hand disputed taking part in the murder. She is claiming that she only witnessed the event but did not participate. The avenging spirit, on the other hand, is saying Ndova is the one who held the dish that was used to collect his blood during the horrific murder.
One of Dorcas Ndova’s relatives Takesure Chadambuka is begging his aunt to come clean on the matter. Chadambuka told the Manica Post:
“We need her (Ndova) to address this issue as a matter of urgency before we perish like the Denga family. The Denga homestead has been turned into a graveyard.
“Manzinde Denga and his son Godfrey were part of the gang that murdered Mashato. It is so scary because we do not know who is next. My brother died last year in December because of this avenging spirit,”
Veresy Mutungwazi, who married into the Mukanjari family told the publication that she has already lost 5 children to the avenging spirit.
“I am only left with two children and I fear for their lives if nothing is done. I pray that someone will knock some sense into my father-in-law’s head so that he appeases this spirit. It is not fair to lose my children because of someone’s evil deeds.
“After my first child’s death, we all thought he had succumbed to a rare disease. But eyebrows were raised when the next child died, in the same manner, a few months later. After the death of my second child, Mashato’s spirit began manifesting and revealing all these details. The spirit has threatened to wipe off the entire Mukanjari family unless it is appeased,” said Mutungwazi.
Following Mukanjari’s confession, Chief Marange said that the police need to be involved as well.
“In matters like these, both the traditional and criminal courts should be involved. The perpetrators need to appease the avenging spirit and serve jail terms upon their conviction,” said the traditional leader.
Mashato’s son, Harrison commented on the matter saying,
“I hear it took them three days to find some of my father’s remains. These men and women were our neighbours and we never suspected that they had a hand in our father’s disappearance,”
The biblical phrase, “the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons” has become a dark reality for five families from Nyanga as an avenging spirit is demanding compensation for a murder that was committed 36 years ago. The avenging spirit (Ngozi) is demanding 75 head of cattle as well as 5 virgins.
iHarare has learned from the Manica Post that the avenging spirit of the late businessman Costa Kafikira is seeking justice from the families of the 5 men who allegedly murdered him. Kafikira is alleged to have been killed by his then neighbours, Willard Sakupwanya, Charles Fombe, Tsakadzai Mautsi and Tambuzwa Matseketsa in 1984. The fifth neighbour has been identified only as Benyu.
The five are alleged to have conspired to murder Kafikira by poisoning his alcohol. They then robbed him of his valuables and dumped his body near the Gairezi River. All of the alleged perpetrators are now late except for Charles Fombe.
Kafikira’s spirit is now manifesting on Tambudzwa Matseketsa’s daughter-in-law, Riona. Riona is reported to be now dressing and speaking like the late Kafikira.
Kafikira’s nephew Paul Dzinduwa narrated how his uncle had been brutally murdered.
“When my uncle left home the day he was last seen, he was dressed in the clothes Riona came wearing.
“We searched for him for years and could not find him. What hurts most is that the killers were part of the search team back then. They would mislead us knowing very well where they had dumped my uncle’s remains.”
On the issue of compensation, Dzinduwa said that his family would abide by the laws of the land and not accept the 5 virgins as the giving of a virgin girl for purposes of ‘kuripa Ngozi’ is a criminal offence in Zimbabwe. Dzinduwa, however, said, that the family is quite happy to accept the 75 head of cattle.
“The spirit is demanding a virgin and 15 beasts from each of the perpetrators’ families, thereby making it five girls and 75 beasts. We, however, stand guided by the laws of the land when it comes to compensation or appeasement of avenging spirits. We know that the appeasement of avenging spirits with girls, women or any human being was outlawed. All we pray for is justice to prevail so that our uncle rests in peace. We need justice.”
The Matseketsa family said that the matter needed to be dealt with urgently because their family members are dying in mysterious circumstances while others are battling for their lives. The late Matseketsa’s son, only identified as Matseketsa reinforced the point saying,
“We need to appease the avenging spirit and be at peace with the Kafikiras”
The other four families are yet to approach the Kafikira family.
The previous article was based on an article in The Manica Post, dated December 11, 2020:
Ngozi demands 5 virgins, 75 cattle
Published: December 11, 2020 By: The Manica Post – Tendai Gukutikwa, Post Correspondent
In a case that has left a Nyanga family at sixes and sevens, it is alleged that the avenging spirit of a businessman who was robbed and murdered by his five neighbours 36 years ago is demanding five virgins and 75 beasts as appeasement.
lt is said Costa Kafikira’s spirit is accusing his then neighbours in Tombo Village under Chief Saunyama — Willard Sakupwanya, Charles Fombe, Tsakadzai Mautsi, Tambuzwa Matseketsa and a Benyu of poisoning his alcohol, robbing and murdering him before dumping his body near Gairezi River.
Four of the alleged murderers are now late, save for Fombe.
Kafikira’s family says they stand guided by the laws of the land and will not accept human beings as appeasement for his loss of life.
They, however, will accept the 75 beasts.
Said Kafikira’s nephew, Paul Dzinduwa, in an interview with The Weekender: “The spirit is demanding a virgin and 15 beasts from each of the perpetrators’ families, thereby making it five girls and 75 beasts. We, however, stand guided by the laws of the land when it comes to compensation or appeasement of avenging spirits. We know that the appeasement of avenging spirits with girls, women or any human being was outlawed. All we pray for is justice to prevail so that our uncle rests in peace. We need justice.”
It is said the avenging spirit is manifesting on Matseketsa’s daughter-in-law — Riona — who now dresses and speaks like the late Kafikira.
All this was revealed when the Matseketsa family recently approached the Kafikiras to chart the way forward.
Riona was clad in a pair or grey trousers, a red shirt and a tie. Kafikira’s relatives said the outfit resembles the clothes that Kafikira was last seen wearing.
“When my uncle left home the day he was last seen, he was dressed in the clothes Riona came wearing,” said Dzinduwa.
Kafikira was murdered in 1984 and his remains were discovered by herd boys three years later near Gairezi River.
His family identified him by his metal identity card and the family heirloom belt that was found near his skeleton.
“We searched for him for years and could not find him. What hurts most is that the killers were part of the search team back then. They would mislead us knowing very well where they had dumped my uncle’s remains,” said Dzinduwa.
The Matseketsas claimed that their family members are dying in unclear circumstances, while some are battling for their lives.
A Nyanga traditional healer, Sekuru Shingirai Mukotsanjera, advised them to appease Kafikira’s avenging spirit.
“Four family members have already died and the avenging spirit keeps telling us that more woes will befall the family. It is said my late father was one of Kafikira’s assailants and we cannot deny or accept the claim since he is now late. But if it is true, we are wallowing in poverty because of my father’s transgression.
“We need to appease the avenging spirit and be at peace with the Kafikiras,” narrated the late Matseketsa’s son, only identified as Matseketsa.
Kafirika’s eldest son, Nicholas Kafikira, said he was deprived of his father’s love and care by the killers as his father was murdered while he was still in his youth.
The matter is yet to be brought before Chief Saunyama’s court.
Kafikira said his family will take the matter to the chief’s court when the remaining four families approach them.
Published by The Manica Post on March 1, 2013, as reported by Ray Bande on Facebook
AFTER being murdered for ritual purposes by her husband almost 45 years ago, a Nyanga woman is now demanding reparations from her husband’s Mandikonza family in Nyanga.
The Mandikonza and Mavhunga families were left stunned at Chief Saunyama’s court in Nyatate area of Nyanga North last Friday when a female teenager possessed with the spirit of the late Tanganza Mavhunga demanded reparations and threatened to ruthlessly deal with the Mandikonzas.
The late Tanganza, who was married to the late Jack Mandikonza, manifested herself through a female teenager as she chronicled how she was cold-bloodedly murdered by her husband.
All hell broke loose recently when the possessed teenager walked for more than 10km from her home and went straight to sit in the ruins of the homestead where the deceased Jack Mandikonza used to stay with his late wife, Tanganza.
As she narrated Tanganza’s ordeal at the hands of her husband during the court session last Friday, the possessed teenager pledged to show the Mavhunga and Manikonza families the shallow grave where her remains were buried by her late husband.
“My relatives, you ought to know what happened. One day I packed my clothes and went away from Jack Mandikonza’s homestead. “As I was walking, about a few metres from the homestead, Jack followed me. He grabbed my hand and demanded that we should go back home. I refused. Since it was dark, he instantly took a knife and cut the lower parts of my breasts and went on to cut off my private parts.
“My relatives, I beg you not to touch anything that belongs to the Mandikonzas. My husband’s brothers Cosmas, Webster, Lazarus and Oliver bought cars and livestock after they used my body parts for rituals. “I will wreck havoc very soon in the Mandikonza family and I plead with you my relatives not to touch anything that belongs to the Mandikonza family.“
When you are ready, I can guide you to the place where Jack buried me near Nyanga Downs between two big rocks. That is where I have been lying since Jack murdered me. They made a fortune out of my blood, but I will deal with them,” fumed the possessed teenager.
The deceased woman’s aunt, who also attended the court session last Friday, said Jack Mandikonza was the one who later approached the Mavhunga family saying his wife Tanganza had disappeared.
“We were made to believe that Tanganza disappeared. In fact, it was Jack, the husband, who came to our elders in the Mavhunga family, saying his wife was nowhere to be seen. However, our fathers did not accept it and have always suspected foul play.“
For years, we were made to believe that Tanganza eloped to a Malawian lover and never came back. However, it seems as if chickens are coming home to roost because several unexplainable things have been happening in our family. She (Tanganza) appeared in my dreams recently bitterly complaining about our (Mavhunga family)’s silence over her disappearance,” she said.
In his ruling, Chief Saunyama adjourned the matter to next Friday after summoning the Mandikonza family representatives.
Yesterday I posted my worries that Zimbabwe is going through a period marked by an upsurge in ritual murders. Today I add another suspected case. Last Sunday, February 7, a woman’s dead body was found with her tongue missing. The police suspect that he killing could be ritually motivated. (webmaster FVDK)
Mberengwa woman found with tongue missing in suspected ritual killing
Published: February 8, 2021 By: The Chronicle, Zimbabwe
A 45-year-old Mberengwa woman was found dead near her homestead with her tongue missing.
The killing, which the police suspect could be ritually motivated, occurred last Sunday night in Butete Village under Chief Mahlebadza.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko confirmed the incident.
He said Beatrice Dube retired to bed around 8:30 pm on Sunday and her body was found lying some metres outside her homestead the following morning.
“Police in Mberengwa are investigating a murder case in which a body of a female adult, Beatrice Dube was found about 500m from her homestead.
“Circumstances are that the night before her body was found, she bade farewell to other family members saying she was retiring for bed.
“About some 20 minutes later, her 13-year-old daughter then followed her intending to give her a mobile phone she had forgotten but she could not find her in her bedroom hut,” said Insp Mahoko.
He said Dube’s body was found by a village boy the following morning.
Insp Mahoko said the deceased was bleeding from the mouth where her tongue was missing.
He said police investigations were underway.
“We are appealing to members of the public who might have information helpful to the police investigations to approach any nearest police station,” said Insp Mahoko.
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