June 20, 2021

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Let’s Curb Ritual killings

Headman Talkmore Mupambawahle in His personal Capacity

Cases of kidnapping and subsequent murder for suspected ritual purposes have been on the rise in Zimbabwe.

Last year the nation was shocked after a seven year old Murehwa boy Tapiwa Makore was allegedly murdered by his uncle Tapiwa Makore Senior for ritual purposes and President Emmerson Mnangagwa had to unequivocally condemn these barbaric and heinous acts to end.

Tapiwa’s remains were buried in March this year with some body parts still missing.

This year two Grade One cousins in Mutasa were callously murdered by their relative on their way home from school.

The spine chilling ritual murder sent the whole nation into mourning. These are indeed tragic and horrific incidents for the families to deal with and the grief is quite traumatic and is going to hound them forever.

It is widely believed these gruesome murders are done to strengthen the fortunes of the person who commission them to either excel in business or command influence in society.

These delusional ideas are shocking beyond belief, to imagine at this day and age there are still people who sink to such pathetic lows to think limbs of the dead can be concocted to a ‘muti’ to enhance their fortunes, when there is overwhelming evidence that dispute that. It is utter rubbish and nonsensical to think you can use human parts and blood to prosper.

The perpetrators of these crimes know it very well but due to greed of hefty cash that exchange hands in these deals and the psychopath minds that disregard human life they soldier on to commit these atrocities. It is believed the actual beneficiary is not involved in the murder. The individual approach a sangoma, provide the money and collect the parts once prepared.

Victims of these killings are mostly young people and in rare cases old ones. The victims are abducted and taken to a secluded place to be brutally murdered. There are reports that victims are mutilated while conscious, so that the ‘muti’ can be made more potent through the noises of the victim in agony.

When you hear these discourses on how victims are murdered it is just not easy to stomach. It is despicable, traumatizing and painful. You wonder what had got into some of our people to slide to these extremes of defying the law.

The body parts that are mainly targeted according to reports include soft tissue and internal organs –eyelids, lips, scrota, head, labia, and uteri. The resulting juju it is reported it can be consumed.

The motivation, belief and behaviour surrounding their actions are hard to comprehend. The moral level that they operate on is so complex and a complete deviation from the norms of sane people.

The philosophy of being successful through hard work and earning legitimate influence using positive deeds is not in their vocabulary.

The n’angas who are the architectures of these evils are not likely known in their communities. They are also not part of the mainstream traditional healers because such practices have been rejected by Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) long back.

As a nation we must find ways interventions to uproot this evil practice among us.

It’s high time as a nation we should unite to take a defiance stance against these vicious crimes. I encourage church leaders, security forces, politicians, ZINATHA, traditional leaders, media and non-governmental organisations to campaign against these horrendous and barbaric crimes to end.

It is possible to eliminate ritual killings. Schools, parents and the society must be vigilant in protecting the children from ritual killings.

Talkmore Mupambawahle
Headman Mupambawahle Village, Makoni District.