- Councillor implicated in ‘ritual’ murder - eight people
MDC –T councillor for Ward 29 in Bulawayo, Monica Lubimbi (60),
allegedly connived with a resident (....) to murder her rival and
give the councillor his brains, tongue, lips, nose and fingers, a
Bulawayo magistrate heard on Friday.
The allegations came to light on Friday when Lubimbi and seven
others, Pisi Nxumalo (56), Nkosinathi Khumalo (27), Ntando Moyo
(21), Opah Moyo (59), Busani Sibanda(30), Xolani Ncube (30) and
Hlonipani Mugayo (29) — appeared before Bulawayo provincial
magistrate Abednico Ndebele facing charges of murder.
Charges against them are that Khumalo and the now deceased, Mgoli
Majola, had a long-standing wrangle over a house in Emakhandeni
suburb in the city.
The quartet, with the help of Moyo, who is in the police
constabulary in Nkayi, allegedly kidnapped Majola on July 27 after
she posed as a police officer. Moyo, who was in police uniform, went
to Majola’s house with her alleged accomplices and advised him that
he was under arrest for impregnating his maid. The five allegedly
claimed that they were taking him to Entumbane Police Station and
allegedly took him to a bushy area in Richmond suburb. On arrival,
they allegedly struck him with a machete on the head after Moyo had
allegedly handcuffed him on to a tree trunk.
The following day, Khumalo and Mugayo allegedly returned to the
scene and removed Majola’s tongue, brains, fingers, lips and nose
and wrapped them in a plastic bag before they allegedly gave them to
Lubimbi at her house in Magwegwe North.
Majola’s body was later discovered by women who were fetching
firewood, who alerted the police.
August 19, 2011
- Four ritual murder suspects to appear in court
The four Zimbabweans who were at the weekend arrested in
connection with the murder of a fellow countryman whose eyes and
private parts they then removed in a suspected ritual murder in
South Africa yesterday appeared in court.
Innocent Muvembi (26), Johannes Chikukuta (31), Ngonidzahse Mapfumo
(26) and Blessing Hove (17) were not asked to plead by a Musina
They are accused of killing Munyaradzi Muthetwa and then hanging his
body from a tree in Musina to feign suicide. (....)
After the murder they allegedly removed his eyes and private parts.
March 15, 2011
- Ritual murderer to hang
A sombre atmosphere enveloped the High Court onTuesday afternoon as
Justice Tendai Uchena sentenced a Karoi man, Bigknows Wairos, to
death for killing his son in a suspected ritual murder.
The court found that Wairos lured his son Ronald (then aged 9) into
believing he wanted to take him to the Registrar General’s Office in
Karoi to get him a birth certificate. He instead took him to Sandara
Farm where he killed him before cutting off one of his ears and
draining the blood into a lunch box.
The incident occurred on June 12, 2007 when Wairos duped his mother
Eneresi Siamkonde who was staying with his two sons Ronald and
Tawanda (7) at Chivakanenyama village that he was taking them to
Karoi purportedly to (....)
Dad to be hanged for ritual murder of son
February 16, 2011
- Ritual murderer set to hang
A FORMER security guard from Chiredzi has been sentenced to death
for the ritual murder of a woman from the same district (....)
Zakaria Simango, 35, his wife, Christine Manganya Sithole, 29, and
her mother, Mahlaba Hurudza, 45, from the Tshovani area of Chiredzi,
had been in remand prison since 2003.
They pleaded not guilty for the murder of Ndakaziva Mapako, 21, also
from Chiredzi when they appeared in court last week.
However, Justice Francis Bere -- siting at the Bulawayo High Court
-- convicted Simango and imposed the death penalty. The judge
acquitted his wife and mother-in-law.
The murder occurred on February 6, 2003 at Ingwizi Estate in Magwe
District, Matabeleland South (....)
The state claimed Simango’s mother-in-law wanted human blood for
- Ritual killing shocks residents
MARONDERA - Residents of this small provincial capital of
Mashonaland East are living in fear of suspected ritual killers,
following the discovery of a mutilated child’s body in the town last
The body of the infant no more than a month old, was found dumped at
an undesignated Mutare Road Bus Stop, some 100 meters from
Dombotombo Police Camp.
Residents attributed the killing of the innocent baby to rumours in
the province that ritual killers and human body traffickers were on
August 20, 2010
- Mother kills son for muti - Sells his ear
A Zimbabwean woman killed her infant son and sold one of his
ears for R76 to a traditional healer wanted for ritual murders in
neighbouring Mozambique, police say.
July 1, 2010
- Beheadings on the rise in Bulawayo during World Cup
Parents in Zimbabwe are worried for the safety of their children
following claims that human heads are being sold in the region.
Residents of Bulawayo say there has been an increase in the number
of child abductions and they are worried heads are being sent over
the border. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation radio says that since
the start of the Fifa World Cup there have been numerous claims of
beheadings and kidnappings.
They say a man was recently arrested
at the Plumtree border post with cooler boxes filled with human
heads. Two other children from Bulawayo’s Pumula East suburb only
managed to escape their abductor when his car ran out of fuel.
A 21-year old man had been arrested for cutting off the head of his
one-year old nephew and residents wanted the man to say which
syndicate was paying him.
There is speculation that more visitors to South Africa may
mean more business – or perhaps those involved in ritual killing
think the police have their minds on other matters.
(...) For now, parents are watching their children carefully. At
least one school in Bulawayo is so worried by the reports that it
has sent out a circular asking parents to accompany their children
to and from lessons.
July 2, 2010
- Mutilated body found in Marlborough
The mutilated body of a seven-year-old boy was found abandoned at
his parents' home in Malborough, Harare, in a suspected ritual
Clive Madzudzu's body was found with the right ear missing and right
eye gouged out. Clive's father, Raymond Madzudzu, is now on the
police wanted list after he reportedly went on the run. Harare
provincial police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau yesterday said
Raymond Madzudzu told a neighbour, George Kapasuka, about the
assault before asking for soap to wash off his son's blood.
January 31, 2008
- Woman axed to death
A Banket man and his friend allegedly teamed up and axed a woman to
death in a suspected ritual killing.
The incident happened at Barryhille Farm in Banket on September 9
when Naison Katandika and Joseph Maguva allegedly followed Dorica
Chiunye, their neighbour, on her way to fetch firewood and grabbed
her in the middle of the forest and beheaded her.
They appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna, who
remanded them in custody on murder charges. Unbeknown to them,
Bernous Chakanyika witnessed the gruesome murder and reported the
matter to the police. Investigations by the police led to the
recovery of the woman's remains.
September 27, 2007
- Ritual murders - Arrest N'angas Too
A Hurungwe man last Tuesday reportedly teamed up with three other
men and killed his nine-year-old son for ritual purposes at the
behest of a businessman who had paid him $400 000.
Bignose Wireless (27) of Murindika Village under Chief Dandawa in
Hurungwe allegedly killed his son with the help of Takaedza Masunda
(29), Samuel Mazheke (37) and Everson Major (27) in cold blood after
receiving the money as part payment from an unidentified Karoi
June 26, 2007
Ritual murders - Arrest N'angas Too
The report about a Hurungwe man who
allegedly teamed up with three others to murder his
nine-year-old son for ritual purposes was shocking. The body of
Ronald Wireless was found with the right ear missing five days
after his father had reported him missing at Magunje Police
Station. A Karoi businessman, who is yet to be named, is said to
have made a $400 000 down payment for body parts.
June 27, 2007
- Zimbabwean law and witchcraft
"Killing someone for ritual purposes is murder, for example, and many
have been hanged after being found guilty of murder, rather than of
witchcraft. Unfortunately, the advisor of the killer, and the person
who processes body parts obtained from murder, has usually escaped
punishment. Even suggesting that this person was a witch was a
March 3, 2006
- Vulnerable Bodies: Ritual Murders, Structural Violence and
The following is an extract from 'African Witchcraft at the
Millenium: Musings on a modern Phenomenon in Zimbabwe' by David
His dissertation is entitled:
"Managing Misfortune: N'angas, HIV/AIDS and Health Development in
Non-Blacks have been implicated in witchcraft in another way also,
namely through ritual murder and the trafficking of human body parts.
In South Africa, for example, there are documented cases of Whites
being killed for their body parts, the belief being that because
Whites bring money into the country and are generally more
successful than Blacks, medicine made from their organs will be more
powerful and effective.
Paradoxically, Whites are less likely to be ritually murdered
because of the belief that Blacks who kill Whites are sentenced to
death, the death sentence being a strong deterrent.
Some Indian businessmen and traders in South Africa and Zambia are
also thought to indirectly participate in ritual killings to secure
medicine that will ensure the success of their businesses. There
are, of course, ways around the outright killing of someone to
obtain human tissue. In Johannesburg, a White police officer at a
mortuary was alleged to be supplying traditional healers with human
fat, harvested from the corpses he was paid to protect (Report of
the Commission of Inquiry into Witchcraft Violence and Ritual
Murders in the Northern Province of the Republic of South Africa,
Vulnerable Bodies: Ritual Murders, Structural Violence and the
Though there has been no official inquiry into ritual murder in
Zimbabwe, the practice exists and in these days of economic
instability, it appears to be more common than it is reported in the
media. The motives underlying such killings, as in the above
examples, is usually some form of material success. Though not
usually involved directly in the killing of victims, some
unscrupulous traditional healers are involved in consultations on
body parts and the preparation of those parts for ritual purposes.
"The traditional healers give advice on who to kill and which parts
of the body to be used to prepare such medicines," says Chavunduka.
Different body parts have different qualities ascribed to them.
Genital organs and breasts are used for fertility purposes. The eyes
of a victim grant the users farsightedness (in business), while the
hands are used to attract many clients.
In the capitol city of Harare, police records indicate that 100
people were murdered in 1998 and most of the cases that went before
the court were shown to be ritual murders ("Ritual Murders and
Trade in Body Parts on the Increase," The Sunday Mail, April 18,
In March of 1999, a policeman and his wife were detained on
allegations that they ritually murdered their domestic worker to
secure a minibus ("Couple in Alleged Ritual Killing Granted Bail,"
The Daily News, March 30, 1999).
In April of 1999, a youthful-looking 38-year-old man from the Harare
suburb of Epworth was released by his kidnappers after being
declared "too old" to be killed for his body parts ("Too Old to
be Sacrificed," The Standard, April 18-24, 1999).
For every case that gets reported, however, one or more goes
Add to this the rise in numbers of missing persons and some
investigators begin to speculate on a grisly pattern.
Sadly enough, it is precisely those individuals who are most
socially and economically vulnerable - children, homeless people,
unskilled workers - who are usually the targets for ritual murders.
Children in particular are singled out because of the belief that
their organs make powerful medicine.
In the eastern highland region of Zimbabwe, a Mutare-based man,
Tichafa Chiweshe, admitted that his paternal grandfather had
ritually murdered one of his employees at his large farm so as to
ensure the farm's continued success and productivity. His case
points to one of the well-known side effects of ritual murder on the
perpetrator of the crime, namely that the murdered person's spirit
often returns as ngozi, an avenging spirit. The ngozi
returns to wreak havoc in the lives of the murderer's family,
sometimes even causing death. "People on my father's side always
die when the guavas are ripe," Chiweshe explained(6). Moreover,
he attributes his chronic bad luck to the ngozi, aware that
things will only get better when he visits a n'anga and
performs the appropriate rituals to put the murdered man's spirit to
The physical precariousness of those vulnerable individuals with
regard to ritual murder speaks to the general economic, social and
political precariousness of the collective Zimbabwean body, where a
discourse of state-sanctioned covert violence and apathy colludes
with an ever-worsening economy. As 1999 began, the country seemed
inescapably swept up in a downward spiraling socio-economic and
political vortex which extended its tendrils into all facets of life.
The government was involved in a costly (allegedly
$1,000,000-2,000,000 a day) and increasingly unpopular support of
Laurent Kabila's forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (in the
name of preserving 'democracy'). At the same time, it was dealing
with charges of rampant domestic governmental corruption,
skyrocketing inflation and interest rates, astronomical increases in
the price of basic goods, a controversial land reform and
resettlement program, the collapse of the healthcare system and
stalled talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the
release of some $53 million in desperately needed aid.
This kind of macro-structural violence perpetrated on the average
Zimbabwean by external forces (whether government or international
interests) can be analytically and metaphorically read as
ritualistic murdering of the downtrodden to benefit the already
powerful through what Peter Geschiere refers to as the "accumulative
tendency of witchcraft in relation to power."(7)
It is common knowledge that some state functionaries keep protective
charms, regularly consult n'anga and in some cases keep
tokoloshis to further their own acquisition of wealth and power,
which is usually at the expense of their constituents. In such
domains of power and politics, however, witchcraft beliefs, as
Geschiere notes, are usually expressed in rumors and allusions.
Outright accusation and public confession rarely occur and
discerning concrete actions is difficult at best. Add to this the
fact that witchcraft is, by nature, secretive, concealed from the
public eye and it is not difficult to see why it is difficult to
substantiate. The inability to fully capture witchcraft, in an
empirical sense, serves to only increase its power - intimations
alone are enough to change people's behavior and/or the course of
The modern practice of witchcraft in Africa remains enigmatic to
those of us rooted in other historical and cultural traditions and
places, particularly those of us who brashly assume(d) such
practices would expire with the advent of "modernization."
Paradoxically, however, those same forces that constitute what we
loosely label "modernity" - globalizing economy, novel flows of
information and technology, new configurations of transnational
power and control - appear to be the very same forces feeding the
proliferation of witchcraft activity. So, far from receding into the
dark corners and private spaces of public discourse, witchcraft is
asserting itself in bold and bombastic ways. Not simply a reaction
to capitalist forms of penetration and control, witchcraft is part
of a deeply historical form of sense making which has adapted to the
exigencies of modern African life. While the apparent rise in
witchcraft practice may be seen as the birth pangs of Zimbabwe's
delivery into the global economy, explanations of witchcraft are not
reducible solely to this process. Witchcraft is a deeply historical
and cultural grammar of affliction and effrontery, malaise and
malappropriation, modernity and "tradition" that demands examination
on its own terms.
David Simmons 1999
A centuries old practice of ritual killing
Summary - On March 16, 2010 AllAfrica.com reproduced an article from The
Herald, published by the Government of Zimbabwe, entitled 'Chiefs
Are Not Ordinary Beings' which mentions the centuries old practice of a
ritual kiling following a chief's death, a practice which, according to the
article, continues in certain areas though nobody ever mentions or reports it.
So the victims 'die a natural death', according to a former magistrate.
The article - The article focuses on the traditions
surrounding the death of a traditional chief. For centuries, the news of
the death of a tradional leader is kept secret for as long as three or
more months. Various reasons account for this traditional practice.
Nowadays, however, the Government of Zimbabwe offers traditional chiefs
a great variety of material advantages - salary and allowances, car,
a.s.o. - and hence it has become lucrative to become a chief. This
conflicts with the old tradition of keeping the news of the traditional
ruler's death secret.
Moreover, modern Zimbabwean laws require people to report anyone they
assume is lost by any means under the Missing Persons Act. Besides,
relatives have a right to be shown where the late person is buried.
The article cites the cases of Sekuru Botemupote Mushore whose
whereabouts still remains a mystery, and of the late Chief Makoni (Naboth
Gandanzara) who passed away on September 6, 2008 but whose death
remained unreported and unannounced for a whole year.
"(....) Close sources to the chieftainship allege that the body of the
late chief could not dry (be mummified) because (....). And when they
attempted to take his body for burial at Matotwe Caves, the pall bearers
found that the stone to the entrance of the cave could not open up
But before that could be done, it is further alleged, the ritual of
killing someone who would act as the chief's pillow or mutsago had to be
undertaken. This is an age-old norm whereupon the consenting family of
the slain person is given a piece of land or the late chief's daughter
Long before the announcement of his burial, school authorities in the
Makoni area were on record as advising pupils to move in groups for fear
they would fall prey to the appeasing act. (italics added - FVDK)
"Whether that is done by consent or not, the laws of this country regard
it as murder and whoever is responsible for taking away another person's
life faces the wrath of the law.
"It is unfortunate though that in areas where such practices continue
to be carried out, no one gets to hear about them and so they die a
natural death," says Wilson Chipokoteke, a retired magistrate. (italics
added - FVDK)
here for the original article
"Managing Misfortune: N'angas, HIV/AIDS and Health
Development in Zimbabwe" by David Simmons (1999)