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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Ritual killings grapple the country

Story by Fungai Jachi

RISING cases of suspected ritual murders being reported countrywide have left many disturbed with children being major targets of the brutal killings.

There is a superstitious belief that killing a child in a particular way, such as inducing torture before the actual killing and then processing certain body parts in a specific manner will create, increase, and maintain wealth.

This belief seems to be contributing to the increase in brutal killings of both the young and old with the mysterious murders leaving many with unanswered questions.

In trying to understand if the concept even works this news crew caught up with a traditional healer, Sekuru Banda who had this to say.

“It is an old belief which is not even true because who has ever proven that body parts have mysterious powers that bring money? It is wrong and any traditional healer who makes people believe such things should be punished. People should learn to work hard.

People have become so lazy that they want easy money and it is so wrong. We have to work towards changing the mindsets of people because many are being led astray and being made to do mysterious things because of the love of money,” said traditional healer, Sekuru Banda.

From a scientific point of view, psycho-therapist Dr Mertha Nyamande explains that gruesome murders are mostly committed by people suffering from mental ailments.

“Those who commit murders are mental patients one way or the other. Some kill for the fun of it especially those who go on to remove body parts. They could be psychopaths and it would have nothing to do with rituals. We have to take time to understand mental illness because most of these murder cases are because the offenders will be mental patients.”

Legal expert Mr Moffat Makuvatsine explains how the law balances murder committed for ritual purposes and any other murder cases.

“At law, there is no provision that specifically deals with ritual killings, but it can be taken as murder committed under aggravating circumstances which carries the death penalty or life imprisonment. Murder which is proved was not committed under aggravating circumstances carries a presumptive sentence of 20 years. So, if it is proved that there were ulterior motives behind the murder, then it will mean the death penalty or life imprisonment.”

In recent times, there has been a surge in reports of ritual killings, with the case of Tapiwa Makore’s tragic death garnering significant attention.

Tapiwa’s killers, his uncle Tapiwa Senior and Tafadzwa Shamba were put on death row for their crime.

In the past few days, a three-year-old from Guruve was discovered brutally murdered. Her body was decapitated and burnt with missing body parts.

The suspects are yet to be apprehended.

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