Police order tsikamutandas to leave Tsholotsho

POLICE have ordered witch-hunters, commonly referred to as tsikamutanda, to leave Tsholotsho, following complaints that they were terrorising villagers.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Scores of villagers in Mvudlana, Mbute, Madona, Lupindi and Manzimahle have reportedly lost cattle, goats and poultry to the witch-hunters who accused them of keeping goblins.

The tsikamutandas reportedly camped late last year in Tsholotsho’s Ward 13 area, traversing the length and breadth of the area, “flushing out” goblins and other voodoo objects, while claiming to expose witches among villagers.

Zimbabwe Republic Police officers move along the ZITF road

According to the villagers, the tsikamutandas were sowing hatred among the communities, leaving them with no option, but to lodge a complaint with the police.
Witch-hunting is unlawful in Zimbabwe and labelling another person a witch is a crime.

Tsholotsho officer in charge, a Chief Inspector Chapeyama said police had summoned the tsikamutandas and ordered them to vacate the area.

“This office received a letter of complaint on the above-mentioned persons (tsikamutandas) and a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of complaint was mailed to your office. Be advised that on receipt of all complaints, this office carries out some investigations to find out the truth and substance of the matter.

“It is against this background that I am giving you the outcome of my investigations. The tsikamutandas were called to his office and were ordered to immediately vacate your village and to stop their activities of tsikamutandas,” Chapeyama wrote to headman, Charles Mazibisa in a letter dated January 31, 2016.

Chapeyama advised Mazibisa to urge his subjects not to hesitate to lodge complaints against tsikamutandas, saying “in the absence of the complainant, then no complaint will speak on behalf of adults serve for cases of juveniles”.

Mazibisa told Southern Eye the tsikamutandas, who were, however, still roaming Ward 13, were causing untold suffering and anger among villagers.

He said the area was faced with hunger and the witch-hunters were worsening the situation by taking the few livestock villagers had left.

“These witch-hunters are creating permanent animosity within families and communities, they are sowing hatred and disharmony,” Mazibisa said.

He added the tsikamutandas were calling night vigils and “threatening to cast bad spells on those who refused to attend”.

The tsikamutandas were supposed to appear before a village court on Thursday, but the matter was postponed to Sunday, the Southern Eye was told during a visit to Tsholotsho.

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