Sangoma (106) in court for extortion  

Source: Sangoma (106) in court for extortion  – NewsDay Zimbabwe


BINDURA traditional healer, Elias Godknows Zinyemba, who is popularly known as Sekuru Zinyemba has been arraigned before the courts on extortion charges after he defrauded unsuspecting clients of US$7 000 in tokoloshe (goblin) cleansing ceremonies.

Zinyemba (106) on Monday appeared before Harare magistrate Shane Kubonera together with his daughter Pamela Zinyemba and nephew Newlife Magona who are both 33 years old.

The trio was released on free bail and remanded to January 20.

The complainant is Josephine Edith Nyakujara of Chikomba.

It is alleged that sometime in November last year, the trio together with their accomplices Atwell Magona and Elton Dickson, who are still at large hatched a plan to steal from the complainant.

They wrote a letter and sent Magona to deliver it to the complainant’s late daughter’s house, Precious Nyakujara at number 02 Wooplestone, Glenlorne, in Harare.

The letter was written by Magona, upon instructions by Sekuru Zinyemba.

John Mukorera, who is the complainant’s son in law then received the letter after being alerted by the gardener, Tendai Ngapasare who was at home.

He read the letter, which purported to invite his late wife to the traditional healer’s place.

Mukorera then advised his mother in law Josephine Nyakujara about the issue. She came to the house to read the letter. She also talked to Magona who had been sent to deliver it by Zinyemba.

On November 24, the complainant, Mukorera, and Mukorera’s young brother Brian Goto were then led by Magona to Musekiwa village under chief Masana in Bindura where Zinyemba’s shrine is located.

They found Zinyemba seated outside the shrine, and when they entered the shrine he allegedly started speaking in tongues, and alleged that he had given the complainant’s late daughter some goblins to enrich her business.

He went on to say after her death, the goblins had no one to take care of them, adding that the situation was bad since the goblins required blood.

Zinyemba alleged that deaths of their family members were imminent if action was not taken to appease the goblins. He then requested the complainant to inherit the goblins, but she refused.

The traditional healer then claimed that he had told the deceased that to return the goblins; there must be a payment of cattle, a house in Harare and a vehicle.

The complainant then begged for the downward review of the payment.  During the negotiations, it was agreed that US$5000 cash must be paid, and a vehicle.

Zinyemba then ordered his daughter, who acted as his interpreter to tie a cloth around the complainant’s waist. He then instructed that it must be removed only after the full payment of what he had demanded.

He ordered his accomplices, Magona and Dickson to go with the complainant to Harare to remove the goblins at the late Precious Nyakujara’s house in Glenlorne.

Upon arrival in Harare Magona and Dickson carried out some rituals and received cash amounting to US$7000.00 from the complainant Josephine Edith Nyakujara in the presence of Mukorera and his young brother Goto.

The accused persons then removed the cloth from the complainant’s waist after the payment.

Nyakujara (complainant) later advised her uncle Douglas Chiendambuya about the issue.

During a meeting where they discussed the issue at Holiday Inn in Harare, Chiendambuya was in the company of one, Justice Muzungu who narrated an incident where his late father, Stuart Muzungu visited Zinyemba’s shrine, but did not pay any fine after he noticed some inconsistencies in the traditional healer’s utterances.

Muzungu then volunteered to escort the complainant to check if it was the same shrine which his late father had also visited.

Upon discovery that it was the same shrine, a police report was then made leading to the arrest of the trio.

The total value stolen was US$7000 and nothing was recovered.