A CHIREDZI woman recently appeared at Chiredzi Magistrates’ Court facing charges of attempting to sell a person with disabilities (PWD) for ritual purposes.
BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
Thelma Mathema (35) of West Road in Tshovani suburb in Chiredzi was remanded in custody for allegedly attempting to sell Tsitsi Lijabu (age not known) of Tshovani for ritual purposes.
The court heard that on April 21, 2020, in a bid to lure Lijabu to Masvingo from Chiredzi, Mathema misrepresented to her that she was part of delegation invited for a workshop at Flamboyant Hotel.
The accused went on to tell the complainant that they were required to bring laptops for the workshop, leading the complainant to borrow one. Upon arrival, the two waited for hours at the hotel before three men masquerading as conveners of the workshop arrived at around 8pm.
One of the men was identified as Luke Moyo, the other just as Tinos, while the name of the third person could not be established.
Since it was already late and they were not booked at the hotel, Lijabu decided to go and sleep at her aunt’s house in Majange, and requested directions since she was not familiar with the place.
Mathema and the three men offered to accompany her, but instead took her towards Target Kopje. It is alleged along the way Moyo suddenly grabbed her from behind and tied her hands while the other two gagged her and covered her face.
Mathema disappeared from the scene, leaving Lijabu pleading with the men to spare her life. The men revealed that they harvested body parts from able-bodied people before untying and setting her free.
They called Mathema to collect her payment, but upon arrival, Tinos allegedly cut off her dreadlocks as punishment for bringing a person with disabilities. They took the two women’s phones and the laptop before disappearing into the night.
Mathema filed a robbery report against the three men in Masvingo. Upon return to Chiredzi Lijabu, however, made a police report, leading to Mathema’s arrest. The three men are still at large.
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