Sharon Chimenya, Masvingo Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) in Masvingo has criticised the operation of tsikamutandas in Zaka under Chief Nhema who are allegedly ripping off villagers of their livestock.
Some villagers from the area took to social media to express concern over the abuse they are facing at the hands of the tsikamutandas who are also allegedly abusing young girls. Zinatha Masvingo provincial chairperson Mr Prosper Mpofu said police must arrest such people as they were committing crimes.
“I write as a concerned villager to bring to light the illegal activities being carried out by tsikamutandas in the areas of Muramba, Matara, Chiredzana and other surrounding areas in Zaka East under Chief Nhema who are abusing little girls and has so far taken hundreds of cattle from villagers.
“In light of the above, I appeal to authorities to intervene by at least investigating these issues. These tsikamutandas must return all the livestock taken from villagers, as well as other household items and money, and should also be arrested for breaking lockdown regulations, breaking the Witchcraft Suppression Act, and for sexually abusing minors, which is criminal behaviour,” he said.
The tsikamutanda, is said to be claiming to get rid of goblins from villagers and in return is demanding them to pay with cattle, and other forms of livestock such as goats and sheep.
Mr Mpofu said everyone has the right to freedom of worship and should not be forced into taking part in what they do not believe.
“As an association we say no to tsikamutandas and those witch hunters are not part of us because our constitution does not allow such. Our constitution says that if there is a need for cleansing there are procedures that should be taken such as that the family approaches our offices through the headman and cleansing done particularly to those people.
“In our constitution as a country everyone has right to freedom of worship and should not be forced. So these people should be arrested with immediate effect.”
Chief Nhema, born Rangarirai Bwawanda, said that the last reports that he heard of tsikamutanda were three months ago and they asked for the intervention of the police to disperse them. Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa said no report has been made concerning the tsikamutandas.
“No formal report was made to our office but we saw the messages on social media and alerted the Zaka police to look into the matter and so we have since launched an investigation of the said tsikamutandas,” he said.
In a separate incident in Zaka, under Chief Nhema a 72-year-old man, Munzwa Mucheni was killed for failing to give a token of appreciation to Chivere Pedzisai (35) after he had helped him with his cow at the dip tank.
“On 2 August around 9am Munzwa was with Pedzisai at the dip tank when one of Munzwa’s cattle was trapped in the poles. Pedzisai helped Munzwa to rescue the cow and they parted ways. At around 3pm Munzwa went to the shops and found Pedzisai talking to the shopkeeper and started demanding a drink as a token of appreciation.
“Munzwa told Pedzisai that he had no money and Pedzisai struck him with a wooden chair. Munzwa bled profusely and was rushed to Mashoko Mission where he was pronounced dead,” Insp Dhewa said.
He urged members of the public to deal with their differences amicably.