Ritual killings leave villagers in fear

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Villagers in Mutambara area of Manicaland province are living in fear of suspected murderers who have allegedly killed four people and at least one beast in suspected cases of ritual murders.

A body of a male adult was recently found floating in a river in the area with some body parts missing.

Another body is said to have been seen a few metres from Mutambara Hospital.

Police spokesperson Inspector Oliver Mandipaka confirmed one of the murder cases and said that police were investigating.

Said Mandipaka: “Police are investigating a murder case that happened in Mutambara. What I can say for now is that we are investigating the case.”

One villager told NewsDay that more than four people were killed including one who was found in a river, another one who was found dead a few metres from the hospital and others who were found dead in the bush.

He said he had attended the funeral of one victim when these issues came to light and police came to the funeral with some of the suspects for investigations.

Word doing rounds in the area is that the body parts are forwarded to a prominent business person in the area who has connections with foreign buyers. Police could not be drawn into confirming this and preferred to say investigations were still in progress.

Another villager who would not be named out of fear of the ritual murderers told NewsDay that more than five people have been killed in the area.

One of the alleged murderers, he said, had been nabbed at a permanent police checkpoint known as “Roadblock 22 Miles”. A source said the suspect had a human organ in his possession. The male sexual organ was hidden in a lunch box containing rice.

“We are now afraid because the gang was seen again in the area last week. People are moving in groups because it is now too risky to move alone,” said the villager.