Zinatha confronts Chihuri

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The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association (Zinatha) says it plans to meet Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to demand the arrest of members of the police allegedly working in cahoots with witch-hunters commonly known as anatsikamutanda.

Zinatha spokesperson Jennifer Mawuzhendi on Tuesday told NewsDay that the witch-hunters were a disgrace to traditional healers and brought the name of the organisation into disrepute.

“We are engaging the police commissioner over such activities. Our concern and question is why would police clear cattle in such illegal activities?” Mawuzhendi asked.

“Police members who cleared the cattle during these activities and the chief who allowed these tsikamutanda in their areas must be probed and arrested,” she said.

“The activities are illegal and villagers are being duped.” she said.

Mawuzhendi said Zinatha president Gordon Chavunduka would meet Chihuri soon over the matter.
She said the bogus witch-hunters used fake names, which made it difficult for them to be identified wherever they went.

Mawuzhendi alleged one Maguranyanga had run away from the Domboshawa area on the outskirts of Harare recently after Zinatha learnt of his activities and made a report to the police.

“Police wanted to arrest him and he ran away, only to hear of him causing havoc in Zvishavane. Maguranyanga is not his real name. According to our investigations, his name is Emmanuel,” said Mawuzhendi.

The association called on the police to investigate and arrest the witch-hunters, traditional leaders and police members allegedly implicated in the activities.

On Tuesday police denied allegations that members of the force were clearing cattle used by villagers in Zvishavane to pay the self-styled traditional healers.

Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Patrick Chademana said it was not true that police were involved in such activities saying police would instead arrest the culprits.

Headman Samuel Venge Shiku and some kraal heads in Zvishavane on Friday confirmed anatsikamutanda namely Gaurani, Maguranyanga and Ngwenya, were “cleansing” Zvishavane villages of witchcraft and evil spells since last year.

Those accused of witchcraft are reportedly made to pay two beasts for exorcism while “victims” were charged a beast or less depending on their level of affliction.