HomeLocal NewsChiefs do not support witch-hunters — Charumbira

Chiefs do not support witch-hunters — Charumbira

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Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira on Thursday denied allegations traditional leaders were protecting witch-hunters known as tsikamutanda from arrests.

Charumbira was responding to recent accusations by the Traditional Medical Practitioners Council (TMPC) that witch-hunters were being protected by traditional leaders.

TMPC senior licensing officer Jennifer Mawuzhendi told NewsDay last week tsikamutandas continued to wreak havoc in areas such as Chinhoyi, Mhangura, Masvingo, Gokwe and Zvishavane despite efforts by his organisation to have them arrested.

“We are lobbying for the arrest of the traditional leaders who prevent the arrest of the witch-hunters,” she said.

Charumbira said: “Our position is that no chief must support witch-hunters. What they (tsikamutandas) are doing is illegal. We know they are crooks who are ripping off innocent people of their property. We do not expect any chief to support them anyhow.”

He said people must report to the chiefs’ council any traditional leader who supports the activities of tsikamutandas.

“If the allegations have proven true why then are those chiefs not being arrested? No report has been made to us to that effect. We still take the allegations as unfounded,” he said.

But, Midlands police spokesperson Patrick Chademana recently said a police blitz on tsikamutandas was being scuttled by chiefs and headmen who allegedly assisted them to evade arrest.

Tsikamutandas are allegedly demanding cattle and huge amounts of cash from villagers as payment for their cleansing services. They claim to have powers to cleanse the areas of witches and wizards.

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