The trial of top Zanu PF officials accused of trading witchcraft allegations against each other continued last week in Mutare with the party’s chief exhumer of fallen heroes narrating the chilling account in which war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba and four others were going to die mysteriously.
Jimmy Motsi, the famous traditional healer who recently made headlines when he led the exhumation process of fallen heroes at a disused mineshaft in Mt Darwin early this year, told the court he was offered $7 000 and fertiliser by Zanu PF Murambinda district coordinating committee chairman Zvenyika Machokoto as payment for killing the five Buhera-based senior Zanu PF members.
Machokoto (42) and his wife Judith Muodzeri (46) are facing witchcraft charges as defined in Section 98 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The court heard Machokoto and his wife wanted Chinotimba, former Agriculture minister Kumbirai Kangai, Buhera North MP William Mtomba, Kenneth Mwanditurira and Tapiwa Zengeya Machokoto dead.
But, the couple has since denied the charge.
In his evidence, Motsi said he was approached by Machokoto at his rural home in Mt Darwin and was driven to Dorowa where the ritual ceremony was to be held.
On the actual date when he wanted to kill the five, Motsi prepared bottled water and asked Machokoto to call out the names of the five saying the exact fate he wished on them.
On the recorded transcript, Machokoto is heard mentioning the names of the five saying they were a stumbling block in his political career.
Motsi said the five were supposed to die through an accident or any other mysterious sudden death.
But Motsi left the court in stitches when he denied being a traditional healer and cooperating in the ritual.
In fact, he said he was a prophet of United Apostolic Faith Church.
To bolster his argument, he quoted Biblical scriptures extensively.
“The names of the five were being called as a way of placing them in the bottle. They were supposed to die from that ritual had it not that I omitted some of the important elements of the ritual,” said Motsi.
“I am not a traditional healer or a wizard, but I know that with the powers invested in me I would be able to kill all of them though I realised it was not proper.
Even Moses caused death of the Egyptians while Elijah caused serious droughts and what would you call that?” Motsi said.
Machokoto is reportedly eyeing a senatorial seat in Buhera constituency.
He was remanded along with his wife to February 16 next year for continuation of trial by Mutare magistrate Annia Ndiraya.
Mike Tembo prosecuted.