HomeLocal NewsChinotimba witchcraft ruling deferred

Chinotimba witchcraft ruling deferred


MUTARE — Mutare magistrate Aniah Ndiraya yesterday deferred ruling on an application for acquittal by senior Zanu PF officials facing witchcraft charges.

The witchcraft allegations were levelled against them by war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba and four others from Manicaland Province.

Former Zanu PF Buhera District Co-ordinating Committee chairman Zvenyika Machokoto (42) and his wife Judith Modzeri (46), charged with conspiring to engage in witchcraft, applied for discharge at the close of the State case on February 16 this year. Ndiraya indicated she would make a ruling on the matter on April 5.

Machokoto and his wife are alleged to have hired Jimmy Motsi, a renowned traditional healer, who led the exhumation of fallen hero remains in Mt Darwin to kill through “mysterious ways” five senior Zanu PF officials.

The five complainants are Chinotimba, former Agriculture minister Kumbirai Kangai, Buhera North MP William Mtomba, Kenneth Mwanditurira and Tapiwa Zengeya. The court heard Machokoto felt the five were blocking his bid to contest the forthcoming general elections as a Zanu PF parliamentary candidate.

Machokoto and his wife are alleged to have offered Motsi $7 000 as payment for carrying out the exercise, but the couple was denying the charges.

The matter came to light after Motsi allegedly informed the complainants about the plot.

In his testimony during trial, Motsi admitted it was easy for him to “kill the Zanu PF officials”, but consciously chose not to do so.

The defence lawyer Peter Makombe applied for discharge arguing the State had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The trial was filled with drama with all witnesses setting the court in stitches over how they interpreted the ritual ceremony and how Machokoto chose to get into Parliament through consulting traditional healers. Mike Tembo prosecuted.

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