SELF-STYLED witchhunters commonly known as tsikamutandas have resurfaced in Zvishavane nearly seven months after they were banished from the area following a clampdown by police and members of the Traditional Medical Practitioners’ Council (TMPC).
REPORT BY SILAS NKALA STAFF REPORTER
Disgruntled villagers told NewsDay early this week the witchhunters were demanding livestock and money for their services.
Killian Dawura, a villager from Chief Masunda’s area, said the witchhunters were being led by a traditional healer only identified as Ngwenya.
“Witchhunters have re-emerged at Mabasa area under Chief Masunda,” Dawura said.
“They are led by one Ngwenya.
“They have started swindling people of their livestock and we believe this is through the blessing of some traditional leaders. We want this to stop now.”
However, Chief Masunda yesterday said he was unaware of the development.
“I am not at home. I am on my way from Mutare. When I get home I will investigate the matter,” he said.
Midlands acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko professed ignorance when asked to comment about the development.
“Just give me time to contact police in Zvishavane. That is when I will be able to say something,” he said.
But TMPC senior licensing officer Jennifer Mawuzhendi confirmed receiving reports about the activities.
She said police must deal with traditional leaders who allow such characters to swindle people of their property.
“Chief Masunda must show us operating certificates of those people,” Mawuzhendi said. “We always have a problem with Chief Masunda’s place.”
In April last year, three witchhunters namely Guarani, Ngwenya and Maguranyanga were reported to be operating from Chief Masunda and headman Samuel Venge Shiku’s place.
They allegedly disappeared after the TMPC and the police launched a crackdown on the activities amid reports the self-styled witchhunters had collected over 200 cattle from distraught villagers.