Listen to our podcast of interviews on satanism.
Cases of alleged Satanism Friday sparked outrage and fear throughout the country, with some people going as far as blaming the Witchcraft Suppression Act for “protecting” suspects and witchcraft practitioners.
Report By VENERANDA LANGA SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Following the surge in suspected Satanism activities in the country, particularly in schools, some parents are calling on government to act before “more children fall victim to the mysterious happenings.”
This comes in the wake of recent Satanism scares at Hatcliff Primary school in Harare, another incident at a school in Kuwadzana, and other cases at schools in Macheke and Bulawayo.
“We are limited on what we can do to bring Satanists to book because they are protected by the Witchcraft Suppression Act,” Said Virimai Makuzva, a Budiriro resident in Harare.
“If one believes in God, then there is reason to believe that Satanism does exist,” said Makuzva.
Olina Ncube, a member of the Church of Christ in Bulawayo said: “Yes, Satanism exists and Satanism churches are now sprouting all over the country but I have never witnessed it firsthand. The government should intervene and set up a law against Satanism.”
Kelvin Masiyiwa of Waterfalls in Harare said he was baffled that Satanists targeted school children and suggested the Ministry of Education should begin to investigate such cases at schools.
A Mhondoro resident, Barbara Chiweshe said the problem was proving cases of Satanism at courts.
“I have only read about Satanism in newspapers, but I believe those teachers who give school children bangles, artifacts or money without consent from their parents should be punished,” she said.
Roland Maseko, a catholic from Bulawayo believes Satanism is there.
“It is true that Satanism has mushroomed in the country. Last week there was drama in the marketplace when a snake mysteriously appeared from nowhere and it later disappeared. A white cow also appeared in the same marketplace 3 days ago,” Maseko told NewsDay yesterday.
Father of a Grade One pupil at Hatcliffe Primary school where the Satanism scare happened on Thursday, Lawrence Sherekete said he had temporarily withdrawn his child from school until the issue was solved.
“My child could not go to school today (yesterday) because we are afraid of these Satanism issues. The Witchcraft Suppression Act should be removed because the country is no longer safe,” said Sherekete.
However, Director of Jesuit Communications in the Catholic Church, Father Oskar Wermter said the Witchcraft Suppression Act could not stop prosecution of perpetrators who committed crimes like ritual murders as other laws could be used against them.
“People have committed crimes like ritual murders after getting orders from Satanic practitioners who say it would bring them good luck. The Witchcraft Suppression Act is only there to protect people from being falsely accused of witchcraft, but other legislations can be used on those who harm others through acts of evil. We have witch hunters going in rural areas causing social unrest and that is what the Act wanted to curb,” Wermter said.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches Chairperson, Reverend Godfrey Gaga said Satanism agents used innocent children to distract people from suspecting anything evil.
“People have to stand their ground and say no to it because we now have too many prophecies that are difficult to understand. Surprisingly some magicians have also turned themselves into prophets,” said Gaga.
Fanas Matura another Bulawayo resident who attends AFM church said: “It is true that Satanism exists and this shows that we are now at the end of the world as predicted in the bible, people should turn to God.”
However, commenting on the Hatcliffe incident, Harare acting police provincial spokesperson Tarirai Dube urged people to be cautious.
“We urge people to desist from such alarms as it would be difficult to investigate such cases,” she said