TWO juveniles from Vhudzi village in Ngundu have been missing for more than a week after disappearing the day they went to fetch firewood in a local bush.
Mirriam Shoko (14) and her cousin Margaret Gumbo (13) disappeared on September 13 when they went to look for firewood close to their homestead and police suspect that the two could have been kidnapped for ritual purposes. The incident comes a month after two missing men in the area were found dead with their private parts missing.
The children’s grandparents said they were very worried about the missing girls.
“They left the homestead in the afternoon as usual to collect some firewood. When it was dusk I asked their mother Beatrice Shoko to look for them but they were nowhere to be found,” the grandfather Mwanatsi Chikove said. “I alerted other village members in Ward 24 in Chivi South before making a report at Ngundu Police Station to intensify investigations into the two’s disappearance, but nothing has yielded.”
Chief Nemaushe said there was need for the government to take charge of these perennial disappearances under his area of jurisdiction.
“My people are now living in fear. Both men and women are disappearing and those found would be dead,” Chief Nemaushe said. “The government must do something to ensure the safety of my people.”
Masvingo acting provincial police spokesperson Inspector Nkululeko Nduna said the police had intensified investigations and pleaded with the public to co-operate by informing the nearest police station if they have any tips.
“The police are very committed to assisting the public over such cases of human trafficking, kidnap and murder that are on the increase in Ngundu,” he said.
“I urge anyone with information on perpetrators to quickly inform the police.”