Govt must act decisively on ritual murderers

Businessman Robert Tazvireva’s vehicle had its windscreen shattered by angry villagers

In yesterday’s edition of NewsDay, we ran a disturbing story about the burial of a Karoi woman, whose head was severed from her body and dumped a few metres away from a local businessman’s shop, after she was allegedly killed by her 20-year-old brother in a suspected ritual murder.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

 Businessman Robert Tazvireva’s vehicle had its windscreen shattered by angry villagers
Businessman Robert Tazvireva’s vehicle had its windscreen shattered by angry villagers

This story sends a chill down the spine, but the sad reality is that it is perhaps just one of many murder cases occurring around the country. What makes this story quite peculiar is that the deceased was murdered by her own brother and for money.

What also makes this a sad story is the fact that this is happening hardly two months after a Bulawayo man killed his sister over the sharing of rent money from a property left by their parents. He murdered her and tried to burn her body to conceal the crime and buried the corpse in a shallow pit in the yard. What a callous act!

In Zimbabwe today, hardly a day passes without relatives, and, in many cases siblings, killing each other over petty issues. In another case, a man was caught, while trying to “sell” his child to a businessman for ritual purposes. This is unacceptable.

Many years ago, there were reported incidences of ritual murders in which businesspeople allegedly hired hitmen to kill certain people and remove some body parts, which were then mixed with juju in order to boost their businesses. To think that this continues to happen today is unfathomable.

What is worrying now though is that it appears such incidences are recurring more often. It is regrettable that people would not want to apply business principles to grow their enterprises, but are reverting to barbaric methods of ritual killings.

It is understandable against such a backdrop that some sections of society insist that capital punishment should be retained in our statute books, otherwise how does one level the score with someone, who has such callous disregard for human life? At what cost can the scores be levelled? How does one recompense those whose loved ones are killed needlessly? It is important, therefore, that Zimbabweans debate whether the country should adopt an eye for an eye, and a life principle to stem the tide.

It is sad that people can allow the love for money to override their senses, as happened in this case in which the suspected murderer was said to have been offered $4 000 for his own sister’s head. Such reckless conduct and disregard for the sanctity of human life cannot be tolerated. We urge the government to stem the tide, in the same manner they are trying to deal with rampant cases of rape, by imposing a mandatory 60-year jail term for rapists.

Not that we support the draconian laws that violate people’s human rights, but government should self introspect.

Every culture and religion across the world recognises the sanctity of human life, which is the idea that life is sacred, holy and precious and should, therefore, be preserved by whatever means possible. Consequently, no one should just make a decision to kill a fellow human being.

Overally, the social decadence is a clear sign of Zanu PF’s poor governance.


  1. How can the govt act decisively on ritual murders when in the very same govt there are pple who make civilians disappear.

    • Remember the story of Faber Chidarikire in whose car a human head was found?
      What of Chigwedere and his witch craft?
      etc etc

  2. To tackle this one all the stakeholders should be arrested including the Sangoma, the sponsor (businessman for lack of better word) and of course the perpetrator. The problem can also be tracked to witchcraft, and therein we have a huge problem because prominent witches are protected and sometimes promoted, at great detriment to victims.

  3. If one is caught doing ritual murder let the civilians deal with him with their bare hands. If police come in they may be bribed and nothing happens.

  4. Remember the story of Faber Chidarikire in whose car was found the head of a person and the matter was swept under the carpet. What about Chigwedere and his witchcraft antics etc etc

  5. As long as this administration is still in office, let us all forget about bringing ritual murderers to book because they all believe in shedding innocent blood.ZANU PF is still in power because of murdering innocent citizens who decided to differ in opinions.In the 2013 plebiscite , a Kadoma legislator was embroiled in attempted ritual murder of a young girl and the case died a natural death because they are birds of the same feather. A sane and reasonable leader would not give people like Faber Chidarikire any government post given his tainted past but to prove that they swim in the same dirty pool, he continues as if nothing ever happened.

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