BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE National Chiefs Council has urged traditional leaders to desist from engaging witch-hunters, commonly known as tsikamutandas, as they were fleecing villagers of livestock.
The council’s deputy president Chief Lukas Mtshane Khumalo said chiefs were barred from engaging the services of tsikamutandas.
However, there have been reports of some traditional leaders engaging the tsikamutandas and forcing their subjects to attend witch-hunting rituals and threatening to evict those that defied their orders.
Recently, witch-hunters invaded Matabeleland region, under Chief Sinqobile Mabhena of Umzingwane, claiming they were exorcising the area of evil spirits and goblins.
Khumalo told Southern Eye that chiefs strongly condemned the engaging of witch-hunters.
“What we know is that it was made illegal to engage the tsikamutandas in 2016, so we condemn the engaging of witch-hunters in the community,” he said yesterday.
“They create commotion and hatred among family members, with family members calling each other witches and wizards.”
The independent Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights once called on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to ensure villagers’ rights and freedoms were protected by stopping activities of the tsikamutandas.