. . . couple murdered over witchcraft
Paul Pindani in Chinhoyi
A MHONDORO couple was recently murdered over witchcraft allegations by a close relative.
Mashonaland West Provincial Police Spokesperson Inspector, Margaret Chitove told H-Metro that the unfortunate incident happened in Denya Village, Chief Chivero in Mhondoro.
The accused is Freddy Makanganya (45) who resides in Denya Village.
The deceased are Tabeth Chiumba (71) and her husband Tayero Santumiya (72) both of Denya Village.
Insp Chitove said the unfortunate incident happened on April Fools Day, around 9pm when Makanganya returned home drunk from Nyamweda business centre and started shouting that he wanted to beat up Chiumba because she was a witch who had goblins.
It is alleged that he took an axe and knobkerrie and left after threatening to kill his mother Rosemary Makanganya (61).
The accused went to Chiumba’s homestead where he assaulted Santumiya.
Insp Chitove said Santumiya fled and left the accused assaulting his wife Chiumba, all over her body with a knobkerrie.
“Wensecelous Katsamba (43) and Tendai Makanganya (39) arrived at the scene and tried to refrain the accused, but they failed and fled as the accused had an axe.
“Katsamba and Tendai Makanganya, returned with the accused’s aunt, Mariana Makanganya (58).
“The trio found the accused questioning Chiumba, who was injured on the head demanding her to release the items which she used for her witchcraft,” said Insp Chitove.
Police said on April 2nd, at around 5am, Chiumba died at her homestead.
Kaibos Nhau (44) reported the matter at Nyamweda police post.
Her body had a deep cut above the left ear and bruises all over her body.
The body was ferried to Norton district hospital for a post mortem.
“Further to that, after the accused had assaulted Santumiya the latter fled.
“A search was made for Santumiya and he was found on April 3, at around 10am, by the accused’s brother, Fanuel Makanganya (59) lying in agony in a maize field, about 50 metres from his homestead,” said Insp Chitove.
“Fanuel, then made a report to police who attended to the scene and Santumiya was ferried to Norton district hospital and was pronounced dead upon arrival.”
Insp Chitove said his body had deep cuts on both legs and his hands were swollen, and had bruises at the back.
Santumiya’s body was conveyed at Norton district hospital for a post mortem.
Freddy Makanganya is still at large.
Insp Chitove urged members of the public to sit down and solve disputes in an amicable way.
“Pointing a finger to someone that he/she is a witch is a crime under the Witchcraft Suppression Act.
“The issue could have been solved in an amicable manner to prevent loss of life, as what happened. People must value the sanctity of life,” Insp Chitove said.