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By Tonderai Saharo
A SELF-STYLED traditional healer commonly known as tsikamutanda has besieged villages under Chief Nhema in Zaka where is sexually abusing underage girls.
The traditional healer is also demanding livestock from the girls’ poor parents resulting in villagers raising a red flag seeking the state’s intervention.
The tsikamutanda, who is operating in Muramba, Matara, and Chiredzana villages in Zaka East is said to be forcing villagers to pay him after a purported witchcraft cleansing ceremonies, and allegedly removal of goblins.
The villagers are more irked that the self-proclaimed traditional healer is not only reaping them off but is also in the habit of demanding sexual relationships from female minors and married women.
“This tsikamutanda is also bedding married women and underage girls in the village, in exchange for money and meat. In one of the cases, he slept with and impregnated a Grade 6 girl, who is staying with guardians from the Chinyadza family,” one villager said.
“After sleeping with the young girl several times in the mountain, the tsikamutanda then called the child’s guardians and told them that he wanted the girl to be his wife. He gave them three herd of cattle and some. He is also sleeping with many young girls in the area.”
Chief Nhema, born Rangarirai Bwawanda said he was aware of the issue and had made arrangements with the police to stop the traditional healer from operating in the area.
“Arrangements were made with the police and Headman Chamburukira to stop the tsikamutanda from operating in the area. I am told he is collecting cattle and properties from villagers, leaving some families there poorer as livestock is a sign of wealth in rural communities “said Nhema
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However, a visit by NewZimbabwe.com to the area told a different story as most villagers believed the tsikamutanda was working hand-in-glove with local traditional leadership to reap villagers of their belongings.
Villagers said despite the current Covid-19 restrictions that ban large gatherings, people are gathering and singing for him at his shrine near Matara police base
“Due to the increase in the number of livestock he has collected from villagers, he has employed six shepherds to look after the herd. Poor villagers are now struggling with hunger.
“He is now selling some of the livestock and villagers were threatened that if they share photos of him or his name, they will encounter untold misfortune so they have been suffering in silence for months.
The villagers are also worried if the self-styled traditional leader is not stopped, he will continue with his illegal activities, dividing families, abusing women and young girls, and stealing livestock and household items in the name of a cleansing ceremony.
“This tsikamutanda must return all the livestock he has taken from villagers, as well as other household items and money. He should be arrested for breaking lockdown regulations, breaking the Witchcraft Suppression Act, and for sexually abusing minors, which is criminal behaviour.”