A suspected juju scare sent pupils and parents into panic mode at Chipinge High School after a live chicken and a bowl with blood believed to be associated with voodoo were found at the main entrance of the school on Monday morning.
The chicken was tied to a red, black and white cloth, and stayed at the gate for hours without moving. Close to the chicken was the bowl with blood. Parents and residents quickly gathered at the gate, doing all in their power to prevent pupils from going anywhere near the mysterious hen and the blood filled bowel.
A prominent traditional healer, Mr James Gabaza – who is also Manicaland Traditional Healers’ Association chairperson was quickly summoned to the school.
Mr Gabaza swiftly responded to the scene and performed some rituals, which involved sprinkling snuff (bute) at the chicken and the bowl with blood. He later removed the items from the entrance. In an interview, Mr Gabaza urged the school to hold a cleansing ceremony.
“What I have done is not enough. I urge the school authorities to hold a cleansing ceremony with urgency to prevent these mysterious happenings,” he said.
The incident comes against the background of hotly contested School Development Committee (SDC) elections. Some parents were quick to link the two, claiming the chicken and blood bowl were intended to instil fear in aspiring SDC candidates. The SDC elections are expected to be held this month.
“I think these things dumped at the school entrance are targeting certain individuals in the SDC. We all know that SDC elections are around the corner and the mysterious happenings are meant to scare away rivals,’’ said one parent.