WITCH – HUNTERS popularly known as tsikamutandas left in a huff with egg on their faces after their trickery to swindle community members in Gokwe were exposed by the alert villagers who later bayed for their blood.
This was after the tsikamutandas, known in the community as Gondo and Damba, who were from Nembudziya in Gokwe fingered a villager, Rungano Moyo, alleging he possessed a snake that mysteriously took other villagers’ crops.
When they were still conducting their cleansing ceremony an alert villager noticed Gondo fumbling with a bag which contained tools of the trade and taking out a black snake.
A source in the area said Gondo threw it into Moyo’s bedroom.
“Gondo claimed that they had caught a snake that was mysteriously taking other villagers’ crops. At that moment a commotion arose as a villager shouted that he noticed Gondo taking out a snake from his bag,” said a source.
Villagers joined hands and stopped the cleansing ceremony.
The village head Michael Mandeya confirmed the incident.
“As the tsikamutandas were busy conducting a cleansing at Moyo’s homestead one villager noticed their trickery, after that they quickly teamed up and manhandled Gondo and Damba accusing them of taking the community for a ride and fleecing them of their livestock,” he said.
Mandeya added: “Villagers were angry because witch-hunters were demanding beasts or goats to either remove a goblin or shayisano (bad luck) which caused poverty. Moyo had already paid with three beasts for them to remove the snake that they allegedly said he possessed, villagers ordered them (Gondo and Damba) to return Moyo’s beasts and those of other community members.”
Mandeya said villagers burnt the snake although a section of villagers had insisted it must be taken to Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
Efforts to get a comment from Gondo and Damba were fruitless as their mobile phones were not reachable.