SOCIAL media in Chinhoyi is abuzz with claims the sudden death of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) executive escort motorbike outrider, Sergeant Freddy Chipato, was a result of witchcraft by a motorist who felt aggrieved by the late police officer for demanding bribes from him and others.
Chipato, who was clearing traffic along the Harare-Chirundu highway to pave way for First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s motorcade, died on the spot on Easter Friday after colliding head-on with an oncoming vehicle, a Toyota Altezza.
Chipato sustained serious injuries in the crash that occurred at a spot popularly known as ‘PaJones’ between Lion’s Den and Chinhoyi around 4:30pm.
The driver of the Toyota Altezza, Tinotenda Esau Mutandiro, coincidentally also a police officer stationed in Harare, failed to control his car leading to the collision.
He has since been arrested and charged with culpable homicide.
At the weekend, a curious narrative started circulating on social media platforms suggesting the biker’s death could have been the works of an aggrieved motorist revenging ill-treatment by Chipato, who was “notorious for demanding bribes”.
The assertion was then accompanied by images of a claypot (mbiya) and eggshells inscribed ‘Chipato’ believed to have been disposed of at an unidentified crossroads in order to inflict harm on the now deceased traffic cop.
The paraphernalia and modus operandi, social media users suggested, was consistent with the dark world of an apostolic sect commonly known as Nguwotsvuku (red robes) believed to be ruthless and evil.
A post by a member on a Chinhoyi WhatsApp group claimed Chipato was killed by an unidentified man from whom he demanded US$30 bribe for flouting road traffic laws and impounded his car, last week.
Reads part of the post written in ChiShona; “Vanhu vemuChinhoyi, Murombedzi ne Chegutu vanofamba nedzimotokari vafara nekupembera nekunzwa kufa kwaChipato kubudikidza kwehuori nehutsinye hwaiitwa nemupurisa uyu.
Chipato arikunzi akasunga mumwe murume svondo radarika akamuti amupe chioko muhomwe che $30 mari yekuAmerica, murume uyu akaramba achiti haana mari inosvika ikoko, zvakaita kuti atorerwe mota ichienda kukamba yemapurisa.
Zvirikunzi murume uyu akaenda kunotsvaga mari yaakanzi abvise kuti atore mota yake, asi hazvina kumufadza nemabatirwe ayo akaitwa nemupurisa uyu. Murume uyu akaudza mupurisa ainge amutorera mota kuti hupenyu hwako hwasvika kwamvura yacheka makumbo, kana uri umwe munhu namata ndokutora mota yake ndiye hutu akananga kumaziva moyo wake.
Chipato arikufungidzirwa kuti akaroiva newekunguwo tsvuku kubudikidza nehutsinyi hwaaitira vanhu. Zita raChipato rakaonekwa rakanyorwa pa mbiya nezai rakaputsirwa pakati penzira.
Vanhu musaitire vamwe hutsinye garisanai zvakanaka… “
The post got the platform heated with users debating the authenticity of the witchcraft report.