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Gokwe ‘witches’ flew in basket to Harare

Two women from Nembudziya in Gokwe who were yesterday caught start-naked in Glen View, Harare were remanded in custody after Mbare magistrate ordered that the pair undergo a medical examination.

Naked suspected witches arrested in Harare
Naked suspected witches arrested in Harare

Chipo Chakaja (26) and her aunt Maria Moyo (35) all of Nembudziya communal lands denied charges of engaging in practice associated with witchcraft.

They appeared before Mbare magistrate Mr Reuben Mukavhi who remanded them in custody to September 26. The pair was found in possession of two winnowing baskets containing an owl, tiny-decorated beads, animal skins, gourd and talisman, among other witchcraft related items. The pair told the court that they had no knowledge as to how they got to Harare.

“I had supper yesterday at my homestead and retired to bed at around 8pm. I recall having a dream in company of four whose whereabouts I do not know. We were with Chiedza (believed to have been the ring leader) who was complaining that if we delayed, would find her daughter-in-law in Harare gone to have her ailing child attended to by some apostolic sects,” said Moyo.

While Chakaja reiterated that she was also surprised to find her-self naked and in a winnowing basket.

“I remember eating supper yesterday but as to how we got here I do not know,” she said.

Moyo told the court that they were six and were flying in the baskets when they fell at an apostolic sect shrine in the western suburb. The two were escorted in and out of the court each holding her evidence since no officers were courageous enough to carry the baskets.

After being questioned about what they were using the winnowing baskets and their contents for, they professed ignorance prompting magistrate Mr Mukavhi to order them to undergo a medical examination.

“It appears both of you have mental problems, you have left me with no doubt but to alter your pleas to not guilty such that you can have medical examination,” said Mr Mukavhi.

Prosecutor Ms Revai Mudzokori told the court that the two were seen yesterday at around 5.30am loitering at Tongai’s house number 3616 in Budiriro 2 Harare while naked.

The court heard that when Chris Tongai saw the pair, he approached and questioned them before giving them some red holy clothes to cover themselves. He reported the matter to the police leading to their arrest.

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