Girl (6) killed for ritual purposes
By Sukulwenkosi Dube
PLUMTREE – In a spine-chilling incident, two men belonging to a Matobo family in Matabeleland South have been arrested with their female neighbour for allegedly poisoning their six-year-old niece for ritual purposes.
Acting police spokesperson for Matabeleland South, Sergeant Nkosilathi Sibanda, said the two men allegedly hired a neighbour to kill their brother’s daughter in return for a beast after indicating that they wanted to use the girl’s body for ritual purposes.
He said Sifiso Ncube (36) allegedly lured the girl, Nomagugu Moyo, into drinking a cattle dipping chemical.
Sgt Sibanda identified the girl’s two relatives who masterminded her alleged killing as Howard Moyo (61) and Wilson Moyo (51) of Ntombo Village under Chief Malachi Masuku’s area at Silozwi. They are uncles of the deceased.
“We are investigating a murder case of a six-year-old girl and so far our investigations have revealed that the child was killed for ritual purposes. Ncube has revealed that she was engaged by Howard Moyo and Wilson Moyo to kill Nomagugu in return for a beast.
“The Moyo brothers engaged Ncube as she is close to the family and she is a neighbour of the girl’s parents. The three accused persons are all in police custody and they are assisting us with investigations,” he said.
Sgt Sibanda said Ncube allegedly tricked Nomagugu into drinking a 500 millilitre bottle of cattle dipping chemical under the pretext that it was milk. He said Nomagugu had been left under the custody of her aunt by her father who works in the Diaspora after her mother abandoned her.
“Nomagugu was living under the care of her aunt Prisca Moyo (37). On 20 October at about 8am she left Nomagugu under the care of her 16-year-old daughter, Elta Moyo to do some laundry.
“During her absence Ncube arrived at the homestead and searched in the house and found a 500 millilitre bottle containing a cattle dipping chemical which she mixed with some water in an empty bottle of Cascade drink.
“She summoned Nomagugu and persuaded her to drink the mixture under the pretext that the bottle contained milk. She hid the remaining poison in the bush outside the homestead,” said Sgt Sibanda.
He said Ncube fled from the home unnoticed after allegedly giving Nomagugu the poison. He said Nomagugu started vomiting and became unconscious but the accused persons stopped all efforts for her to be taken to hospital.
“Elta found Nomagugu unconscious in the house and she alerted her mother who discovered that her vomit contained a smell of the cattle dipping chemical. With the assistance of Ncube who had returned to the homestead she took Nomagugu who was already in a critical condition to the clinic.
“On their way they were diverted by Howard Moyo who advised Nomagugu’s aunt to return with her home as she would not make it to the clinic. He managed to persuade her that sending Nomagugu to the clinic would be a waste of time and resources as she would not recover as she was in a critical condition,” said the police spokesperson.
Sgt Sibanda said Nomagugu’s aunt returned to her homestead with her niece who was already unconscious at about 1pm and undertook several attempts to revive her. He said Nomagugu died at about 4pm on the same day leading to the arrest of Ncube after investigations were carried out.
“A report was made at Matopo Police Station and Ncube was taken in for questioning upon which she implicated the other accused persons by revealing that they had offered her a beast as payment for killing their brother’s daughter.
“She led the police who recovered the poison which was hidden at a nearby bush and also revealed that they intended to use the body for ritual purposes,” said Sgt Sibanda. He said the accused persons were arrested on Thursday.
In an interview Chief Malachi Masuku described the incident as a manifestation of the degradation of moral values within society.
“I received the report on the child who was murdered by her family and this incident comes as a shock to me. I am yet to get a full report on what transpired from the village heads but such acts are disturbing as they show that people are no longer upholding moral values,” he said. The Chronicle