By Mthabisi Tshuma
Self-proclaimed witch-hunters, commonly known as tsikamutandas, have flooded the San community in Makhulela Village, Bulilima, where they claim to be “cleansing the area”.
Notorious for preying on superstitious villagers, tsikamutandas have destroyed families and divided communities after claiming to expose witches. They demand livestock, while claiming to rid communities of goblins.
In Bulilima District’s Makhulela Village which is under Ward 9, tsikamutandas have been taking advantage of Covid-19 restrictions to prey on villagers. They have used the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 lockdown to trick individuals into believing their misfortunes are due to being bewitched.
To perform their duties, the tsikamutandas are paid hefty amounts, mostly in the form of livestock — chicken, goats and cattle.
A Chronicle news crew visited one of the areas in Makhulela Village on Monday and found villagers gathered at a homestead waiting to be “saved” by the tsikamutandas.
The villagers were not observing social distancing in light of the Covid19 pandemic.
The tsikamutandas led by one Mhofu, reportedly did not inform the local leadership or the police of their business.
Ward 9 councillor Charles Kulube said he was disturbed to see neighbours being robbed of property in broad daylight.
The cunning tsikamutandas often convince villagers that anyone who advocates for their expulsion from societies will be trying to avoid being exposed as a witch or wizard.
Under Zimbabwean law, it’s illegal to accuse someone of being a witch or wizard.
“This is very, very bad. How can people come all the way from places over 400 kilometres away to say we can help you chase away goblins? What goblins are they talking about in the first place?
“We want them gone and arrested for not complying with the Covid-19 regulations,” said Clr Kulube.
However, Village Head Mrs Matshena Ncube said villagers felt they needed help that’s why they engaged the tsikamutandas.
“We have our problems as a society. We decided to approach them because we need help,” she said. The Chronicle