Man keeps skull

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Ny­ore Madzianike Se­nior Reporter

VIL­LAGERS re­lo­cated from Marange to Arda Transau were left shell-shocked af­ter it emerged that one of them had re­port­edly been keep­ing a skull in his field for the past two years, in a sus­pected case of rit­ual killing.

The cra­nium was dis­cov­ered on Mon­day by Brighton Shinga at his gar­den be­fore in­ves­ti­ga­tions showed that it had orig­i­nated from Mr Her­bert Mukura’s field in Tenzi Mavhima’s area.

Some be­lieve the skull was be­ing used to scare away ba­boons and boost har­vests while there also have been re­ports of rit­ual killings fol­low­ing the mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance of three peo­ple from the area.

The skull has since been taken to Chief Zimunya where Mukura and his for­mer worker, Hoseah Muzani­wetu, were called to ex­plain how the skull ended up at his field.

Mukura and Muzani­wetu were ac­com­pa­nied by the vil­lage head and other vil­lagers who had once seen the skull be­fore be­ing taken to Chief Zimunya. The two con­firmed hav­ing seen and laid their hands on the skull at the field for the past two years.

They said they be­lieved the skull was of a ba­boon.

“I first came to Odzi in 2015 and it was when I got em­ployed by Mukura some­time in Novem­ber 2015 that I saw the skull when I was work­ing on the fields,” said Muzani­wetu.

Muzani­wetu (36) said he first saw a dog com­ing from the di­rec­tion where the skull was, which raised his sus­pi­cion be­fore he went to in­ves­ti­gate.

“When I picked it, the skull was dis­charg­ing a heavy stench, which forced me to drop it. I thought it was a ba­boon’s skull. I left the skull and con­tin­ued with my work. I kept on see­ing the skull over the years and I had never thought of it be­ing that of a hu­man be­ing. All along, I was think­ing it was a ba­boon skull,” he said.

Asked by Chief Zimunya why he kept the skull in the field for the past years with­out throw­ing it away and why it main­tained its po­si­tion over the pe­riod with­out be­ing dis­placed dur­ing plant­ing pe­riod, Muzani­wetu re­mained mum.

He later told Chief Zimunya that he left Mukura’s place to stay on a piece of land he had al­lo­cated him and it was when he also started hear­ing sto­ries of the skull.

“Af­ter I left his place, it was when I heard that Mukura’s for­mer em­ployee wanted to take the skull to his aunt who is a faith healer in Bocha. I also heard that the skull was taken from the field and placed in a Muk­wakwa tree fac­ing the di­rec­tion of a nearby moun­tain. I heard all was be­ing done to scare away ba­boons from rav­aging their fields,” he said.

Muzani­wetu said he once came across a ghost on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions , which he be­lieves had some­thing to do with the skull.

“I once came across a ghost on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions and I want to be­lieve that it was as a re­sult of this skull. I was still stay­ing at Mukura’s place when it hap­pened,” he said.

On the other hand, Mukura said he only came to know about the skull in Jan­uary last year. He said he was also of the view that the skull was of a ba­boon.

“When I saw the skull I called Muzani­wetu who laughed at me say­ing it was a ba­boon skull. I never touched it. I stay in town and I only visit Arda Transau once in a while.

“Dur­ing my vis­its to the fields I would come across the skull. This year, I also saw the skull at the bound­ary of my field although it had changed po­si­tion. It was only on Mon­day that I was sur­prised to be told that it was a hu­man head,” he said.

Mukura said he then en­gaged their vil­lage head who sug­gested the skull be taken to Chief Zimunya. He said they de­cided to take the mat­ter to Odzi po­lice sta­tion where state­ments were recorded.

Chief Zimunya re­ported the mat­ter to the po­lice. “We have to en­gage the po­lice first and af­ter the po­lice have dealt with it, we will also then deal with it us­ing our tra­di­tional means. There have been re­ports of peo­ple us­ing skulls to scare away ba­boons es­pe­cially in ar­eas such as Chi­takatira. How­ever, I have heard of three peo­ple who mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­peared at Arda Transau,” he said.

Muzani­wetu and Mukura were handed over to the po­lice for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the mat­ter.

Pic­tures: Ti­nai Nyadzayo.

One of the ac­cused, Hoseah Muzani­wetu with the skull in front of him. Her­bert Mukura (right) has been fin­gered as the ‘owner' of the skull Chief Zimunya's aide, Mr Never Chikunda brings the skull in­side the chief's court.

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