News / Africa

Tales of Witchcraft Abound in Zimbabwe

Many blame their personal troubles on supernatural influences

Related Articles

In Zimbabwe, witchcraft is still common in rural areas.  Hardly a week passes without a local report or newspaper story on the practice.  For example, police recently cornered a man at the Mbare Mbare bus terminal, after they discovered a live cobra snake in his luggage.  He told officers the reptile was one of his witching tools.

About two weeks later, some women were discovered wandering naked in the early hours of the morning near Highfield. After being confronted by locals, they claimed they’d “flown” from a rural location during one of several night time escapades. But they said something went wrong and the spell wore off, before they could return to their original location.

Four years ago, the government proclaimed that supernatural powers do exist. But it says it still prohibits the use of magic if it harms someone.

Many Zimbabweans, especially those who grow up in rural areas, find it difficult to dismiss the existence of witchcraft.  Tendai Manyimo,30,  lives in Chitandara. He explained that his wife is a vendor and that her face became contorted after she was bewitched by rival vendors. He claims she’d been running a successful sugar sale venture:

“When she came to barter with rural folk the trouble started. One of our neighbors requested [sugar] on credit and she refused.  Before the end of the day she was bleeding from the nose, mouth and ears,”  he says.
Manyimo said a faith healer cured her.

David Nyemba, 77, from Mazhambe village believes he was bewitched by his aunt while he was employed as a driver in the city three years ago. He says a turning point came in his life when he quit his job in order to return to village life:

 “I was the darling of the company management ,” he says,  “and I did not realize I could have some hidden enemies.”

“My aunt pretended to like me and gave me money to spend. My instinct told me to refuse, but I went against my better judgment and spent it. I was demoted and harassed constantly by my superiors [which] never used to happen.  I got the answers after visiting a traditional healer.”

Margaret Mashayamombe,83, is a traditional healer in Mutenda village, Chihota.  She says witchcraft is used in families for revenge and spite.

Mashayamombe also says the frequency of recent reports on witchcraft indicates forces of good are triumphing over evil.  She says Zimbabweans should respect traditions by performing rituals favored by their forefathers.

“Life was okay,” she asserts, “until some over-ambitious individuals went outside the country to get advice from traditional healers there on how to get rich quickly. That is where the problem began, because they came back with remedies that are harmful [to] others. All this is now being exposed due to the powers of the spirits of our forefathers.”

Sarudzai Nyota, 33,  a member of the apostolic faith sect, says she believes the country would be better off without elevating the supernatural.  Sarudzai says people should turn to God and seek salvation through Jesus Christ, as a way of overcoming being susceptible to witchcraft.

[Nyota says] The Christian church believes there’s only a “good” spirit, meaning what is called the Holy Spirit, whereas witchcraft has origins in Satanism.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid