By Johannes Chin’ombe
MWENEZI, November 19, 2015 – In a shocking development that has left many traditional leaders frightened in Masvingo’s Mwenezi district, two village heads from Chief Neshuro’s area are being haunted by goblins demanding their master’s share of food aid distributed in the drought ravaged district last month by CARE International.
The affected village heads are Tinos Pfungise of Zvirikure Village 1 and Modrick Musirevi of Zvirikure Village 2.
The two said they have called for meeting to reassure villagers that they have no leftovers left from the food aid provided by the Non – Governmental Organisation after encountering daily nocturnal visits by flashing little lights at their homes that talk in feint noisy voices demanding food from the village heads.
“The voices make chilling threats to hurt members my family by.I have since announced at the recent meeting I held with villagers that by next month I will launch a witch hunt and I will send away from my village whoever is found guilty,” said Pfungise.
“Since the food vouchers were distributed I have not rested, I have not known peace. The goblins visit me every day at 1600hrs asking for food saying that they are hungry. My neighbours are witnessing real drama since I sometimes seek refuge at their homesteads when these goblins start tormenting me,” Pfungise added.
“The whole drama began when people received food vouchers from CARE. Small lights approached my home demanding for food donated from CARE since they insisted that my granary was full of food donated from the non – governmental rganisation,” narrated Musirevi.
“In my village, I recently summoned a meeting in line with the Shona tradition known as (kurova mberera) which seeks to make the usual spectacle associated with witchcraft public. It also serves as a warning to whoever is involved in sending the nocturnal visits to stop before action is taken,” Musirevi further narrated.
Both village heads however lamented that the goblins have not stopped tormenting them amid calling for the meetings.
“Whoever is sending the goblins is sending the unusual emissary is undeterred as the goblins continue to visit me every day at 1800hrs. I have actually wronged no one and I have no blood in my hands. I don’t really know what wrong have I done from this person that he or she sends goblins to continuously torment me,” lamented Pfungise.
“The goblins have continued visiting me regardless of having called for a meeting to warn the perpetrator and efforts to get help from other village traditionalists are proving fruitless,” said Musirevi who trembled as he further narrated his ordeal.
A villager who refused to be named however blamed village heads of favouring their relatives and friends leaving out others who are also facing starvation. .
“People in my village are very angry from what a lot of village heads in this area are doing. Pfungise for example excluded four blind people from the list of people to benefit from CARE. Where do they think they would get food from especially that they are handicapped and are less able to help themselves in this drought. These goblins are simply being sent to punish them,” said the anonymous source.
Villagers have also confessed having encounters with the goblins as Pfungise’s neighbour; Doubt Goredema said they have since stopped passing by the village head’s place at night fearing strong disturbing sounds they come across.
“I have since seized passing by Pfungise’s house at night because I once encountered strange unusual voices. During the encounter with the goblins, I even failed to realise my cousins. Pfungise later told me not to pass by at night saying his home was haunted,” Goredema said.
“When I heard about the tormenting goblins, I braved to visit Musirevi’s house at night to witness for myself. It is true, villagers have bewitched this man. I witnessed the small fires with my own eyes and suddenly sounds emerged from nowhere demanding food. This is a clear sign that there is a witch in this village who is angry after failing to receive food from CARE International,” confessed another villager, Ranganai Marutenga.
Acting ZINATHA chairperson for Masvingo province, Prosper Mhofu however condemned the alleged witchcraft acts and said his organisation will definitely get to ground and deal with the foul play.
“We don’t support that and we strongly condemn such acts. We however received reports of the alleged foul play late but I have assure the village heads that as soon as we sit with our coordinating committee, we will send our member to deal with anyone sending the goblins. The major challenge we might face is money to send our representative there but we believe by the end of this week we would have done something,” Mhofu said.
“Such acts are usually done by greedy people. I recall such a scenario happening in my home village, Nemamwa and I volunteered to do a witch hunt personally. I successfully caught the culprit and since then, none of such reports has emerged. I therefore urge these village heads to a witch hunt which should be conducted by a true traditionalist to shame the culprit,” said a prominent traditional healer, Ananias Chirambamurivo.
Meanwhile, the troubled Chief Neshuro’s area is on record of having sent four witch hunters, Benjamin Chigwedere, 28, Kelvin Moyo, 31, Edwin Nyashanu, 28, and Simon Phiri, 21 popularly known as tsikamutanda’s to prison