Mathema urges villagers to desist from inviting tsikamutandas

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema has urged villagers in Umguza to desist from inviting witch-hunters popularly known as tsikamutanda to operate in their area, describing the practice as criminal.

BY TALENT GUMPO/SHARON SIBINDI

Addressing villagers at a rain water harvesting command launch programme on Wednesday, Mathema said: “I know of some witch-hunters, who have opened a butchery and are making money from other people’s sweat.”

He said witch-hunters have also caused divisions among villagers in other areas, forcing people to confess to practising witchcraft.

“Tsikamutandas have made fortunes from stealing from villagers, they come to your village and claim that there is witchcraft, cause hate amongst you and get livestock as payment for exposing witchcraft, stop enriching other people,” Mathema said.

“We are launching this project so that your livestock can have water to drink, so that your lives improve.

“Do not entertain people, who are a threat to your source of livelihood, they will steal your livestock and you will remain in poverty.”

According to section 97 of the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act Chapter 9:23, it is an offence for one to “accuse a person of witchcraft”.

The government last year issued a statement banning witch hunters, but the witch hunting continues in the rural areas.