Chipinge man kills relative, burns body over witchcraft

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

A CHIPINGE man allegedly killed his relative by stoning him before setting the body ablaze in his bedroom in a case of alleged witchcraft.

This was revealed during the initial appearance of Andrew Machirawuta Danda (23) of Nenohwe village under Chief Muusha in Chimanimani, who is facing charges of murder before Chipinge magistrate, Joshua Nembaware.

He was not formally charged and was remanded in custody to March 14 and advised to apply to the High Court for bail.

Nembaware also ordered that the accused be examined by two doctors in terms of the Mental Health Act.

Danda claimed to have been harassed by the police.

“The police harassed me, while I was in custody and they also put evil spirits in me,” he said.

Danda was behaving awkwardly in court, prompting the magistrate to suspect that he had a mental illness problem.

“Are you normal? Do you have any mental illness problem? It’s better you go and be tested by two doctors in terms of the Mental Health Act to
ascertain whether you are mentally well,” Nembaware said.

Investigating officer Assistant Inspector Enold Kuwanzamaruwa opposed bail, arguing that Danda could abscond court, and that he needed to have his mental status examined.

Prosecutor Sekedzai Mayera told the court that on Monday, at around 6am, Danda went to his now-deceased’s relative, Willard Masango, in Masasi’s
village under the same chief with whom he had a long dispute over witchcraft accusations.

Armed with bricks and concrete blocks, he allegedly attacked Willard until he died, before setting him and the house on fire.

However, he was apprehended by villagers and handed over to the police, leading to his arrest.