MUTASA villagers were left weak-kneed following the recent discovery of the remains, minus some body parts, of a fellow villager who had mysteriously disappeared.
The body of Moses Nyamutata, which had a missing left palm while his eyes had been removed, was only discovered following the intervention of the men of cloth who were hired to unravel the mystery.
The Nyamutatas could not take the disappearance of their sibling lightly and vowed to leave no stone unturned to bring those suspected to be behind what they believed was a ritual murder to book. They are convinced that the people behind Moses’ murder were close to him.
What added more mystery to Moses’ disappearance was that the hat and other clothes he was wearing on the day he vanished were found dumped about 300 metres away from his remains.
Family members who were interviewed last Thursday claimed that they also discovered a 750ml bottle which contained sheep fat (mafuta ehwayi) as well as a feather besides Moses’ remains.
On the day he was last seen, Moses’ friend and fellow villager (name withheld) allegedly visited him and the two went for a beer drink at a bottle store at Domborutinhira Business Centre.
“They went for a beer drink with a friend, but that was the last time he was seen alive. His friend could not explain to us why he had left Moses behind, yet they had gone together to the bottle store. A herdboy, Munyaradzi Tangwena, later met Moses who was struggling to walk because of his ‘drunken stupor’ and tried to escort him home. He dismissed Munyaradzi saying he wanted to rest briefly before completing his journey home.
His hat was recovered about 300 metres away from where he was last seen,” said family spokesman and Moses’ brother, Munyaradzi (34).
He added: “We got worried and decided to consult Madzibaba Nyenyedzi church members and prophets over his whereabouts. That is when we discovered his body. His body was in an advanced state of decomposition. It was about 5km away from the business centre. His left palm was missing and his head was bruised. His eyes were tampered with. It was a sorry sight.”
Munyaradzi, who was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Paddington Nemaunga and Moses Murowe during the interview, said they were suspecting foul play.
They laid blame on police officers from Mutasa, saying the law enforcers had put “zero effort” to bring the culprits to book, or at least assist them with possible leads surrounding the mysterious death.
“We have more questions than answers. We strongly feel that he was murdered. Someone killed him. Where is the missing palm and the eyes? The head was bruised. Just two days after his disappearance and he was found with missing body parts, that is strange. What of the container which had a strange concoction of sheep fat? What of the feather which was also near his body,” he said.
He said the prophets led by one Madzibaba Johane had promised to name and shame the hand behind their brother’s murder.
“We need the help of the police, traditional leaders and fellow villagers to unravel this mystery. We feel that we are alone in the quest. Police participation is next to zero and it is worrying. The prophets are, however, ready to tell us the person who murdered Moses,” said Nemaunga.
He said Moses’ mysterious death came barely two months after a baby from the same village disappeared on February 6.
In a typical Shona culture and belief that there is communication between the dead and the living especially when one dies in unclear circumstances, the family members said they were waiting for Moses’ spirit to “communicate” before they act.
Moses, who was not married, was laid to rest in Odzani on April 2. But is there any affinity, whatsoever, between the feather and mixed concoction which were in a 750ml bottle as well as the missing palm and bruised head to Moses’ ritual killing?
When contacted for comment, assistant Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Muzondiwa Clean said they had not received the report.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association acting president Mr George Kandiero said there was a high possibility that Moses was killed for ritual purposes.
“The presence of sheep fat speaks a lot. That is normally used for rituals and exorcism. It is most likely that Moses was killed for ritual purposes,” said Kandiero.