Fear runs high in Domboshawa

HARARE - Abel Mafunga, a lanky 27-year-old, dreads walking the three-kilometre stretch from the bus stop to his home during the night.

Seven people have been murdered in suspected ritual killings in the last two weeks in this usually tranquil Domboshawa area, 30km northeast of Harare.

Mafunga is a security guard who usually knocks off at sunset and is a prime target of killers prowling the area for males to kill for ritual purposes.

“I now prefer to work night shifts so that I can walk home when its daylight. Unfortunately because of my work schedule, I sometimes have to take the dreaded walk home during the night,” says Mafunga.

He is not the only one living in fear.

The community is on the edge.

An atmosphere of fear, grief and frustration has enveloped the community following the mysterious deaths.

Five males were found dead on Monday in Domboshawa’s Chinamhora communal lands.

Two males had suffered a similar fate a week earlier.

“Most of the people who are employed here are guards and sometimes we drop off at bus stops late evening. I am now afraid of walking during the night. There are people who want to use our body parts to improve their business fortunes. We are being sacrificed for money,” says Mafunga.

“Life for us has become difficult as we are at a high risk of being killed,” he adds.

Jason Mudariki, another villager drinking opaque beer in a “sports bar” at Mungate Shopping Centre, a few kilometres from the scenes of the killings, says he makes sure to go home before sunset.

“We no longer enjoy our beer because we have to be very careful or we die. We are now drinking mostly during the day as walking at night is very risky,” says Mudariki.

A group of friends sharing a two-litre mug with him nod their heads in agreement.

Ruzivo Chafa, a villager whose cousin is one of the latest victims of the sadistic murders, says the killings were escalating and there is need for the community to rally together.

“This is so painful. Some people are indeed ruthless and can do anything to get what they want. As a family we are shattered and as a community we are devastated. It is high time we come together because the murderers are not going to stop,” a grieving Chafa says. - Lloyd Mbiba


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