Villagers in cleansing rituals for Chinamhora murders

HARARE - Two cleansing ceremonies were held in Chinamhora communal area in Domboshawa over the festive holiday to purify the area following gruesome murders last year.

The ceremonies involved traditional African rites and a Christian church service.

Paul Mwazha of the African Apostolic Faith church held a night prayer at Chiroodza Showgrounds Business Centre with hundreds in attendance.

Simon Chidziva, who is chief Chinamhora, led his community in attending the church service.

The traditional ceremony, held at the Domboshawa Caves, was led by headman Gilbert Mungate Murape and headman Zimbiru together with other traditional leaders who brewed beer and slaughtered a cow.

Chinamhora area is in Mashonaland East province under Goromonzi West constituency.

Chidziva confirmed the ceremonies happened.

“As you are aware last year in my area we had six cases of ritual murders and as the leader of the area I decided to hold a cleansing ceremony in response to the people’s requests. We decided to have two ceremonies and everything went according to plan. I am happy that the ceremonies were successful and the situation has normalised,” he said.

Chinamhora said he had decided to allow the two different ceremonies to accommodate the different families of the deceased people who have different ideologies and beliefs.

“People under my area of jurisdiction approached me to have a cleansing ceremony and some of them are Christians and some traditionalists so we decided to have both ceremonies to accommodate the two groups.

“The chiefs’ council is actually planning to hold a bigger cleansing ceremony for the whole country having the ceremony in my area Chinamhora as this is where the latest series of ritual murders occurred,” he said.

During the period of the horrific murders police and soldiers were deployed to the area to boost security. - Tarisai Machakaire

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