BUSINESS came to a halt in Mutare’s Sakubva suburb in Mutare on Monday as curious residents tried to catch a glimpse of a possessed teenager (14), who hissed and slithered on her tummy like a snake.
The teen claimed her Chipinge-based granny owns six hyenas, five snakes, one wild cat and five owls which she uses for witchcraft. Inquisitive residents who thronged Madzibaba Skynage Marwakuona’s house, in Sakubva were left in awe after the teenager (name withheld) started hissing and slithering like a snake heading towards the sacred shrine.
Her scary eyes started rolling before she started spitting green-like saliva which Madzibaba (27) claimed was poisonous. The girl who was in a trance and seemingly oblivious of what was happening, said her name was Mbuya Mutonono and stayed in Chipinge. She said she uses snakes and hyenas to kill babies in her area as well as other close relatives before feeding on their blood.
“Ndine mapere akawanda anenge six, ndine nyoka dzinenge five dzandinoroya nadzo husiku. Ndinodya vana. Ndine mazizi five. Ndiri pamba pangu izvezvi. Takauraya vanhu vakawanda, vamwe vacho taidya. Getty takamudya ari mupenyu. Nyama inonaka kani. You are too powerful Madzibaba. Ndine mbiya dzirimuhozi dzine ropa revana. Endai muhozi mangu kani, musasandibata. Musanditarisa kani.
“I have since disposed of some of the witchcraft instruments I use for my trade because I recently saw two big men wearing two white robes, with big beard telling me to let go, handichadi kani” said the possessed girl.
She implicated her accomplice and “partner in crime” only identified as Chipo who manifested through the 23-year-old man who is the girl’s brother.
“This place is hot. I can’t talk. I am burning. I usually go and sit at their graves resting. I want human flesh because it is delicious. I am leaving my old ways. I have gone home and will start work in the evening. I am a wizard and we usually work in groups. Please Madzibaba leave me alone. I am done,” he said before threatening to fight Madzibaba.
The man started dancing uncontrollably and later hit himself on the ground. The exorcism exercise which turned out to be a free-for-all drama drew scores of residents to the shrine. The siblings who reside in Chikanga high-density suburb later calmed down and in interviews with The Weekender, they both professed ignorance of what was happening.
They, however, confirmed that there were mysterious deaths in their family.
“Our father and our uncles are dying mysteriously and we are worried. We don’t know much about our elders, but we have an aunt called Mbuya Mutonono who stays in Chipinge. We are worried that it can also affect all of us,” said the man.
The teenager professed ignorance of what was happening and could not be drawn into saying much.
Madzibaba Skynage, a devout member of Johane Masowe Wechishanu Wenguwo Chena who usually conduct healing and prophetic sessions at his Maonde base, said although he did not know Mbuya Mutonono, there was a high possibility that she could be dabbling in witchcraft while using the two siblings without their knowledge.
“It is quite sad that these children did not know that they were being used by this Mbuya Mutonono as accomplices to practice witchcraft. What we have done here means these two are now free from being used once her witchcraft practices are exposed. We usually encounter such incidences where children are initiated unknowingly into evil practices. At the shrine we exorcise such spirits as well as other curses and sickness,” said Madzibaba Skynage.
Acting Chief Zimunya said cases of witchcraft were on the increase. He, however, said that cases of involuntary initiation were rife in his area.
“I have heard so many cases especially of children being unknowingly initiated into witchcraft through cutting of incision marks (nyora) on their bodies. They will operate unknowingly, only to find out when issues arise in the family and people consult traditional healers. However, there are few cases of some who willingly engage in the underworld trade,” Chief Zimunya said.