Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From Cabinet of Wonders

These stories are getting more and more common. people think that Africa is now a modern society - in still has its roots in its ancient traditions and beliefs including wirchcraft.

Glendale is north of Harare and was a flourishing farming community.

Magical shenanigans in Zimbabwe just keep getting weirder:
Two self-styled prophets stunned Glendale villagers when they mysteriously retrieved a baby's leg still dripping blood from a woman's hut and accused her of practising witchcraft and causing the death of the minor. However, the duo ran out of luck when they ordered the villagers to illegally exhume the body of the child, who had died a few days back, only to find the decomposing body intact.The two escaped from the scene, but were later arrested and have since appeared in court charged with employing "non-natural" means to resolve crimes.
I have to wonder where the leg actually came from, the details (while even stranger) don't really help solve that one:
The State, represented by prosecutor Mr Guni Guni, told the court the incident occurred at a farm in Glendale on June 24 this year when the duo went to Ms Everess Chazika's home. Ms Chazika had sought the duo's services after her husband continued to suffer from hallucinations.The prophets allegedly summoned villagers and the head at the farm to witness them cleansing the home of evil spirits. During the session, the self-styled prophets entered the woman's bedroom and emerged with a baby's leg dripping with blood. Munjodzi and Nsiku then pointed a finger at Ms Chazika, accusing her of using the baby's leg during her witchcraft errands. The mother of the baby that had died three weeks earlier was among the villagers who witnessed the exorcism and allegedly identified the leg as belonging to her late baby. Ms Chazika denied any knowledge of the leg and the prophet asked her to hold a hen claiming if she denied the truth the chicken would die. The villagers allegedly quickly brought the chicken, which was handed over to Ms Chazika.The prophet then asked her if she used the human leg in witchcraft, which she denied.The chicken reportedly nodded three times and died instantly.Munjodzi and Nsiku then challenged the villagers to dig up the baby's grave claiming it was empty while Ms Chazika insisted she never used witchcraft.The prophets claimed that Ms Chazika and other witches had feasted on the baby's body. The villagers, with the blessing of the headmen, dug up the grave only to discover the baby's body still intact despite being in an advanced state of decomposition. Munjodzi and Nsiku disappeared from the scene only to be arrested early this month. Police are still keen to find out how Munjodzi and Nsiku came to possess the baby's leg. It was also not clear how the leg was disposed of.
If I had to guess, I'd suggest it isn't a real baby's leg (well I hope not anyway), you could get a similar effect by hiding a doll's leg and a bag of blood up your sleeve for easy retrieval, then you wave it around a bit so no one gets a proper look at it.
This involvement of "prophets" seems to be a recent and growing problem across West Africa. "Prophets" in Zimbabwe seem to be involved with an earlier story and they are the main problem in the whole Nigerian Witch Children business (that spread to the Congo). There appear to be groups of people making-up problems for which they are the solution, no matter what the cost for other people.

While I'd be quite happy to see these mystical meddlers locked up, my gut tells me this is more a symptom of a wider problem. You are going to have to address issues of stability, justice and inequality: get rid of Mugabe and make sure the Nigerian oil money gets spread around to all the people in the country. That it obviously a bigger deal and may take a little longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment