Police Speak Out After Claims Of Ritual Killings In Chitungwiza Go Viral
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has dismissed reports of ritual killings in Chitungwiza. This comes after claims of the ritual killings went viral on social media.
Some as yet unidentified people are circulating an audio message in which they claimed that the government is actively hiding information about the alleged ritual killings taking place. The voice messages claimed that at least children had been abducted from different schools in the town for ritual purposes. In an effort to make their claims appear genuine, the social misfits attached a photo of a child wearing a school uniform who had been murdered.
The police have since investigated the claims and dismissed them as false. According to the police, the people behind the viral messages are preying on people’s fears and insecurities for a motive that is still to be established. These people even used photos from the horrific murder of two Grade 1 pupils which occurred in Nyanga last month to peddle their conspiracy theories.
In a statement, national police spokesperson assistant commissioner Paul Nyathi said,
The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to advise members of the public that the images circulating on social media platforms purporting that a child was killed in Chitungwiza are false and doctored.
Investigations have revealed that the images are of the double murder incident which occurred in Nyanga on 14th April 2021 at Sambaza Village, Chief Mutasa where two minors, Deloney Benza (07) and Melissa Benza (07), were murdered whilst they were coming from school. The case is now before the courts with the suspects on remand.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi added that the people behind the viral messages are causing alarm and despondency in the country. He also cautioned social media users not to circulate photos that inflict emotional trauma on grieving families.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is equally disturbed by the motive of the individual or groups who are circulating these images or linking them to alleged killings in Chitungwiza.
Surely the Police do not think that it is fair for any individual or groups to continue to circulate images that traumatise the Benza family and in the process cause alarm and despondency in the country.
It is not good for anyone to be obsessed with social media to an extent of copying images and then try to send false messages locally and internationally.
He went on to urge the public to use social media responsibly.
In the last year, Zimbabwe has been rocked by a series of horrific and publicised murders of young children mainly for ritual purposes.
One of the most prominent cases is the murder of 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murewa, who was murdered on the instructions of his paternal uncles Tapiwa Makore (senior) and Thanks Makore.
In another case, two men from Mwenezi were arrested after they brutally murdered a 6-year-old girl, and cut off her private parts intending to sell them in South Africa for ritual purposes. One of the alleged murderers is the older brother of the victim’s father.
This year alone, at least three children have been found gruesomely murdered after they had gone missing. This includes the Benza cousins from Nyanga who went missing on their first day at school and 6-year-old Mitchel Musharu who went missing at Nyika Growth Point in Bikita district. She was later discovered dead in a septic tank at a neighbour’s house.
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