SELF-STYLED witchdoctors have reportedly invaded Gomoguru area under Chief Jele in Gokwe where they are allegedly sniffing out witches and instilling terror on the villagers, some of whom are reported to be fleeing their homesteads in fear of being exposed.
The traditional healer, Siachielo Mapiye, is believed to have the power to identify those in possession of dangerous “muthi” and those using mubobobo, keeping snakes, goblins and tikoloshes for purposes of allegedly amassing riches.
It is reported that under the influence of his magic, a witch or wizard can be compelled to go and collect his or her charms or animals he or she keeps for the purpose of bewitching others. Mapiye’s witch-sniffing exercise involves organising villagers into groups in respective of their villages before him.
After organising them into groups, Mapiye publicly singles out the people he claims are witches and wizards.
Villagers who separately phoned B-Metro claimed Mapiye was invited to the area by traditional leaders who were complaining that the area was under a spell of some villagers practising black magic.
“Mapiye is conducting his witch-sniffing exercise at the invitation of traditional leaders who are on record saying there are a lot of witches in the area who need to be exorcised of their evil practices. Although his witch-hunting exercise has sparked panic in the area, it is only those who fear to be exposed that are against his good works. A number of people have run away from their homesteads to neighbouring villages to avoid being exposed,”said Aaron Maodza.
However, another villager who only identified herself as Mrs Moyo said Mapiye should be chucked out of the area as his witch-hunting exercise was disturbing people’s peace.
“We do not want him here since his witch-hunting exercise is disturbing our peace. He is sowing seeds of hatred among the people and many are going to remain fighting after his departure,” she said.
Contacted for comment the unperturbed Mapiye said his work was geared at bringing “absolute” peace to the area.
“I move from place to place at the invitation of traditional leaders and my duty is to sniff-out witches, wizards and those using mubobobo. It is also my wish that you reporters visit us to see our great works of sniffing out witches,” he said.
Mapiye warned all the witches that he sniffed out and doctored that if they decide to resume their evil practices they would die.
Chief Jele could not be reached for comment. However, in terms of the Witchcraft Suppression Act, witch-hunting or accusing someone of practising witchcraft is an offence.