After all Gokwe is just like any other place

The old Shona saying which says; hakuna dunhu risina muroyi loosely translated to mean; there is no land without witches, may on face value seem false if one is to read on the happenings in Chief Njelele’s area in Gokwe South in Midlands Province. The stories that are emanating from the area seem to suggest that Gokwe is where all witches are made to stay. Forget the Zaka stories when a purported lighting manufacturer left the Zaka police officersl shocked when he had gone to surrender his tools of trade.


The Zaka man is believed to have demonstrated his lightning manufacturing prowess on a tree at the station which today stands there half dry.

But for Gokwe, hardly a day passes with no stories associated to witchcraft coming out. Chief Njelele, born Moses Mischeck Njelele, however argues that Gokwe is just like any other place in the country and says it is only that their policy to publicise anything that is connected to witchcraft which occurs in his area to shame the doers.

“These cases are not particular to Gokwe alone but they happen everywhere in the world including the European nations where they have vampires. It is only that we have made it our policy that all that which happens in our area, we have to tell it to the people so that it is exposed. Others tend to hide such incidents. There are a lot of stories that happen in the country, some even worse than what happens here. Recently there was a story of a pregnant woman who gave birth to a slipper but it did not make noise because it was hidden from the public eye,” said Chief Njelele in a long ranging interview with this magazine in Gokwe recently. He however confirmed as true most of the stories that were reported in the papers.

It is in his area of jurisdiction where 26 ladies from Village Head Pauro and Chariseka under Chief Njelele mysteriously woke up one morning without their undergarments despite going to bed with them on. The undergarments are said to have been found stashed in a bush and 17 women positively identified their undergarments in the presence of the police with the remaining ones not finding owners, may be due to their state.


The Outpost confirmed an incident where the Chief instructed the two Village Heads to conduct a cleansing ceremony with their subjects. At one of these ritual ceremonies, a more mysterious event occurred. It is said a big eagle came and picked up a full grown dog from the homesteads of Village Head Pauro where the cleansing was supposed to be carried out in full view of the villagers. The headman immediately abandoned the cleansing ceremony.

It is in Chief Njelele’s area also where in July last year, three children aged five, two and three from the same homestead in Mhokore Village died one after the other in a space of three days. The deaths of the three siblings came following utterances by a local village head that three members of the family would die in mysterious circumstances to compensate for his three chickens that were accidentally killed by one of the family members.

In a more recent case, a woman from Sidojiwe Village who was pregnant is said to have gone into labour before giving birth to a frog like creature in a case largely linked to witchcraft. Though these sound as scripts taken from horror movies are only a pick from most cases that have occurred in Chief Njelele’s area in recent years most of which are all are witchcraft related. These cases, says Chief Njelele, emanate from marriage disputes, infidelity, and adultery. He also said some normally occurred during the ploughing season where people fight for farm boundaries as well as harvesting time.

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Effective application of International Labour Standards (ILS) creates a stable and predictable environment for business and modern economy, Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Engineer Tapiwa Matangaidze has said.

Eng Matangaidze said these sentiments while officially opening a five-day training workshop for members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) trainers on freedom of association and civil liberties at Cresta Lodge in Harare recently.

He said this is because conflicts between employers and employees can be effectively solved through orderly practices and social dialogue platforms.

Eng Matangaidze said ZRP’s sound human capital development was an achievement which the workshop sought to build on.

“This move takes cognisant of the fact that ZRP has established a very sound human capital development which this delivery seeks to ride on. I am sure your high performance centres and training institutions will come handy in cascading the knowledge to many officers across the county,”he said.

He added that the country was on track to achieve sustainability as evidenced by its ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.

In her welcome remarks Commissioner Training and Human Resources Development, Commissioner Grace Nomsa Ndebele, applauded the efforts made by government to equip ZRP members with knowledge on labour issues.

“As an organisation, we are cognisant and deeply appreciative of efforts to equip police officers with the requisite knowledge and competences on contemporary labour issues,”

“The need for in-depth knowledge on modern instruments of freedom of association and the supervisory machinery of the ILS system has increasingly become paramount,” said Commissioner Ndebele.

The workshop was intended to build internal capacity within the police service to train fellow officers.

Eng Matangaidze urged the participants to cascade the knowledge they were taught to their subordinates and trainees across the country.

The idea of training state actors involved in the labour market on ILS is consistent with the mission of the 10 Point Plan enunciated by President Robert Mugabe last year.

Twenty participants from all police provinces attended the workshop.

I LO is a United Nations agency that brings sets labour standards, develops policies and devises programmes that promotes decent work for all women and men.

Veld fires have had devastating effects to communities largely those in the new resettlements who have borne the brunt of having to endure their effects every season.

Many have lost their lives due to veld fires with a sad incident happening in Chitomborwizi in Makonde District in Mashonaland West Province, where three adults lost their lives after being engulfed by the raging fires in September.

Mashonaland West Province has been singled out as the most affected province with the largest hectarage of 631 662 being burnt according to the 2016 Fire Report prepared by the Environmental Management Agency(EMA). The province has also had the highest number of deaths in the just ended fire season totaling to four deaths.

A Hurungwe Farmer and Chairperson of the Hurungwe Police District Crime Consultative Committee(CCC),   Mr Edmore Mpofu watched helplessly as his  15-roomed thatched house was being ravaged by a veld fire. The fire destroyed property worth thousands of dollars leaving the farmer homeless. He only managed to save his motor vehicles which were parked outside the house.

The farmer who occupies Plot 1, Lot 2 of Blockerly Farm said the fire had come from the neighbouring farm whose owner had not put a fireguard around his field and had to spill over to the house which is surrounded by pine trees.

“I was left with the clothes that I was putting on and at first I contemplated leaving the farm for my house in Karoi. However, my friends advised me that since its planting season, it was wise to continue staying at the farm so as to monitor my crops. I am in the process of constructing a temporary structure which is almost complete with the assistance of well-wishers and my neighbours,” said a visibly distraught Mr Mpofu in an interview with The Outpost.

Investigations by the police established that the fire had originated from Kasimure area which is more than 20 kilometers away when the accused failed to control it while preparing his garden for tobacco seedlings.

He has since been arrested and sentenced to 8 months in prison.

The ZRP Hurungwe District led by Acting Officer Commanding Superintendent Gastone Boyce and his assistants Superintendents Maxwell Majojo and Tambudzai Muchineuta recently led a delegation to Blockely Farm where they donated various goods towards Mr Mpofu and family. The delegation included the provincial members of the Business Against Stock Theft (BAST), Crime Consultative Committees (CCC) and Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe (BACFOZ) as well as representatives of the same committees from all Mashonaland West police districts – Chegutu, Kadoma, Kariba, Manyame, Makonde and Hurungwe.

The goods were handed over to Mr Mpofu by Mr James Masango who is also the provincial BAST Chairperson who himself also donated cash and a cow. Among other goods donated includes blankets, bed sheets, a bed, kitchen utensils and cash.

Mr  Tayengwa Foya who is the Hurungwe District BACFOZ Chairperson said that after the incident, they had put up a team for resource mobilisation which came up with the resources which were donated.

Zimbabwe and Mozambique Criminal Investigation Departments (CID) held bilateral meeting at Police Sports Club, Harare in an effort to join hands and discuss issues of common interest concerning cross border crime.

Officially opening the meeting, Deputy Commissioner General (Crime), Cde Josephine Shambare commended the two countries for holding such an important meeting which was in accordance with the 9th session of the Mozambique/Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security (JPCDS) held at Elephant Hills Resort, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 10th-14th October 2016.

“This bilateral meeting you have converged for is a vital platform strengthening information sharing and joint efforts in confronting the malady of transformational crime,” said DCG Shambare.

Considering the fact that there has been a challenge in repatriation of criminals and exhibits between the two countries, Deputy Commissioner General Shambare challenged congregates to find lasting solutions.

“I am hopeful that you will seize the opportunity to deliberate on issues pertaining repatriation of exhibits, extradition of fugitives, cross boarder crimes such as theft of motor vehicle, drug and human trafficking, stock theft, smuggling among others.

“In particular, the show place at which exhibits are being repatriated to our respective countries is an area that requires urgent attention,” she said.

She also pointed out that having physical boundaries between countries has become meaningless considering the globalisation of crime which now requires police interaction within geographical regions and beyond.

Meanwhile the heads of departments from the two countries Senior Assistant Commissioners Godfrey Munyonga and Dr Paulo Chachine who are Directors of CID for Zimbabwe and Mozambique respectively were in agreement with the Deputy Police Chief as their presentations were based on dealing with crime and creation of lines of communication.

The meeting which lasted for two days was held at a time Zimbabwe is currently grappling with the upsurge of human trafficking whereby vulnerable members of the society like women and children are being recruited through deception and sold for sexual and labour exploitation.

The country is also experiencing theft of motor vehicles especially Land Cruisers that are being smuggled into Mozambique through undesignated ports of entry and exit.

Cross border stock theft cases are also rampant and intelligence has indicated that livestock stolen from Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central are being taken to Mozambique fetching good prices.

Bilateral relations has been of help to the Zimbabwe Republic Police in reducing cross border crimes in Matebeleland North and South Provinces where the country shares border with Zambia and Botswana/South Africa respectively.

Officer Commanding Masvingo Province, Senior Assistant Commissioner Martha Mofolo has implored people from Masvingo province to desist from committing murder as it is against God and the laws of the country.

Speaking during the Anti-Murder Campaign held at Chinorumba High School in Zaka recently,Senior Assistant Commissioner Mofolo said murder cases in the province were worrisome.

She reminded the crowd that people were created in God’s image and hence the need to preserve life and cherish it.

Quoting from the Holy Bible, in Exodus 20:13, which says, Thou shall not kill, the senior officer said the Zimbabwe Republic Police upholds God’s law through Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

Paragraph (1) of the section, states “that any person who causes the death of another person intending to kill the other person  or   realising that there is a real risk or possibility that his or her conduct may cause death, and continues to engage in that conduct despite the risk or possibility, shall be guilty of murder.”

The Constitution of Zimbabwe under section 48 (1) states that every person has the right to life.

“I stand before you troubled by the increasing number of murder cases in the province. We have received 40 murder cases from January to October 2016 compared to 45 during the same period in 2015. This shows that each month, at least four people are murdered in Masvingo Province,” she said.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Mofolo said though there was a slight reduction, she was not happy with the continued loss of life.

Masvingo East District, which includes Zaka, has recorded the highest number of murder cases during the period under review.

“We have received 12 cases in this district. This shows that one person is murdered every month,” she said.

She cited domestic violence, public fighting, robbery and binge drinking as the main causes of murder.

The Police band, entertained the crowd, starting off with makanaka’ calling on divine intervention and ended with Sulumani Chimbetu’s ‘Sean Timba’, stating that murderers deserve to rot in jail.

Munjanja Primary School Traditional Dance was a marvel to watch as they gave a stellar performance while Chinorumba High School did a drama on murder.

A contingent of 72 Junior Call members, 30 Drum Majorettes, 28 ZRP members and tens of people made a procession from Chinorumba Business Centre to the venue where the school’s motto: Love and thoroughness, invited them.

Held high throughout the procession, was a banner inscribed, No to murder: Life is precious.

The event was graced by Chief Rangai Bwawanda Nhema, Masvingo Provincial Magistrate Tinashe Ndokera,  Zaka Central Member of Parliament (MP) Hon Paradzai Mutandwa Chakona, among other dignitaries.

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