A FAMILY in Machipisa Village under Chief Shumba in Masvingo is living in fear after waking up to find an undressed 12-year-old girl standing on a grave in a suspected case of witchcraft.
The incident, which has left villagers shocked, was confirmed by Headman Tadzembwa, Chibaya Machipisa.It occurred on Saturday at about 5am. Headman Tadzembwa said the case was brought to the attention of Chief Shumba.
“I can confirm that a 12-year-old girl from this village was found without clothes at Sigauke homestead standing at the late Mr Ranson Sigauke’s grave. Mr Sagauke died in 2001. The issue has been brought to the attention of the police and Chief Shumba,” he said.
When a Chronicle crew visited the village on Monday afternoon, about 40km south east of Masvingo City, the girl had returned from school complaining of a painful neck, which she attributed to her nightmare experience.
Narrating the ordeal Mrs Elizabeth Sigauke, wife to the late Sigauke, said it started when her 17-year-old daughter woke up at about 5am to sweep the yard.
“My daughter who is doing Form Three at Mapakomere Secondary School woke up before dawn and started to sweep the yard. She wanted to go to school for weekend lessons,” she said.
Ms Sigauke said the girl saw a shadow and rushed to report.
“My daughter saw a suspicious looking shadow while sweeping the yard. She moved closer and the more she moved closer the more her suspicion was confirmed,” she said.
“When she realised that it was actually a human being she woke me up and I went to the scene to investigate. I realised that it was a young girl but could not tell who she was since it was still dark. However, as it was getting clearer, the cloud started to disappear and that is when we realised that it was the young girl from the neighbourhood. I rushed to call the headman.”
She said the girl was holding a stick in her left hand and remained in trance for close to four hours.
“The girl remained in a trance while holding a stick. She was literally frozen from about 5 am up to 9am when she collapsed before she hysterically screamed,” she said.
Mrs Sigauke said a group of villagers mobbed the girl as everyone wanted to catch a glimpse.
“By exactly 6 am, there was a sea of people as villagers came in droves to witness the incident. Chief Shumba and the police also came,” he said.
She said there was an identification parade where the girl was asked to identify the alleged witch.
“After regaining composure the girl spilled the beans and identified one of our neighbours as the woman responsible,” she said.
The visibly shaken girl said on Friday night she heard a voice calling her and it was akin to that of her mother.
“While sleeping, in the wee hours of the night I heard a voice of my mother instructing me to wake up. I woke up only to realise it was this woman. She was mounting a hyena and instructed me to join her. I was in a state of unconsciousness,” she said.
They then proceeded to Sigauke homestead where they met other five suspected witches she could hardly identify.
“We went to the late Sigauke’s grave but on the way she took a stick from a mususu tree. She instructed me to hit the grave using the stick. I did it and the grave opened for Mai and other women who were also not dressed,” she said.
The girl said she had to hit again for them to come out after which she was left alone.
“This woman instructed me to wait while she went to look for her things. She just said her things had gone missing and I think she was referring to the hyena and owl that had led her into the grave. I only realised that I was at the grave when I regained my consciousness at around 9 am on Saturday,” she said.