The ritual act has since sent tongues wagging in the area. The residents, who discovered the clay plate in a water drainage canal, claimed that they had been experiencing different misfortunes ranging from inexplicable sickness, joblessness and general poverty.
Joshua Ndlovu (45) confirmed that they took the matter to a spiritualist who told them that it was an act of witchcraft meant to bring misfortune to people with names inscribed in the clay plate. Ndlovu said he has been facing difficulties paying for his children’s school fees as he has been out of employment for some time.
“I have no option, but to blame my misfortunes on this mbiya. I have had a relatively good life until recently when I failed to secure employment and have been struggling to pay for my children’s school fees.
“I was the one who discovered it together with a few other people who were on site. We were all surprised and even up to now we are not sure what the root cause is.
“We managed to get the view of a spiritualist, Prophet Shame Hungwe, who told us that it was the work of one of us. He said the person who did it wanted to cause misfortunes to people around the area. He said it was done out of malice,” he said. Ndlovu said they had requested the prophet to help in exposing the culprit.
“We requested that he send it back to the person who did it. He said it is possible and up to now we are waiting to hear the person coming out in the open and confess to his or her wrongdoings,” said Ndlovu.
An elderly woman, whose name is also inscribed on the mbiya, said she had been bed-ridden for a number of months and had recovered since the discovery of the mbiya.
“I think it is true that the person who did this wanted us to suffer. I have been sick, on and off for some time now. Surprisingly, after this mbiya was discovered I have been well. It is sad that someone can really go to extremes to cause harm to someone who has done anything wrong to them,” she said. Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association president Mr George Kandiero said such acts were prevalent and were meant to take away or shut out the victims’ talents in life.
“This is what we call kutsipika in Shona. It is the same process that is used when people want to do away with an avenging spirit in the case of a murder. It is common. Normally this happens when the evil one wants to take away or shut out the victims’ talents in life.
“They do it in order to make sure the victims will not be able to realise their full potential in life. Their talents will not be fully expressed. They will not achieve anything meaningful and their aspirations in life like marriage, jobs or decent living will be wiped away. It is caused by evil intentions by the perpetrator,” he said.