Connect with us

education

Feature: Ritual killings leave Zimbabweans reeling – NewsDay

By Gamuchirai Masiyiwa/Linda Mujuru
TEARS run down Michael Benza’s face as he recalls the recent deaths of his son Dylan and nephew’s daughter, Melissa. They were both seven.

“I was away from home, and when I came back, there was mayhem,” he says. The children didn’t make it home from school that day, and many people from the village were searching for them.

They searched all night. The next day, the children’s bodies were found in an abandoned house in the village, along the road children in the area use everyday to walk to school.

Their throats had been cut, and blood drained, says national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi — a sign the killings may have been for ritual purposes.

“It hurts,” Benza says, “that someone decided to kill my child like an animal.”

The April 2021 killings, have upended this community of small-scale farmers in eastern Zimbabwe, near the border with Mozambique.

And they have sparked a larger national conversation about child safety and the ways traditional beliefs can mislead desperate people.

Some witch doctors and traditional healers in Zimbabwe have long promoted the idea that the blood of young children is pure and can bring blessings and good luck, and that body parts may be used in rituals intended to create wealth.

The Benza killings came at a time when the nation was still trying to come to terms with the gruesome murder of seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore in Murehwa, Mashonaland East province in September 2020. His uncle and two other suspects have been arrested over the suspected ritual murder.

“Many people are being hoodwinked by callous traditional healers into believing that the gruesome killing of innocent children, especially their relatives, can bring them good fortune,” says Heaven Munyuki, founder and executive chairman of Mwanachipo Africa Trust, a non-governmental organisation in Zimbabwe that advocates for children’s rights.

The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association says it doesn’t condone such practices. “We don’t encourage the use of body parts,” says Prince Mutandi Sibanda, the group’s secretary for education and research.

“We have a legal obligation not to do so, and if any of our members uses body parts for any processes, they will lose their membership and be prosecuted for that.”

Such beliefs are not widespread in Zimbabwe.

But the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s livelihoods, coupled with the worsening national economy, may have prompted some individuals to do the unthinkable in the hope of improving their financial circumstances, police and child advocacy groups
say.

Over the past two years, police have recorded five cases across the country in which children were allegedly slain for suspected ritual purposes, Nyathi says.

It’s not the first time that children have been killed in such a manner. But the recent spate of killings has sparked intense interest and discussions on social media, with many people denouncing the beliefs.

“Traditional healers should be sensitised on the right to life that children also have and safeguard their lives,” says John Mhlanga, programmes manager at Justice for Children, a non-governmental organisation that provides legal assistance to children and advocates for their rights.

“Many people are being hoodwinked by callous traditional healers into believing that the gruesome killing of innocent children, especially their relatives, can bring them good fortune.”

Mhlanga says that social media and text messaging platforms have led to heightened concern among the public about the killings and the issues surrounding them.

“With technology development such as WhatsApp, information is now flowing and moving very fast,” Mhlanga said.

“People are now starting to appreciate the rights of children and the right to life, so we now have a lot of publicity around these issues.”

Following the slayings in April, Munyuki says his organisation launched a national campaign to end the ritual killing of children and is encouraging children to walk in groups and avoid secluded places.

Nyathi says police also have launched a national campaign that involves messaging on social media and partnering with organisations that fight for children’s rights.

In Nyanga, residents are still struggling to make sense of the killings. Charles Manyama, a village head, says what happened was unheard of and something he has never witnessed before.

“We were shocked,” he said. “To even talk about it today is traumatising.”

In April, police arrested two men who live in the village and charged them with the murder.

They are being held in jail pending trial, Nyathi says. It was not possible to speak to the men directly, but Barbara Munyawarara, the wife of one of them, says police wrongfully accused her husband and that he was home with her on the night of the killings.

For the parents of the slain children, the lack of closure is agonising. Benza’s nephew, Douglas says Melissa’s death has left a deep wound in his heart, and his life has not been the same since.

According to tradition, when people die their clothes and belongings pass on to relatives to wear and use in their memory. Benza gave his daughter’s clothes to his nieces.

“I sometimes cry just by looking at the kids wearing her clothes,” he says, “and always wish if she was around, she would be playing like other kids.”

lGamuchirai Masiyiwa and Linda Mujuru both work for Global Press Journal and are based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Continue Reading

education

Matsekete talks leadership – The Zimbabwe Mail

Samuel Matsekete



Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group, or organisation to influence or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organisations. Zimbabwe is full of such leaders yet one area of concern is that they may not pass on their leadership skills to upcoming generations. In a broadcast brought by Zimpapers TV network (ZTN) in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ), Andy Hodges (AH) talked to the Group chief executive officer for Old Mutual Zimbabwe and Head of Banking Portfolio, Old Mutual Rest of Africa, Samuel Matsekete (SM) on the Leadership talk show and discussed on his leadership journey so as to inspire the next generation of leaders. Below is an extract of the interview.

**********

AH: Sam you have served in various roles with multiple organisations over your career, from banking to asset management, insurance and you even worked for a roofing and piping materials company TH Zimbabwe. Diverse companies indeed. Did this contribute in any way to your leadership journey to where you are now as Group chief executive officer for Old Mutual Zimbabwe and Head of Banking Portfolio, Old Mutual Rest of Africa?

SM: Certainly, I worked for a number of organisations as you outlined and different industries hence that makes me unique in my own career path, but the major benefits that I drew from this were just interacting with different environments, cultures, organisations, and different industries always present different challenges, the flexibility and ability to adapt to each of those is one of the skills that I bring to the bay in my current position or in my responsibilities.

AH: You said something interesting about people staying in an organisation for twenty years and hopefully they get to the top and others can move upwards, leadership to leadership positions by joining different organisations. Both are equally as good depending on what suits you as an individual.

SM: Certainly, I think when you look at the way that industry and commerce are involved just generally now you would find out that the trend is involving one where people seek to have variety will probably now have fewer careerists than people that are saying I want to try new things.

AH: Sam your experience and expertise are anchored on the core fields of finance, banking, investment management, insurance, and risk management. You state that your leadership skills have been developed from exposure at the executive level spanning a number of industries within local and international organisations. In what way, maybe you can expand on this?

SM: In the areas of my career the main drive in the earliest years was about being responsible and what was available at the time, I was definitive about my career and l went after it.

AH: Do you think it is important for future leaders?

SM: It is very important because in mind it gives you more control about what you want to be. It also gives you the sense of fulfilment because you become purposeful and you also would have processed what you would want to be in that industry.

AH: What have been the highlights and milestones of your leadership journey?

SM: My highlights would be a privilege to be involved with situations of change, to be part of the change in the organisation that I was involved with, and to be leading some of them. I went to Old Mutual at its demutualise, I was part of the team setting it up, putting up the structures and l remember celebrating getting my first license from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The most fulfilling phase above all was the transition at Barclays where you would have seen an organisation as part of the global group has its brand known globally being bought and transforming getting into being a part of a regional entity, bringing a new name to the market and being the helm of that organisation with the sensitivities and all changes that had to happen around it, leading through that phase was satisfying.

AH: Was it an easy or difficult journey?


SM: It has its challenges and that’s what the fulfillment comes from. For example, the transition at Barclays into First Capital one would have seen the way customers responded, needed to be managed and there were sensitivities around that, even colleagues, the internal change, cultural shifts that needed to be managed.

AH: In your opinion, what are the attributes of leadership?

SM: Leadership means leading people and it also means you actually have to harness what’s within people and you realise as sooner as you do as a leader that you are not a leader because you know everything or you know better and you cannot claim to be everywhere, every time so work through people and you need people to deliver whatever it is that you set out to do.

AH: So how important is it to listen?

SM: Very important and I think in today’s leadership rules it is even more critical, that is how you ensure that you are close to the pulse of things because it is very easy to be far from where your reality is, far from the pulse and when you lose that touch you would think that you are still leading when you are having your own lonely path without anyone following.

AH: As a leader, you cannot do everything, how important is building your team around you as an effective leader.

SM: You build your team through listening but also involving and recognising that the team can also lead you some of the time because they actually have what you might not have for the task that you face at that particular time hence they add value.

AH: I note that your background is in Accounting, in fact after your degree you started by serving articles of clerkship with KPMG chartered accountants. In your opinion, how important is education to any budding future leaders? What advice would you give concerning education?

SM: Education remains important in my view since it offers the capacity to learn and that is how we adapt to the changing environment, new things will come and new technology. As leaders, we need to respond and we cannot do it without learning and that is how we adapt to the changing environment because new things will come up, new technology, and new ways of seeing things hence we cannot do that without learning.

AH: Every successful path comes naturally with failure. How did you and would you recommend that future leaders deal with this important issue?

SM: If you want to draw any benefit from failure is to learn from your mistakes and lessons and also how can you avoid them because every occasion that you fail brings loads of learnings. Allow yourself to fail because it’s in trying to push the frontiers. Take more risks and continue moving forward.

AH: A journey is never done alone. Was the support of your family important in achieving your goals? How important is it to networking?

SM: My family contributed a lot since they anchored my pathway, encouraged me to go for it and explore it. My mother encultured a sense of adding value, being productive, and also working hard in me while my wife and children gave me the space and appreciated me.

AH: It is said that Leaders are problem solvers and solution providers, and an important trait is that they must learn to listen. What do you consider to be the greatest challenge facing leaders in Zimbabwe today and in your opinion how can or should these be navigated?

SM: I would say it is the way we have always done things, being conditioned and feeling that you are buttered hence you will fail to see things differently. Being open-minded, looking at your current environment with optimism will bring a change.

AH: What advice would you give to future leaders? What would you consider the most important attributes that they should focus on or have?

SM: As leaders, l would encourage us to listen and listen more. Be close to the action and be able to adapt because changes march faster.

AH: Finally, as one of today’s leaders, what do you think is your legacy? At the end of the day, what would you like to be remembered for?

SM: If l can be remembered in some role for shaping our industries in the financial services but most importantly being remembered for calculating a way of doing things which is to do things right, in my opinion I think it’s much fulfilling. – Sunday Mail


Continue Reading

education

ZEC Boss Chigumba Under Fire Over Poll Remarks – New Zimbabwe.com

Spread This News

By Newsday


CIVIL society organisations (CSOs) yesterday blasted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for claiming that rights groups were funding registered voters to re-register multiple times to discredit the ongoing voter registration exercise.

Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba told a local television station, ZTN, on Wednesday that the electoral management body’s system had picked up several multiple voter registrants sponsored by civic groups.

But Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) spokesperson Obert Masaraure said that the Zec allegations were meant to frustrate potential voters and the voter registration awareness campaigns.

“The commission and government officials should not bad-mouth patriotic citizens who are working hard to strengthen our democracy. The coalition is moving in to co-ordinate voter mobilisation among its membership to avoid duplication of their great efforts,” Masaraure said.

“We salute all citizens who are working around the clock to mobilise citizens to register to vote. Our democracy is strengthened when the majority of our people are afforded the right to vote.”

Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo described the allegations by Zec as “shocking”.

“As civil society, we are actually shocked that government is actually blaming CSOs and accusing them of assisting in terms of raising awareness on voting processes and doing some kind of voter education,” Khumalo said.

“As CSOs, we are non-partisan in terms of the scope of our work, so instead, government should be actually appreciating our efforts that we are going out of our hands in terms of making sure that we reach out to the communities

“I can only laugh at such an allegation because look, what is our incentive? Where will we be getting such kind of money to pay people to vote? … they should simply approach the police and register a complaint and then the law must take its course.”

Project Vote 263 chairperson Allan Chipoyi added: “Chigumba doesn’t even know or understand how the biometric voter registration (BVR) system works because it refuses to register a name that has been already registered. Secondly, she doesn’t understand how BVR works.”

He also said CSOs were only providing transport for people who wanted to register to vote, adding “people are never rewarded for registering to vote. No one pays them.”

Zec has said it would roll out a voter registration blitz in February and April to ensure all eligible voters register ahead of next year’s general election.

Continue Reading

education

CSOs hit back at Zec – NewsDay

BY LORRAINE MUROMO/SHARON BUWERIMWE
CIVIL society organisations (CSOs) yesterday blasted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for claiming that rights groups were funding registered voters to re-register multiple times to discredit the ongoing voter registration exercise.

Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba told a local television station, ZTN, on Wednesday that the electoral management body’s system had picked up several multiple voter registrants sponsored by civic groups.

But Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) spokesperson Obert Masaraure told NewsDay Weekender that the Zec allegations were meant to frustrate potential voters and the voter registration awareness campaigns.

“The commission and government officials should not bad-mouth patriotic citizens who are working hard to strengthen our democracy. The coalition is moving in to co-ordinate voter mobilisation among its membership to avoid duplication of their great efforts,” Masaraure said.

“We salute all citizens who are working around the clock to mobilise citizens to register to vote. Our democracy is strengthened when the majority of our people are afforded the right to vote.”

Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo described the allegations by Zec as “shocking”.

“As civil society, we are actually shocked that government is actually blaming CSOs and accusing them of assisting in terms of raising awareness on voting processes and doing some kind of voter education,” Khumalo said.

“As CSOs, we are non-partisan in terms of the scope of our work, so instead, government should be actually appreciating our efforts that we are going out of our hands in terms of making sure that we reach out to the communities

“I can only laugh at such an allegation because look, what is our incentive? Where will we be getting such kind of money to pay people to vote? … they should simply approach the police and register a complaint and then the law must take its course.”

Project Vote 263 chairperson Allan Chipoyi added: “Chigumba doesn’t even know or understand how the biometric voter registration (BVR) system works because it refuses to register a name that has been already registered. Secondly, she doesn’t understand how BVR works.”

He also said CSOs were only providing transport for people who wanted to register to vote, adding “people are never rewarded for registering to vote. No one pays them.”

Zec has said it would roll out a voter registration blitz in February and April to ensure all eligible voters register ahead of next year’s general election.

  • Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe

Continue Reading

Trending

www.1africafocus.com

www.zimfocus.com

One Zimbabwe Classifieds | ZimMarket

www.1zimbabweclassifieds.co.zw

www.1southafricaclassifieds.com

www.1africaclassifieds.com

www.1usaclassifieds.com

www.computertraining.co.zw/

www.1itonlinetraining.com/

www.bbs-bitsbytesandstem.com/

Zimbabwe Market Classifieds | ZimMarket

1 Zimbabwe Market Classifieds | ZimMarket

www.1zimlegends.com

Linking Buyers To Sellers Is Our Business Tradition