A stray goat at Chako Business Centre in Mt Selinda, Chipinge, has been surviving on its own for the past four years, with claims that it enjoys chewing on bones.
While the origins of the goat are subject of intense debate among locals, for close to half a decade it has mastered some crude survival tactics, including pouncing on vegetable vendors and helping itself with their products.
When in need of drinking water, the goat knows how to find its way to a local borehole.
Folks in areas surrounding Chako Business Centre have divergent opinions on the goat’s origins.
Ms Nyarai Mazhambe, an employee at a local shop said: “This goat behaves like a human being. It feeds on vegetables and in most cases it scares away vendors and helps itself with their products, including green veggies, avocado pears, bananas and other fruits.
“It also scavenges for food in dustbins around the market and at times feasts on bones like a dog. When it needs to drink water, it goes to a nearby borehole.”
Residents say efforts to get rid of the goat have been unsuccessful.
“Some local youths tried to sell it to a haulage truck driver but failed after it resisted being tied up. Everyone was shocked when the goat stood by its two back feet, wrestled and overpowered them,” said Mazhambe.
A local businessman, Simba Munamba, said the origins of the goat are not clear. He said many in the area suspect that someone cast a spell on the animal (kurasirira mamhepo).
“We heard that it was first spotted as a kid at a local post office some four years ago and has survived on its own ever since then.
“A popular theory is that someone dumped it here after casting a spell on it. This is why no one has the guts to kill it. It is believed that the evil spirit that was cast in it will haunt whoever dares to kill it,” said Munamba.
An elder woman who identified herself as Mai Makhuyana said the goat is abnormally energetic.
“This goat is so energetic, much more than you can imagine. Some young men wanted to kill it for braai last Christmas, but got more than what they had bargained for as one of them went home nursing an injury after being attacked by the goat,” she said.
Zimbabwe Traditional Healers’ Association president, Mr George Kandiero said goats are used for numerous rituals, adding that it is possible that this goat could have been used in a ritual.
“It is unfortunate that a lot of animals, especially goats, are prone to abuse or misuse. It is possible that someone cast evil spirits on this goat. Avenging spirits (ngozi) could have been cast on this goat.
“In one incident almost similar to this one, a goat had a rope tied around its neck with some money on the rope. If you took a photo of the goat, the notes would not appear in the picture,” he said.