BUSINESS came to a halt in Sakubva, Mutare, last Friday as three teenagers tried to strangle a toddler to death in broad daylight.
The trio includes a Form One and two Grade Seven pupils.
It took the toddler’s mother’s acts of bravery to keep the blood-thirsty teens at bay as they were determined to execute their mission and feed on the young girl’s flesh.
As the bizarre and macabre real life drama was unfolding in Sakubva, questions on youths’ vulnerability to various forms of abuse were posed.
When The Manica Post visited the Mcgregors and NHB sections of Sakubva, scores of residents were on the streets trying to locate the three teens who had been whisked away by a car to an unknown destination.
Efforts to get a comment from their parents were fruitless as no one could shed light on their whereabouts, while one of the teens’ siblings refused to entertain the news crew, only speaking through the window.
But the toddler’s mother — Ms Talent Jemandega — was traumatised and wept throughout the interview.
She said her daughter had missed death by a whisker and did not sustain any visible injuries.
“One of my child’s assailants is our neighbour. We have been staying here for the past five months and never saw these teenagers in bad light. The three teenage girls (names withheld to protect the identity of the minors) approached my child as she was playing with the other children outside our house and spoke to her. I understand there were three of them, but only two attacked my daughter.
“To everyone’s shock, one of the girls said they are members of the Church yepasi pemakuwa (Church from the underworld),” said Ms Jemandega.
“My neighbour saw what was happening and called me as I was busy with my domestic chores. One of them almost choked my daughter to death. I tried to pull her away, but she maintained a tight grip around my daughter’s neck. She was shouting that they wanted to consume a virgin’s meat and suck her blood.
“I struck her on the back twice and she fell down. She loosened her grip on my daughter’s neck and I was able to quickly free her. I ordered my daughter to run and seek refuge in the house.
“The teen said I will suffer the consequences of humiliating her group in public,” said Ms Jemandega.
Eye witnesses said one of the girls tried to force her way into Ms Jemandega’s lodgings, but was stopped by one Prophet Hamson Chikosi.
“We do not know what has become of this world. What we witnessed here was scary. I have been preaching about the initiation of our children into satanic cults. I urge parents to be watchful of their children’s activities,” said Prophet Chikosi.
An eye witness, Ms Fadzie Mutepfa, said after the attack on the toddler, one of the teen girls manifested saying her parents had acquired magical charms from Machipanda and Chimoio in Mozambique.
“She also claimed to be a murdered person’s spirit which needs to be appeased by a young girl. We tried to call her mother but she was not picking up calls,” said Ms Mutepfa.
As the girls manifested, onlookers watched helplessly as they were clueless on how to subdue the unusually powerful girls.
“When one of the girls’ mother finally arrived, she did not speak to anyone and whisked the girls away,” said Ms Mutepfa.
Zimbabwe National Healers’ Association president, Mr George Kandiero suspected witchcraft.
“This is witchcraft, whether you want to call it satanism or cultism. These children need exorcism as they are being used as cultists. The exorcism can be done either in church or by our members.
“The children also need counselling because what they went through during their initiation will have a psychological bearing on them,” said Mr Kandiero.
Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Tavhiringwa Kakohwa said no police report had been made by the time of goin to print.