MASVINGO – Police have arrested a 22-year-old man after a ritualistic killing of a young boy whose head was crushed with pestle and mortar, and then boiled in a pot.
Clever Chitiga, of Matova Village near Gokomere Mission in Masvingo province, was found by a search party looking for the boy while in the middle of boiling his head, police said.
The nine-year-old boy who has not been named was a Grade 2 pupil at Matova Primary School.
The lad is thought to have sought shelter at the suspect’s home after it started raining on December 4.
When he did not return home, villagers began a search. When they got to the suspect’s home, Chitiga reportedly refused to open the door prompting the villagers to force their way in.
“The minor was beheaded using a kitchen knife before the head was shaved in hot water and pounded in a mortar with a pestle,” police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.
“The head was boiled in a pot in preparation for feasting. The body of the victim was wrapped in a mosquito net before it was submerged in a nearby dam.”
Police believe the young boy was killed for “assumed ritual purposes.”
“Members of the public are warned against strange, superstitious and unjustified beliefs for wealth accumulation,” Nyathi said in a statement.
Ritual murders are on the increase in Zimbabwe. In October, an 11-year-old boy was killed in Murehwa, it is believed by his uncle. His body was found without its head, which has still not been found.