MASVINGO – Police arrested a 22-year-old man after the ritual murder of a boy whose head was crushed with a pestle and mortar and then boiled in a saucepan.
Clever Chitiga, from the village of Matova near the Gokomere Mission in Masvingo Province, was found by a search party looking for the boy while he was boiling his head, police said.
The nine-year-old boy, who was not named, was a second grade student at Matova Elementary School.
The boy is said to have sought refuge with the suspect after it started raining on December 4th.
When he did not return home, the villagers began a search. When they arrived at the suspect’s home, Chitiga reportedly refused to open the door and asked the villagers to force their way out.
“The minor was beheaded with a kitchen knife before the head was shaved in hot water and pounded into a mortar with a pestle,” said Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
“The head was boiled in a saucepan in preparation for feasting. The victim’s body was wrapped in a mosquito net before being submerged in a nearby dam. “
Police believe the boy was killed for “suspected ritual purposes”.
“The public is warned of strange, superstitious and unjustified beliefs about wealth accumulation,” Nyathi said in a statement.
Ritual murders are increasing in Zimbabwe. In October an 11-year-old boy was killed in Murehwa, his uncle believes. His body was found without a head, which still has not been found.