Friday, September 27, 2013

One-on-One Interview with the Budiriro Witches at Chikurubi Female Prison

Elnette Jinya and Christine Matiyenga
Elnette Jinya and Christine Matiyenga
THE two women who were caught stark naked at a house in Budiriro, Harare, have confessed to having been hired to masquerade as witches by a “prophet” seeking fame.
Our news crew this week visited the pair at Chikurubi Female Prison.
Christine Matiyenga (33), alias Chipo Chakaja and Elnette Jinya Mbeve (43), who initially claimed to be Maria Moyo, were arrested on the morning of September 10.
They were “caught” at the house of Alfreddie Mupfumbati, also known as Madzibaba Matewu of Ungano yeVapositori.
The story then was that Madzibaba Matewu’s spiritual powers had incapacitated the pair.
The women are facing charges under Section 98 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly engaging in a practice commonly associated with witchcraft.
Madzibaba Matewu has since appeared in court facing similar charges, but was granted US$200 bail.
Christine and Elnette vehemently denied being witches, saying they were part of a deal with the “prophet” and an accomplice who was only identified as Samaita.
Police are still to account for Samaita.
“It’s true we are from Landos in Chihota. The story of Gokwe Nembudziya was coined by the prophet and his colleague. They picked us in a (Nissan) Navara at around 11pm and took us to Budiriro where we agreed to put up an act as witches.
“We, however, left home unaware of the role we were expected to play in the set-up,” Christine said.
The two said the owl they had when they were “caught” was trapped in a grinding mill that belongs to Christine’s brother whom they identified as Tendayi Matiyenga.
They said Matiyenga was paid US$20 for the nocturnal bird which is commonly associated with witchcraft.
The two however, dismissed as lies reports that they were well-known prostitutes, saying they worked at Landos Business Centre in Chihota.
They got 200 Rand for airtime.
“The owl part involved Tindo (Tendai) and Samaita till we got to Harare,” Elnette said.
“They discussed the issue with Tindo so that he gets paid through Ecocash the next morning although they were not happy with the owl’s size.
“We approached Chekamwana but we were told that he had already sold the bigger owl he had. We travelled to Harare with Madzibaba Matewu and Samaita in their Nissan Navara. They also had an owl.”
The two said they only got to know they were to act as witches when they got to Harare.
“I initially declined because I am known in Budiriro where my brother stays, but relented after being promised money enough to buy a Navara.
“The two produced two winnowing baskets and the owl from their car before we got into their house,” Elnette said.
“We ground charcoal and smeared on each other’s bodies except for the mouth and eyes. The prophet and his colleague had asked us to strip off all our clothes but we refused. They took our spare clothes and cellphones. They gave us Madzibaba Matewu’s phone to use as a watch.
“We were told to come out of the house at 3:30 am and masquerade as witches,” she said.
The two were told that they would be seen by “clients” who visited the house for spiritual healing early in the morning.
The prophet reportedly told them that they would be whisked away from the scene as soon as they attracted a crowd.
They were to be driven straight to Chihota.
Everything went awry when they failed to wake up early.
They only woke up at 5.30am, way after another woman who had arrived much early for a place in the expected queue.
“A huge crowd gathered before the prophet and his colleague could arrive and we were taken to the police. They, however, were already at the police station.
“They volunteered to pray for us telling the police to leave the room whereupon they asked us to maintain our witchcraft claims.”
The two, however, insisted that they want their dues when they are released from after successfully carrying out their task.
“Please we do not practice witchcraft, it is for the love of the money that we are facing this predicament,” Christine added.
As the Holy Book says, the love of money is the root of all evil.
 Source: herald

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