In a weird incident which left mourners from Mateta Village in Gokwe South tongue-tied leading to a brief halt of burial proceedings, a dead man reportedly 'cried' during body viewing.
The unusual spectacle which reportedly sparked a fierce storm of witchcraft accusations among the deceased's relatives, happened last Thursday during the burial of Alexander Zigara who had died the previous day under mysterious circumstances. The man was just found dead in his bedroom hut.
It is reported that those who subscribe to black magic practices claimed that Zigara who was buried after consultations with traditional healers (kunobvunzira or kurova gata). The traditional healers are said to have revealed that the man died after being bewitched and the shedding of tears during body viewing was reportedly a confirmation of the sangomas' claims.
The black magic belief went a gear up among villagers following reports that his grave was found tampered with a day after burial.
A source close to the proceedings claimed that Zigara who was divorced was in his mid 40s and had never complained of any ailment prior to his imminent death.
"There is no doubt that people who had a glimpse of Alexander's corpse during body viewing are trying to come to terms with what they saw. Fresh tears were flowing from his eyes. What surprises many people is that the unusual spectacle only started during body viewing. Although details of the consultations were not revealed to the public, it was clear from some of the relatives' discussions that they suspected witchcraft and foul play. Other relatives were being accused as the culprits," said a source who preferred anonymity.
It is very rare for a corpse to shed tears, and in African tradition, relatives would quickly suspect foul play.
Such was the case with Zimbabwe's decorated pre-independent army commander, General Josiah Tongogara's death, who according to his family members, did not die naturally. According to the State and official reports, Cde Tongogara died in a car accident in Mozambique a few weeks before ceasefire and independence, but a lot has been said with many doubting if the former Zanla army boss really died in a car accident.
Michael Tongogara, an elder brother to the late General Tongogara, said when he was flown to Maputo to view his young brother's body, something inexplicable happened, signifying that something was amiss in accordance with African traditional beliefs.
"All I can say is that when his coffin was opened for me at the mortuary, HIS BODY WEPT (mutumbi wakachema misodzi) then I just left," said Michael.