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Witchcraft and Murder in Zimbabwe

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The events described in this book are a true account of certain occurrences in Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, during the year 1981. The names of almost all persons mentioned in the book are real names, as are the names of places. Police procedures are authentic and have been described in some detail. The writer left Zimbabwe toward the end of 1981, thus access to official documents such as court records has not been possible, and personal notes made at the time have been used. The reader may well ask why one police investigation should be described in such detail, when there are many other investigations into serious incidents taking place in Zimbabwe, and elsewhere, and particularly when one considers the amount of blood that has been shed in post-colonial Africa before and since the events described in this narrative.

Veritas Books: Witchcraft and Murder in Zimbabwe H.A.Clark


The present writer considers that the Fort Victoria investigation does throw a great deal of light on the pattern of many similar incidents in Zimbabwe. The picture presented in this book may be summarized as follows: The Mkwari and Mudspruit farm murderers were soldiers of Zimbabwe's new national army, based near Fort Victoria and under the command of Parence Shiri: during investigation, it was established that Ushewokunze, then Minister of Health in Mugabe's first cabinet, and Shiri were in contact just prior to the murders, that Ushewokunze was in close contact with a traditional Mashona witch or spirit medium, Sophia Mbuya Nehanda, shortly before the Mkwari murders, and that after the killings the murderers reported personally and directly to Ushewokunze - this being confirmed during the High Court trial in Salisbury (now Harare). The Fort Victoria Murders should be borne in mind when examining similar occurances (since Zimbabwe Independance on 11th March, 1980), as many are likely to involve opponents, either individuals or groups such as the Matabele, of a one party state in Zimbabwe.


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