Tragic end in river cleansing ceremony for boy (10)


ZVISHAVANE-A dark cloud descended on the Muviri family after Senzakupi Nyoni (66) returned home alone clutching a lifeless body of her 10 year old grandson from a cleansing ritual in Ngezi River.

The incident, which has shocked the tight-knit community, occurred on the evening of January 19, 2024.

Midlands Province Police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko confirmed the tragic incident to The Midweek Watch that happened at around 5:30pm, when Nyoni was at home with her 36-year-old daughter, Svetukai Muruviri, and her two juvenile grandsons.

He said it was during this time that the elder grandson suddenly fell into a trance-like state and claimed that his younger brother, 10-year-old Ropafadzo Tunhai, was being tormented by evil spirits.

“The elder grandson insisted that the only way to save his brother was through a two-hour water cleansing ritual”.

Without hesitation, the concerned grandmother, Nyoni, made the fateful decision to accompany young Ropafadzo to the nearby Ngezi River, which lies approximately 500 meters from their homestead, said Insp Mahoko.

He said that tragedy struck at around 8:00 pm when Nyoni returned home alone, carrying “the lifeless body of Ropafadzo Tunhai”.

 Nyoni, the police reported, handed the lifeless body to Ropafadzo’s distraught mother, Muruviri, who then informed the village head, Moses Msipa, about the devastating turn of events.

Insp Mahoko added that Msipa swiftly advised Muruviri to report the heart-wrenching incident to the police on January 20, 2024.

The police promptly arrived at the scene and “the body of Ropafadzo Tunhai was then transported to Zvishavane District Hospital mortuary for further examination and investigation,” added Insp Mahoko.

He said Nyoni who is believed to be responsible for the tragic incident, is currently held in police custody.

Insp Mahoko urged members of the public to respect the sanctity of life and avoid engaging in activities which risk the lives of others.

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