The secret behind murders
ON FRIDAY March 6, 2020, the Binga community under Chief Simagonde was left shell-shocked after the axing to death of five people and two cows in one night.
It was “a night of the long knives” in the literal sense, as the suspect, a 20-year-old man ravaged through Marangana Village and left “blood on the floor” and tears on the cheeks of his relatives and neighbours.
The motive of this young man, who has just escaped his teenage era by a year, was a source of police investigations.
Without condemning him, as he still awaits trial, his story remains a mystery, one that only specialists can explain.
This came amid police reports that murders were on the increase throughout the country — some are killing over petty issues.
A survey showed that a number of murder cases are motivated by factors that are psychological, spiritual, financial and at times driven by avenging spirits.
The Daily News on Sunday explored the phenomenon from a medical point of view; spiritual and traditional perspectives.
Psychiatric expert Munyaradzi Madhombiro said there were a number of causes viewed from a medical perspective that drives some people into committing murder.
“For this crime, there are a number of conditions that can cause it. Number one is schizophrenia, which is a long-term mental disorder. Some people might also be suffering from auditory hallucinations. They can hear voices commanding them to do something. They might hear voices telling them to kill someone. The voices are quite forceful. There is also thought disorder. Under this condition someone may have delusions, where they believe strongly about something. They feel that somehow they are being persecuted and would need to fight back,” Madhombiro said.
Almost a day hardly passes without the police dealing with a murder case, involving neighbours, relatives or strangers. Some people are also murdered over petty issues, which recently saw the police issuing out a warning for people to seek to resolve their issues amicably and avoid the unnecessary loss of lives.
National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi recently warned people against taking the law into their own hands, following increased reports of murder cases across the country.
“Let us develop a culture of dialogue and find common ground. Members of the public are warned against taking the law into their own hands,” he said recently.
According to Madhombiro, some people suffer from visual hallucinations. He said under this condition instead of seeing people as human beings, the perpetrators see them as animals.
“Some of it is also cultural in that the perpetrators might see people as goblins and would need to fight or kill the goblins. It is also possible that some of these people might be suffering from delusions of reference. When he or she sees two people talking, he or she might end up thinking that they are talking about him or her, which pushes him or her to act in an irrational manner.
“Bipolar disorder is also another causal effect of murder acts. Under bipolar disorder, some people will have a period of excitement and a period of being angry. When angry, they might end up killing someone. Substance abuse is also another issue that leads people into murder. There are certain drugs like marijuana that cause paranoia, delusions, they cause them to react to projections.
“Some suffer from temporal epilepsy and during a seizure, it causes them to act abnormally. Personality disorder, anti-social disorder, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorders are also causes of murder. For example someone would have been abused and they tend to abuse others as well,” he said.
A number of young Zimbabweans are suffering from drug abuse, which is often attributed to idleness due to dearth of employment opportunities. In a bid to buy time and forget about their sorrows, most turn to drug abuse, which drive them into a number of irrational things.
From a religious perspective, Bishop Rogers Jeffery of the Tabernacle of Worship Ministries International told the Daily News on Sunday that most of the murder acts committed by people are a result of evil spirits.
“Man is a spirit entity. Man is a spirit living in a body with a soul. Whatever happens in the life of man, first happens in the realm of the spirit. Whatever I do, there is a force behind, when I succeed, there is also a force behind. So when one murders, there is a spirit behind, but it’s how a person reacts to that spirit because we can resist the evil spirit. Man has overall authority over spirits. When you accept Jesus as the saviour of your soul, you can resist these spirits. As human beings, we cannot fight the spirit in the physical,” Jeffery said.
He said some of the problems that would lead one to commit murder are a result of evil acts, including murder as well that would have been committed by family members, who have since died. He said the spirits of those that would have been killed manifests itself in different ways.
“In some cases murders follow the bloodline. That is why there are cases of seeking to appease the spirits, but if you are born again, you don’t need this appeasing. These things follow the weakest point in the bloodline. Some of these things were committed before we were even born, but we need to be under the protection of the blood of Jesus. There is no family, which does not have its own spirits, some of which we might not be told about,” he said.
Culturally, some believe that by spilling blood, they will be able to make money. This has seen the killing of other people, whose body parts will be mixed with traditional herbs and used in businesses.
Sekuru Friday Chisanyu, a renowned traditional practitioner, said there are some bogus traditional leaders who fool people into believing that if they spill blood or take soil from a grave, they will be able to get rich.
“We normally get a number of murder cases during and after election season, as most people would want to use the opportunity to attack their enemies. However, this results in a number of problems including attacks from the avenging spirits. If someone murders a person in the cover of darkness, it will eventually come out through the murdered person’s family members.
“What we now do these days is different from the old days, where the avenging spirits would demand a girl child, who would be returned back to her family after giving birth to a baby boy. We now go to the victims’ family and cause the spirit to come out through one of the family members and name the price,” Chisanyu said.
He however, attributed some of the murder cases to drug abuse by some of the young people. He said the drugs lead them into doing some evil things.