How 1982 Ritual Murder Haunted Families Until Victim’s Privates Were Laid To Rest In 2023
The remains of Tukai Kujeke, who was murdered for ritual purposes in 1982, were recovered from under a disused shop in Manica Bridge, Mutasa District, last week. Villagers claimed the shop was haunted by the victim’s avenging spirit, which deterred tenants and customers.
The alleged private parts of Kujeke were found buried in a small calabash under the shop. After the retrieval of the remains, Sekuru Shingirai Mukotsanjera, a traditional healer, opened Kujeke’s grave and placed the body parts inside before his family received a combined 14 herd of cattle as appeasement.
Haunted Shop and Tenant Issues
According to The Manica Post, Village Head Maondo, the shop was built in 1982, and after the late James Dangarembwa failed to use it due to Kujeke’s avenging spirit, he rented it out. However, no tenant could occupy the shop for long, as they would wake up to find an anthill in the shop, and goods would mysteriously be found outside. Every tenant would leave, and the pattern continued until the shop was vacant.
“A tenant would wake up to see an anthill in the shop. Every morning, goods in the shop would mysteriously be found dumped outside. Each time this happened, the tenant would pack their bags and leave and a new one would come in. The same pattern continued until no one wanted to rent the shop. For years, that shop has been vacant.”
Impact On The Families
Dangarembwa’s son, who wished to remain anonymous, shared how the family had never benefited from the shop and how they had been labeled “children of a murderer.”
He confirmed that the ritual killing had haunted the family, as they had trouble bearing male children due to the avenging spirit.
“We never benefited from the shop. Growing up, we were labelled the children of a murderer, yet we were just like any other children. We would be sent back home from school over non-payment of fees. Our father denied killing anyone, even though we were evidently being haunted by this avenging spirit. The truth has been unveiled today. We are glad that we are now free from the spirit’s vengeance,” he said.
“I also got to realise that the avenging spirit was preventing us from bearing male children. We all have girls only. We just realised it after the Manyarara family told us that they were also struggling with the same issue,” he said.
Avenging Spirit and Deaths
Joseph Manyarara, a member of the family who participated in the ritual killing, lost 16 family members because of the avenging spirit. Four of the deceased were his daughters.
“We ended up not acquiring birth certificates for our children because the rate with which they were dying was alarming. You would give a child a cup of water to drink and she would die mysteriously. Post mortem results would show drowning as the cause of death. How can someone drown in a cup of water?” he said.
After the retrieval of the remains, Sekuru Mukotsanjera partially opened Kujeke’s grave and placed the body parts inside. The Kujeke family received a combined 14 herd of cattle from the Manyarara and Dangarembwa families as appeasement.
Family Shares Relief
Kujeke’s daughters, Nestar, Lucia, and Viola, expressed their relief after their father’s private parts were retrieved. They believe that their father is finally at peace.
“We wanted our father’s private parts first and now that our demands have been met, the appeasement process can go on. As we speak, this is now a funeral because we are burying our father again, 41 years later.
“It is painful that before their deaths, Dangarembwa and Manyarara never confessed to what they did to our father. Their families had to endure all these torments, but it is what it is, our father fought and won his own battle,” said Nestar.