Two family members in Gokwe died after consuming a concoction that had been prepared for them by a traditional healer they had engaged to conduct a ‘cleansing’ ceremony, police have said.
The tragic incident occurred on the 15th of October 2022 at around 4 am in Mandaza village, under Chief Chireya in Gokwe North.
The deceased men, Mharadza Mandaza and Mhere Mandaza drank the concoction together with 26 other family members, but the two were unlucky as they died while others survived, according to the Zimbabwe Republic Police Midlands Spokesperson Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko.
“It is alleged that the Mandaza family intended to have a cleansing ceremony at their home and they sought the services of the suspect Simbisai Mapuranga, a male adult aged 52 from Rumwe Area in Kadoma. The traditional healer allegedly prepared 20 litres of a concoction that every member of the family was to drink after confessing. All 28 members of the Mandaza family who were present at the ceremony confessed, they drank the concoction,” Mahoko said.
He said that the family members started vomiting and fell unconscious for about three hours, while others regained consciousness but, “Mharadza Mandaza and Mhere Mandaza remained unconscious until the suspect and his team left for Kadoma.”
The bodies of the deceased were taken to Gokwe North Hospital where a post-mortem was being conducted, according to Mahoko, who also said the police were conducting investigations into the suspected poisoning and deaths.
Mahoko said the suspects were still at large and appealing to members of the public to come forward with any information that may assist police investigations.
He warned the public against taking “untried and untested bush concoctions,” and advised people to ensure that they only take substances that are tested and safe when having medical problems.