In an incident that has set tongues wagging in Zhombe`s St Andrews area, a woman gave birth to babies with severe abnormalities, which some locals are convinced is a case of witchcraft.
Some of the locals are alleging that the woman was bewitched by a fellow villager following an altercation they had.
A local traditional leader, Chief Gwesela confirmed the incident to 98.4FM News, saying the woman, whom he did not identify, had allegedly been involved in an argument with another woman over a vending business prior to giving birth.
“It’s a strange incident that happened in my area, under village head Lwisano in St Andrews. A woman gave birth to twin babies but the babies are severely deformed and this followed her altercation with another woman while conducting some vending business.”
He added: “The village head called me and said that there had been a strange birth and they thought the woman had given birth to goblins. He said they could not explain what they had seen.”
Chief Gwesela said some community members were resisting having the ‘babies’ being buried in the village, but a ritual had to be held to allow the burial of the babies in the area.
“Some people did not want the babies to be buried in the village arguing that it was a bad omen but we then performed the customary rituals for the burial to take place. We just had to so that we do not embarrass the woman`s family and also some of the villagers wanted to shame those behind the witchcraft,” said Chief Gwesela.
It is a common situation in traditional African societies for rare diseases and incidents to be classified by indigenous people as acts of witchcraft or wizardry.
Medical professionals however told 98.4FM News that situations of babies with severe abnormalities can be scientifically explained, for example being caused by genetic factors.