Witchcraft scare - decomposing human hand found at shopping centre
2012 September 04 23:00:38 | 3607 Views
Sergeant Joe Gudza of Tshabalala Police Station holds what looks like a human hand at Basic Shopping Centre in Tshabalala, Bulawayo yesterday. Looking on are members of the public. -TC
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The hand, whose skin was peeling off, had long nails and a thumb missing leaving residents convinced it had been used for witchcraft or ritual purposes.
Residents stumbled on the hand in the morning on their way to the shops.
When news crew visited the scene at about 10.30am, stunned residents were still flocking to the shopping centre.
Police removed it at about 12 noon.
Witnesses said the hand was initially on the side of the road leading to the shops and suspected that dogs had picked and dumped it behind the shops.
Some residents believed it belonged to a baboon because of the long scary nails.
Some even said it could have been used for ritual purposes.
"This is not believable. The hand looks like that of a human being and also like that of a baboon. We suspect that this is a sign of witchcraft," said Mr Philemon Chaputika from the suburb.
Mrs Ngoni Dumezweni, who was also at the scene, concurred with Mr Chaputika adding that residents were now scared.
"This human hand might have been used for ritual purposes and later dumped on the streets. We have heard stories about people who have been killed and their parts used for rituals and this could be one of such instances," she said.
Another resident who preferred anonymity said; "We suspect there is witchcraft involved because the suburb is well known for strange things. Somebody could have dropped the hand on the way to perform some rituals or the hand could have become troublesome to its owner who later dumped it on the street."
The manager of Basic Leisure Centre, Mr Tendai Mawondo, said he was shocked when he heard the news about the human hand.
"I was alerted in the morning while opening the centre that there was a human hand behind our shop. I don't know whether it belongs to a baboon or human being," he said.
Acting police spokesperson for Bulawayo Assistant Inspector Bekimpilo Ndlovu confirmed the incident.
"We attended to an incident in Tshabalala where a suspected human hand was found at a shopping centre. The hand has been taken to hospital for verification," said Insp Ndlovu.
In August last year, a human leg was discovered in Famona suburb and it led to the discovery of a gruesome murder, in which a man killed his wife and chopped her into pieces.
In February this year, residents of Ilanda suburb woke up to the grisly sight of a human foot dumped at a bush behind the United Bulawayo Hospitals' (UBH) Opportunistic Infections Clinic (OIC).
The leg was later traced to a victim of a hit-and-run accident who was later buried at his rural home with his foot still missing.
The man's wife later tried to sue the family of the man who ran him over for $2 million.
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