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Healer's herbal concoction 'kills' five-month pregnant woman

by Mashudu Netsianda
30 Jun 2016 at 09:00hrs | Views
A SELF-PROCLAIMED prophet-cum-traditional healer allegedly killed his five-month pregnant patient when he made her drink a poisonous herbal concoction during a cleansing ceremony, a High Court judge has heard.

Peter Paulos Mkhothanda (57) of Sikhobokhobo village in Nkayi allegedly warned his patient, Alusha Nyoni who was aged 26 at the time, nine years ago, against seeing a medical doctor.

The inyanga said if she did, it would compromise the healing process.

Mkhothanda yesterday appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi sitting in Hwange circuit court facing a murder charge.

Justice Mathonsi is set to deliver judgment today.

Prosecuting, Memory Munsaka said on April 18, 2007, shortly after 8AM, Nyoni in the company of her mother, Oppah Tsiyo and brother, Ackim, approached Mkhothanda seeking help.

Nyoni had a problem of mysteriously losing her hair at night and she allegedly believed it had something to do with evil spirits.

The court heard that Mkhothanda told Nyoni that he had seen visions and claimed that he was shown by ancestral spirits that the deceased had menstrual problems.

He took a cup of boiling water and mixed it with some powdered herbs and told Nyoni to drink the concoction.

The court heard that soon after Nyoni had left Mkhothanda's home, she started vomiting blood-stained gastric acid. She died the following morning and a report was made to the police leading to Mkhothanda's arrest.

According to a post- mortem report, the cause of death was due to excessive vomiting and muti-induced erosive gastritis.

Samples of the concoction were also taken to the laboratory for testing.

The toxicology report concluded that the powdered muti was potentially harmful if orally administered to humans after it was tested on a guinea pig which showed signs of illness and later died within 24 hours.

Tsiyo yesterday tearfully narrated how her daughter died after consuming the deadly concoction.

"When I took my daughter to Mkhothanda's place I had hope that her problem of mysteriously losing her hair at night would end. Little did I know that would mark the end of her life," said Tsiyo.

She said Mkhothanda did not taste the medicine first but just forced Nyoni to drink it.

"My daughter complied because she thought it was going to address her problem. When we went to Mkhothanda's home, my daughter was well and looked healthy save for that hair problem," said Tsiyo.

She further told the court that Mkhothanda ordered her daughter to remove her blouse before he made incisions on her back and stomach.

Mkhothanda, in his defence through lawyer Givemore Muvhiringi, said the concoction that he administered to Nyoni was harmless.

"My medicine is tried and tested. There is no way I could have caused the death of the deceased. I actually drank the concoction first before administering it on Nyoni," he said.

He claimed that he relied on prayers and visions for guidance whenever treating his patients.

Mkhothanda also disputed claims by Tsiyo that he warned her daughter against going to hospital to avoid compromising the healing process.

Source - chronicle