A woman who was mistaken for a witch after being found tiptoeing on graves at Luveve Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon is lucky to be alive after a mob meted instant justice on her.
Luveve residents took the law into their hands when they whipped a woman only identified as Stella accusing her of being a witch looking for dead people’s bodies to eat.
“Stella was found on Tuesday afternoon — alone in the cemetery. She was tiptoeing on graves.
“I was on my way to work when I saw a woman with torn, dirty clothes talking to herself while tiptoeing on the graves. I quickly called out to other people passing by.
“She kept repeating the name Stella after being asked her name,” said a resident.
The crowd started accusing her of witchcraft after she failed to explain what she was doing at the graveyard.
“When she was asked what she was doing, she only smiled at people which led to her being whipped,” said the source.
Stella is said to have been whipped by the crowd which led to her howling. On the picture that was taken she is seen as someone who is weeping and in pain.
The victim was fortunate as police officers arrived at the scene and took her to the police station.
However, acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said: “We had received a missing person alert last week of a mentally unstable female and as we were investigating the case reports were made of a woman being accused of witchcraft at Luveve’s graveyard.
“We attempt to uncover facts first before charging victims — in the course of investigations we realised Stella was mentally unstable and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
According to Insp Ncube, families which had reported missing persons were called in to identify the female and one family recognised her as their relative.