A 25-YEAR-OLD woman from Douglasdale suburb in Bulawayo died after drinking a poisonous concoction she got from a traditional healer (inyanga) who has since been arrested.
Belinda Sibanda died at the shrine of the inyanga, Belinda Musiyiwa (37), who is also a Bulawayo Polytechnic College examination board member.
The incident occurred on Sunday at about 3PM after the woman went to consult the inyanga who also lives in Douglasdale.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed the incident yesterday.
“We are investigating a culpable homicide incident which occurred in Douglasdale suburb where a 25-year-old woman died after drinking a concoction given to her by a traditional healer.
“At the moment we cannot say much as investigations are still in progress. However, the suspect has been arrested and is assisting police with investigations,” said Asst Insp Msebele.
She urged members of the public to be careful especially when dealing with faith-based healers.
“This is probably a second or third incident where clients have lost their lives upon visiting a traditional healer or self-proclaimed prophets. Although we cannot discourage members of the public from approaching these groups for their spiritual issues, we urge them to exercise caution in dealing with them.
“We also urge faith-based healers to take extra precaution in administering medication to their clients. It’s very unfortunate that some people are losing lives in the process of getting help from them,” she said.
Asst Insp Msebele said Sibanda’s body was taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals for a postmortem.
Sources said Musiyiwa is a member of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association (ZINATHA) and also a member of the Bulawayo Polytechnic College examination board.
The source said Musiyiwa also owns a beauty parlour in the city’s Central Business District.
“We are told that the deceased had visited the traditional healer with her cousin but the cousin later returned home after realising that the queue was too long.
“The deceased was served at about 3PM and she was given a mixture to drink and started groaning like a possessed person making cow-like sounds. She also started vomiting while jumping towards the precast wall before falling unconscious,” said the source.
He said Musiyiwa waited for some time before calling her husband to the shrine and they took Sibanda to the United Bulawayo Hospitals where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
Sibanda’s husband Mr Ketumetsi Moyo (26) said he was in shock as he had not known that his wife had gone to consult the inyanga.
“I can’t say much because when I arrived there everything had already occurred. For starters I didn’t know that she had visited the traditional healer.
“So, I was shocked when I was called and told that she had passed on at the shrine. This is hurting me a lot. As it stands, I have to bear all the funeral expenses and my two children have lost their mother.
“The youngest is a year-old and was still breastfeeding while the other is three years old,” said Mr Moyo.