IN a shocking incident, three graves in Dinde in Hwange District have been desecrated after gaping holes were found on the “head” side of the graves at a community cemetery.
In one of the graves, shocked residents in Katambe Village told Sunday News that they found sweets dropped in the hole, in what they suspect could have been a ritually-motivated move. Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the incident but could not shed details saying investigations were underway.
But Dinde Residents Association secretary Mr Barnabas Dube told Sunday News that circumstances surrounding the incident still remained a mystery but they suspected witchcraft.
“We got a report that there were three graves that had been dug up and the direction was where the heads lie. The other with a tombstone was dug about a metre into the ground resulting in it breaking in part and we found sweets buried with the soil that was dug up,” he said.
Mr Dube said they reported the matter to Hwange police who attended the scene and after compiling their statements gave the villagers the go-ahead to close the graves which they did.
“On one of the graves, especially the one with a tombstone, seemed of interest to the people who did this as it was dug purposefully. We do not know how deep they went, we suspect that they may have dug and gone inside before closing it up in haste leaving some parts opened. People are suspecting that there must have been some ritual purposes. It’s been a century since people settled here and this kind of thing has never happened,” said Mr Dube.
He said some herd boys had reported seeing three unknown men loitering near the graveyard before the discovery.
He said when the three men left under the guise that they were going to the shops, one of the boys intercepted one of the men who advised him that he was a police officer and was carrying out investigations.
“However, later the boy observed from a distance the other two men putting a hoe in a car and drove away.”
Sunday News observed that the soil from the graves appeared fresh, a clear sign that holes had been recently closed up. Relatives said the affected graves were between five and 10 years.
— Sunday News