A Rushinga family kept its children’s umbilical cords for seven years. Collen Murefu a polygamist reportedly found two umbilical cords in the wardrobe.
This came out of Chief Makuni’s Community Court where Murefu was clearing his name after being fined for the taboo according to traditions.
Murefu got divorced with his wife Ester Kahwiti who he accused of the shameful act while appealing against the fine saying the offence was committed by his wife and he was the one who discovered it.
Murefu argued that the separation from his wife was unjustified saying his wife reacted emotionally after she suffered embarrassment from guilt about her act.
“She just gave me an abrupt alimony after I found the two umbilical cords of both second and third born children in wardrobe,” said Murefu.
The case first appeared at Headman Magaranewe’s court who ordered the couple to pay one beast for the taboo he committed together with his wife apart from their separation.
The wife had pleaded not guilty and the owner of the home Murefu according to tradition was forced to pay.
Kahwiti told the Chief’s Court that Murefu had given her the umbilical cords to keep since he was the head of his own family.
“I did not divorce him because of the umbilical cords but he has become too abusive and absolutely oppressive against me to the extent of always interrogating me about the time of returning home from our butchery,” said Kahwiti.
Kahwiti added: “The first umbilical cord of the first born child was consecrated in our rural area and those two were kept because we were in town and we wanted to do the same in rural areas again but my husband did not take action in time to execute the process as part of his family’s tradition.”
Chief Makuni said the umbilical cords were under the maternal authority and they were shocked to hear that Kahwiti did not have the power to exercise her authority to conceal the sacred parts of her own blood following traditional confirmation.
“The tradition defines that a child can be doomed or either become impotent if his or her umbilical cord is mysteriously involved in such act.
“This is a serious violation of a baby’s traditional fundamental in the society.
“The case became a stalemate as both of them accused each other so it’s anybody’s case,” said Chief Makuni.
He ordered them to resort to either fortune tellers or traditional healers to establish the truth and anyone between them found guilty would pay a number of beasts to both Headman Magaranewe and him as a fine for committing such an act.