IN a twist of events, controversial Zimunya man Zebediah Chisamba finally confessed to having tampered with the remains of a fallen comrade as the deceased continues to haunt him.
Zebediah who seems to be inseparable with controversy after he was implicated in the news last year in September for siring a child with his daughter in what was believed to have been an act of witchcraft, has become the talk of Muromo Village. Zebediah stunned acting Chief Zimunya's court on June 29 by confessing to have tampered with the late Cde Chikukwa's remains.
He said he thought they were the remains of his son. Zebediah also confessed that something was tormenting him, 'munzeve mangu munorira majeke'.
Zebediah also agreed that he kept a talisman made up of reeds and small stones buried in his yard, but it was meant to protect his home and not to kill people as his family accused him of doing.
"I used the talisman to protect my home from lightning and witchcraft. If the allegations by my family are true, I swear I did not know it was killing family members," said Zebediah.
The case of Zebediah first appeared before acting Chief Zimunya's court on June 15, with relatives baying for his blood accusing him of causing many deaths in the family.
However, Zebediah, in his 70s, is said to have met his match in the avenging spirit of a fallen freedom fighter who is causing him sleepless nights after he stole his bone before reburial for his witchcraft rites.
Unbeknown to Zebediah was that the family had taken a stranger's remains for reburial and the stranger could not have any of the alleged wizard's acts of witchcraft.
The troubled Zebediah, who claims to hear drumbeats and gunshots in his ears is said to be acting schizophrenic from time to time.
The Chisamba family thought they were burying the remains of their son, Leonard, who died during the liberation war struggle, but were actually burying Cde Chikukwa's remains.
At the reburial ritual at their family shrines in Muromo Village, Zebediah is alleged to have secretly stolen some body parts from the coffin for his wizardry.
Although Zebediah first denied all the allegations levelled against him on June 15, all the Chisamba family members present pointed accusing fingers at him.
They said their accusations were backed by what they gathered after consulting traditional healers and spiritual healers who all confirmed that Zebediah was using witchcraft and causing a lot of deaths in the family.
A member of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Cde Joel Mureremba, who was furious with Zebediah, said it was disturbing that he wanted to use the remains of a liberation war hero for witchcraft.
He said as an association they wanted to make sure that the remains of Cde Chikukwa would be given a befitting send-off and his soul rested in peace.
Acting Chief Zimunya further adjourned the case to July 13 for a final verdict.
"This case has two issues to be solved. One concerns Zebediah's alleged witchcraft shenanigans, which his family wants exposed and dealt with to stop further deaths in the family. The other case concerns Zebediah's tampering with the remains in a coffin for reasons best known to himself, which now haunts him. He should confess all his sins before the court, after which we can help him appease the tormenting spirit," said acting Chief Zimunya.
On another note, acting Chief Zimunya said Zebediah had defaulted in paying the fine imposed on him for siring a child with his daughter.
"You were supposed to pay reparation (muripo) of one cow and a lamb, which you opted to pay in cash. You only paid $150 last year and you still owe the court a balance of $150 for the cow and $50 for the lamb," said the chief.