‘Ritualists’ storm graveyard at night, dig up grave few days after burial of dead person


IN a bizarre incident, some unknown people allegedly dug a grave at Chinotimba Cemetery in Victoria Falls, a few days after burial of the deceased person.

It is not clear yet if the coffin and body were tampered with. Victoria Falls City Council workers informed the family of the deceased and the police about the incident.

The deceased, Surprise Shoko, died at the age of 23 after allegedly consuming poison in a domestic issue after he had reportedly impregnated a girl.

He was buried two weeks ago and the grave was tampered with last Friday.

An epitaph had been broken and forced back.

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Shoko’s mother declined to comment saying the fact that her son’s grave had been tampered with was enough torture to her and family.

The issue has become the talk of Victoria Falls City with some residents claiming this is not the first time some people have tampered with graves in the resort city.

They said there are businesspersons and church leaders known to have been caught performing rituals at night at the gravesite.

However, there is suspicion that some people use the gravesite as a safe haven for extra marital se_x under the cover of darkness.

Pastor Travina Chichoni of the Methodist Revival Church said a grave is a place where it is believed that the body of a dead person rests while the soul would have gone to meet the Lord.

“While we believe that the body is good as a dead lion as is said in the scriptures, it is the one that is honoured and respected when we put our beloved ones in graves with a sense of respect. Which is why people even erect tombstones.

“Other religions like the African Traditional Religion believe that the body will resurrect and can come back to protect the family which is why people do ceremonies such as umbuyiso as they have a lot of respect for the grave,” she said.

Bulawayo-based traditionalist Mr David Mhabhinyana Ngwenya said tampering with a grave is taboo.

“This is why elders would tell you that stepping on a grave makes your feet develop cracks (imikenke) because there is someone resting in that grave. No one digs a grave unless you are a witch.

“In our African culture, when we visit the grave, it’s only when we are cleaning or speaking to our departed relative to speak to our ancestors on our behalf hence tampering with graves is taboo,” he said.

— Chronicle

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