After confessing to killing a village head through witchcraft and claiming responsibility for the sickness of numerous villagers, a 70-year-old woman identified as Esther Sibanda from Grandi village in Matopo in Zimbabwe under Chief Masuku has been banished, B-Metro reports. The report revealed that the death and sickness were Esther Sibanda’s way of paying back the community leadership because she felt they mistreated her in a disciplinary case. Initially, she had been found stark naked, bathing on a footpath so she appeared at a traditional court where she felt the judgment was cruel.
“I was summoned by the village head after a villager saw me bathing across my homestead at 2pm. I told the court that I did not know what I did was wrong. I apologised but the court was ruthless to me,” said Sibanda.
Feeling that she had been unfairly treated, she took matters into her own hands. “I went home and wrote the village head’s name and those of the other four committee members. My list of names included Ndlovu, Dorris, Nhliziyo, Tshuma and Moyo. I put them in a bottle with my charms,” Sibanda said.
If it were not for her daughter-in-law (name not given) who found the bottle and took it to the village head, the matter would have remained a mystery. “When my daughter-in-law found the bottle she took it to the village head and I was summoned again for witchcraft practices. At the court I was told to vacate this area,” she said.
But Sibanda felt it was her right to do what she did to protect herself. “I really did not know my actions were unacceptable. I thought I was at liberty to do anything to protect myself,”said Sibanda.
When the village head, Anderson Ndlovu, died after two weeks the community was gripped with fear because Sibanda did not hide that she was behind his death. She even told B-Metro there were more victims on the way. “Before his death the village head stopped going to the toilet. Dorris, Nhliziyo and two others are on the same boat,” she said. The village head’s widow, MaNdlovu confirmed that her husband died as Sibanda narrated.
Still, Sibanda wants forgiveness but “the tribe has spoken”. She has to pay a fine and then disappear from the village. “I went down on my knees to apologise but the villagers didn’t forgive me. I have been expelled from the village and I was told to pay five goats. Sadly the goats I was supposed to pay with got stolen at night,” she said.
Chief Masuku confirmed the incident. “She was in my court yesterday (on Sunday). And her case is not yet over as she failed to pay the goats,” said Chief Masuku.
Now that she has been banished she will go to her relatives at a nearby village.