The Sunday Mail
Fr Tendai Reki Mashayamombe
Our moral values seem to have lost meaning, with belief systems having lost value too.
Our ubuntu/hunhu surely has gone to the dogs — imagine a seven-year-old being murdered in cold blood for alleged ritual reasons.
What has gone wrong with our society?
It is shocking, disappointing, disturbing and devastating that parents, guardians and close relatives have lost the moral compass, trust and confidence expected of them by young children.
Who will look after these kids? What has become of us? Is it the love of money?
It is shocking what herdsman Tafadzwa Shamba confessed to police detectives. Shamba said he killed Tapiwa Makore (7) by cutting off the head with a knife while the boy’s uncle was holding a torch.
He has since been arrested over the alleged murder of the boy.
The Bible according to Matthew Chapter 26 v 14-16 states: “Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said to them, what will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”
This is how Jesus was sold out by his closest and trusted disciple, Judas Iscariot, purely because of the love of money. This aptly describes the manner in which the seven-year-old Tapiwa was sold out by his closest relative. But why?
Prophet Nhamoinesu Mucherahohwa of Kutenda Kwa Vapostori believes that ritual killings have much to do with myths and realities associated with vast business empires, avenging spirits and other beliefs.
But what could be the driving force behind the murder of young children?
A traditional herbalist, who cannot be named, explained that certain unproven beliefs might be behind the ritual killings of innocent children.
“Cultism has been among African people with certain selfish business people behind this.
“Some even kill these innocent souls to allegedly appease avenging spirits,” said the traditionalist.
Research from the United Nations shows that over 400 million children are currently living on the African continent — and the number is rising.
Children are persecuted, injured and married off under unjustified circumstances. They suffer from poverty, violence in the home or community and sometimes are exposed to armed conflicts.
In countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Somalia — child soldiers are still recruited with millions of children living in constant fear in the midst of terror and violence.
Imagine in this day and age, society has children suffering from malnutrition — some do not go to school and have no prospect of a better future. Many of them do not even experience their fifth birthday.
Surely the children in Africa need help.
The United Nations estimates that Africa’s population will double to 2,4 billion by 2050. That is one quarter of the world’s population — 40 percent of all children under the age of five would live in Africa in the middle of the 21st century. With this in mind, surely society should be a better place to live for young children.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association president George Kandiyero condemns in the strongest terms child murder, abuse, rape or assault in all forms.
He explains that for a long time, society has recorded incidents of selfish and evil businesspeople who work in cahoots with bogus traditional healers to commit crimes.
“It has been happening since time immemorial including contemporary times where bogus traditional healers deceive people that if you kill young children you can avoid police arrest, for instance, in the case that one would have committed a crime.
“Such bogus traditional healers in Zimbabwe seem to get influence from Western countries where child murder is on the increase for ritual purposes.
◆ Fr Tendai Reki Mashayamombe is a catholic priest ordained in 2013. He is a Masters student of Science in Media and Society Studies and is currently working at Assumption of Our Lady in Highlands, Harare.