In a shocking turn of events, the tight-knit Zhombe community in Kwekwe district, Midlands province, is grappling with fear and horror following the brutal murder of Fanuel Mwale (57), a dedicated teacher at Rio Tinto High School.
Mwale’s lifeless body, discovered at the Joel Business Centre, bore signs of a gruesome ritual killing, marking an unprecedented and heinous act in Zhombe’s history. His defaced and naked form, with a face skinned and eyes and ears removed, has sent shockwaves throughout the community, prompting a desperate cry for justice.
Local authorities have launched a manhunt for the suspected killers, urging the public to come forward with any information that may lead to their arrest. The family, breaking their silence, revealed that Mwale would be laid to rest on Friday after a postmortem in Bulawayo.
“We are not doing any rituals; we are burying our dear brother, and all we wish for is our loved one to rest in peace. Everything else, we leave in God’s hands,” stated Mr. Shayne Shoko, the family spokesperson.
The ghastly details of the murder have not only instilled fear but have also forced the community to confront the grim reality of ritualistic killings. Zhombe Residents Association, led by Mr. Becare Ndebele, expressed the shock of witnessing such a callous murder, emphasizing the unprecedented magnitude of barbarism.
The community is rallying together, contributing funds to support Mwale’s burial and organizing a peaceful anti-crime march from Joel Business Centre to Zhombe Mission, where Mwale will be laid to rest. Mr. Ndebele affirmed, “As a community, we are contributing funds towards his burial as a way of showing solidarity with the loved ones.”
Chief Gwesela is contemplating a cleansing ceremony, bringing together churches and traditionalists to pray for the area and purify it from such malevolent acts. The late Mwale, a beloved teacher who played a vital role in imparting knowledge to the community, taught History and English at Rujeko Somalala High School before transferring to Rio Tinto High School. The hope now is for justice to prevail, bringing the perpetrators to book and restoring a sense of security to the shaken Zhombe community.