The last few months have witnessed unprecedented gruesome and sordid murders, ascribed to ritual killings.
The characteristic signature of the murders is the removal of body parts, for apparent use in the preparation of charms and potion.
Interestingly some suspects arrested in connection with such murders have reportedly confessed to selling private parts removed from victims, and recently the nation was informed that the Police were hot on the heels of those who bought the parts, but thus far nothing has happened- the trail appears to have gone cold.
It will be recalled that the Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu recently stated that Police were on the trail of “body part buyers”, and that they would be caught soon.
Since then all has gone quiet. This is not acceptable.
When the Minister of Home Affairs makes an assertion and issues deadlines as he did to the Police to bring culprits to book, it is expected that Police will respond in kind by bringing to book those responsible for the heinous crimes.
There is no question that the parts were used for muti or other rituals which are usually associated with the promotion of business, good luck or some other equally “propitious” use.
The link between the murders and “muti” trail must be taken seriously by the Police in order to arrive at a solution that will bring an end to the ritual murders that are becoming too common.
One death of a taxi driver is a death too many. Such deaths should not tolerated, therefore everything possible should be taken to eradicate them even if it means getting the assistance of those considered to be in the “psychic” world commonly used by even more advanced police forces including those in the United States. It is nothing to be ashamed of if done for a common good.
It is un acceptable that for the first time in the history of this country we have horrific and gruesome murders where facial skin and body parts are removed by cold murderers who do not value lives..
These gruesome murders point in one direction and one direction only, namely that some foreign elements in the witchdoctor repertoire has been introduced in our country. These must be practitioners who preach the “get rich quick” message based on the use of human parts.
It is time that the Police seriously looked at the proliferation of “doctors” who claim to cure all manner of diseases, these could be at the root of this malaise.
We are not promoting xenophobia but it is important to recognize that these crimes are alien to Zambia. Until recently it was unheard for any healer to circulate fliers promising to solve, social, psychological, health and physical ailments. It is now common place to find women selling medicines that are “elixirs” of life.
These medicines are also available on all streets of Lusaka.
Obviously it will be impossible to eradicate herbal cures as all medicines have their genesis in the natural world, but time has come when serious thought must be given to background checks of those who practice traditional medicine.
More care should be taken to investigate those who offer additional herbs that are supposed to make people rich overnight.
In this regard the Traditional Healers Association of Zambia, which thus far has played an impressive role in exposing charlatans, should be fully engaged to help the police in identifying individuals who are inimical to tradition medicine practice.
There is no question that the influx of foreign “healers” has accentuated the practice of traditional medicine in Zambia and that some of the requirements go beyond the normal medicinal wares.
It is in this regard the Police must seek the support of the traditional world to establish the various connections and possible explanation for the gruesome practicies