TWO suspected witches have been arrested after they were found naked outside a house in Harare’s Budiriro suburb early Wednesday.
The two women, both from Gokwe-Nembudziya in the Midlands, were charged with “engaging in practices commonly associated with witchcraft” before Mbare magistrates, Inspector Tadius Chibanda of Harare police said.
Inspector Chibanda said the women, who have not been named, were found naked with an assortment of witchcraft-associated paraphernalia including a live owl, two winnowing baskets which are used for flying in witchcraft mythology, a baboon skeleton and an orange substance in a 550ml Coca-Cola bottle.
The bizarre sight confronted children waking up to go to school shortly after 5AM at a house on Gata Street in Budiriro 2.
Witnesses said the owner of the house was a self-styled prophet who had had contact with the witches a day earlier.
Robert Mwade, a tenant, told ZBC TV: “We found them in the morning, they were sitting on top of their winnowing baskets. It looks like they crash landed here.
“The prophets asked them what their business was and they said they came from Mutorashanga and were flying over Budiriro when they crashed.”
Another witness, who saw the two women at the same house on Tuesday, also told the ZBC that one of the alleged witches had arrived in a car.
The unnamed female witness said: “The prophet told them that they were witches, but they insisted they were clean. He gave them water and instructed them to wash their hands. He then told them, ‘oh, you think I’m a liar? You will wake up outside my house tomorrow.’
“So this morning, the bigger woman was sitting at the door and the other was under a mango tree. When people were taking pictures, the woman under the tree kept covering her eyes with the owl.
“They claimed they were not witches, but they have been found out.”
The ZBC, citing police sources, said the women had “pleaded to be released and returned to their homes claiming they had put spells on their husbands to sleep, and if they failed to make it back then their husbands would die in their sleep.”
The arrest of the two women drew hundreds of people out onto the streets.
Spectacle ... Hundreds of people turned out to see the suspected witches
Undignified ... One of the alleged witches surrounded by crowds on Wednesday