GOKWE police say they have been asked to investigate after 26 women went to sleep with their panties on – then woke up to find themselves naked, a newspaper reported.
The panties were later found in a heap in the local Njelele Village, and 17 were positively identified by their owners.
A spokesman for Gokwe police confirmed they were investigating the bizarre incident, adding that they were minded to exercise discretion and allow local leaders to try traditional solutions.
Chief Njelele, the local traditional leader, has since requested police permission to conduct a witch hunt, the Bulawayo Chronicle reported.
The chief told the newspaper: “What happened in my area is so scary and everyone is in a state of shock and panic. I have called for a meeting with my subjects in the two villages where the incident occurred and I am scheduled to meet them so that we chart the way forward.”
According to Chief Njelele, on July 11 this month, “the majority of women” in two local communities under village heads Pauro and Chariseka went to sleep with their panties on – but mysteriously woke up in the nude.
“After we reported the matter to the police at Gokwe Police Station, 17 women from Pauro and Charusekera positively identified their garments in the presence of the police,” the chief said.
“The remaining panties have not been identified maybe because of their state.
"Police, however, recorded 26 complaints from the village which tallies with the number of underwear which were found in the bush.”
The chief said he was in talks with police to invite self-styled prophets known locally as tsikamutandas to conduct a witch hunt to smoke out the “trouble causers”.
Whoever is fingered as responsible will be hauled before the chief’s court and punished – which could be in the form of a fine or expulsion from the village.