WOMEN in two villages in Gokwe, Midlands Province, are resting easy this weekend after the mystery of vanishing knickers was finally solved.
Local man Lumeck Ncube, 62, shocked neighbours after admitting that his “rogue” goblin was behind the mysterious disappearance of 26 panties overnight on July 11.
The women went to sleep in their underwear but woke up in the nude. The mystery only deepened when all 26 panties were discovered in a heap, dumped in the woods.
The goblin was captured, and then set on fire, in front of several hundred villagers during a witch-hunt organised by Chief Njelele on Wednesday.
An inyanga was brought in from Hwange and a self-styled prophet from an apostolic sect joined the cleansing ceremony.
The two men quickly identified Ncube as the source of the villagers’ troubles, forcing him to admit that he kept a goblin at his home.
The two witch hunters, Ncube, Chief Njelele and six aides then left the cleansing ceremony and proceeded to Ncube’s home where a goblin was retrieved from one of the bedrooms.
Correspondents described a "very short, decorated, human-like creature wearing blue female panties". Silvia Marumbe, the wife of the village headman, identified the underwear as hers.
Marume told the gathered crowd that her panties vanished in 2004 – suggesting the goblin had been at it for nearly a decade.
The creature was later burnt before the huge crowd as police were forced to step in to protect Ncube from being physically attacked.
Ncube said he bought the goblin in Chakari, near Kadoma, in 1983 while working in Kwekwe.
"When I bought this goblin, my purpose was to improve my luck in life,” he told the crowd. “I wanted to get promoted at my work as well as acquiring wealth but the goblin did not perform to my expectations.”
The goblin had turned “rogue”, showing a growing appetite for sex and women’s lingerie.
“We were no longer on good terms (with the goblin),” he added.
Chief Njelele, who sought police permission to conduct the witch hunt warned: "People in my area need to behave and desist from engaging in witchcraft. Because of this strange missing panties saga, my area is now known the world over for the wrong reasons, which is a shame.
“I therefore want to warn my subjects that we will deal with the culprits decisively at our traditional courts.”