ZIMHOFU villagers under Chief Ndanga area in Zaka are in shock after more than 30 pythons were found on top of a grave on Sunday morning. The villagers, most of whom are superstitious, explained away the rare sight as an act of witchcraft.
Chief Ndanga confirmed the incident.
He said the shocking incident which was witnessed by more than 40 villagers occurred around 9AM.
“I can confirm the incident but I’m yet to get finer details. It’s true that snakes were seen coming out of a grave at a local cemetery. I’m, however, not sure about the number of these reptiles. I heard that they were many,” said Chief Ndanga.
A still shaken village head, Jeremiah Matumbike, said the incident was the first of its kind.
He said the local leadership was in the process of trying to locate and identify the family connected to the “strange” grave.
Matumbike said once identified, he would ask the family to seek assistance from a prophet or sangoma for an explanation of the strange happening.
“The incident is a rare sight. I saw the snakes myself, more than 30 pythons, coming out of the grave. I’m perplexed and would want to know the meaning of this unusual incident.
“The family concerned should seek divine intervention or consult a sangoma. This could be an act of witchcraft,” said Matumbike.
He said snakes were rare species in the area, hence a report was quickly made to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority whose personnel attended the scene and managed to capture some of the snakes.
Matumbike said the entire village was in shock and none seemed to comprehend the significance of the strange incident.
“We’ve never seen a python in this area until now. Something big or strange is going to happen either to the area or concerned family. These pythons could be a warning. It could be that the spirits are angry and want to be given their due respect. About 50 villagers witnessed the incident. A formal report was made to Parks and Wildlife Management.
“Officials attended the scene and managed to capture only 20 pythons as they were disturbed by heavy rains.”
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo dismissed talk that the incident could be an act of witchcraft.
“It’s typical of a python to give birth to many snakelets or hatchlings and there’s nothing cultural about this incident,” she said.
However, a renowned Bulawayo traditional healer, Cornelius Ncube, said traditionally it was taboo for a python to be seen at or near a grave.
He associated the incident with witchcraft.
“I don’t believe these were simply pythons, but goblins. Snakes don’t move in groups. The dead might be communicating a special message to the living using these pythons.
“Relatives of the dead should dig deeper in working out a solution to this mystery,” Ncube said.