A THREE year-old child went missing in Gokwe a week ago, with traditional leaders insisting the child was “paying for the sins” of illegal settlers at a sacred forest. Gokwe has been synonymous with weird stories including that of women waking up with no undergarments, a hare with earrings and a bird flying away with a child.  

Area chief, Chief Njelele confirmed the latest development and said the matter was under investigation. The incident took place at a reserved forest in Mapfungautsi.

Illegal settlers invaded the forest recently, unsettling a number of elders in Gokwe who claim that the area is sacred. The settlers have since cleared the area in preparation for the farming season.

Said Chief Njelele: “There are strong views that the child might have disappeared as a result of invading the place but we cannot say so because the matter is not yet clear. As I am talking to you, I am in Mapfungautsi trying to gather information on what is really happening.”

Village head Mr Joseph Musiyarira said the search for the child has been in vain despite prophets telling them that the child was still alive.

“We have tried to look for the child but he cannot be located. The bush is cleared and there is no way a child can go missing. Prophets are telling parents that the child is still alive. There is usually a lot of mystery associated with the forest and some people think it is a curse to invade the area,” he said.

“The explation which we are getting from local prophets is that people invaded this farm which was regarded as scared hence the child is paying for their sins. There has to be a cleansing if not relocating because we cannot fight supernatural powers. We can’t afford to see children disappearing and we may never know what might happen next.”
The child’s parents could not be reached for comment. sunday news

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