The Herald (Harare)

25 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Gokwe Panties Mystery Deepens

Photo: Marieke Cambeen/RNW
Laundry on washing lines.

CHIEF Njelele of Gokwe has directed village heads in his area to stop the arrangements to invite a traditional healer to conduct a cleansing ceremony in the villages after 26 women recently woke up and found themselves without panties.

The move by the chief comes in the wake of more mysterious happenings in Chief Njelele's area.

In an interview on Monday, Chief Njelele said a huge owl invaded village head Pauro's homestead and grabbed a male mature dog with its legs before vanishing with it while the village head and his subjects were at a meeting to discuss the invitation of a traditional healer following the missing panties saga.

"I have stopped any meetings in the two areas where 26 women found themselves without their panties recently after one of my village heads experienced another strange happening while he was at a meeting with his subjects to discuss the issue of the missing panties.

"This was after I had tasked the two village heads, Pauro and Charuseka, to meet their subjects with the aim of inviting a traditional healer to cleanse their areas.

I then saw village head Pauro coming to my homestead with more strange news that a huge owl came flying from nowhere before picking up a male dog at his homestead and flying away while they were at a meeting.

It is mind-boggling what is going on in the area and I think it is wise you come and get it from the villagers themselves," he said.

The traditional leader said he was now waiting to consult other local traditional leaders, chiefs Nemangwe and Chireya, on the way forward following the two strange incidents in his area.

"I have also been receiving several calls from women pressure groups about the missing panties issue.

I have also arranged a meeting this week with a director from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, who called me from Harare and said they were keen to meet my subjects about the missing panties issue," he said.

Chief Njelele said he now had eight unclaimed panties from the initial 26.

"The majority of villagers who positively identified their panties have since claimed them. Some have burnt them while others said they would perform some rituals before disposing of them. I am keeping them at my own risk because as the leader, there is nothing I can do.

After meeting these women pressure groups, we will take these unclaimed panties to Gokwe Police Station," he said.

There was panic in Gokwe when 26 females, including schoolgirls, woke up and found themselves without panties last week.

The undergarments were later found dumped in a bushy area.

Police in Gokwe said it was difficult for them to investigate the issue.

"We received the report last week but that is difficult to investigate. The only person with the answer on the way forward is the traditional leader from the affected area," said a police officer who declined to be named at Gokwe Police Station.

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