Seventy (70) people were arrested by the police on Friday, 24 November for obstructing the free movement of traffic and people as they were performing rituals at the scene of a hit-and-run accident in Mbare, Harare.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said a man was killed in a fatal hit-and-run road traffic accident in Mbare on Wednesday.
Two days later, 70 mourners who were aboard two trucks and were en route to Granville Cemetery (Kumbudzi) disembarked at the scene of the accident and started to sing and dance resulting in their arrest by the police. ZRP said:
Police in Harare are investigating a fatal hit-and-run road traffic accident in which a male adult died after being hit by an unknown motorist at the intersection of Remembrance Drive and Ardbenie Road, Mbare on 22/11/23. The motorist did not stop after the accident.
Meanwhile, on 24/11/23 at around 1400 hours, 70 people were arrested for obstructing the free movement of traffic and people at the scene of the accident.
The suspects, who were aboard two lorries en route to Mbudzi Cemetery, had disembarked from the lorries before gathering at the centre of the intersection to allegedly perform rituals whilst singing and dancing.
In Zimbabwe, there is a cultural belief in avenging spirits, which is often referred to as “Ngozi”.
According to this belief, avenging spirits are the restless spirits of individuals who have died under tragic or unjust circumstances, such as murder or accidental death.
These spirits are believed to seek justice or revenge for their untimely demise.
The relatives of the deceased would perform some rituals at the accident or murder scene or at the grave to incite the spirit of the deceased to seek vengeance.
It is believed that the avenging spirit will haunt the murderer and his family or her family, bringing misfortune, illness, or even death until the wrong is acknowledged and resolved through traditional rituals and appeasement of the spirit.