4 large pythons measuring between three and six metres are giving Rukweza villagers and pupils sleepless nights as they are seen roaming the area in broad daylight and feeding on leftover sadza and bones.

The four reptiles which are reported to be seen in a single file whenever they emerge from their habitat at an anthill have never threatened to attack anyone and have become a spectacle as people always jostle to catch their glimpse as they slither towards Rukweza Primary and High School in search of food.

The macabre real life drama has been unfolding in the past one and half months and different theories of their existence are being given. Some believe it is witchcraft at play, while traditionalists believe that there was a breach of cultural rites in the area and an appeasement ceremony has to be done as a matter or urgency.

A villager, Knowledge Kundidzora (19), who stays near the anthill where the pythons have found habitat, said the four reptiles usually emerge from the anthill at around 9am, 10am, 1pm or 4pm. “I stay about 100 metres from the anthill. What is surprising is that they emerge from their habitats at the same time. People are coming from all over to catch a glimpse of the pythons. They roam the area freely and they usually frequent the teachers’ houses in search of leftover food and bones,” he said.

The villagers said at times the pythons cross Mutorahuku River and slither to Rukweza High School in search of food. “The pythons usually frequent Mrs Agnes Mukombiwa’s homestead which is used as lodging by pupils attending school at Rukweza High School. They are attracted by the leftovers left by the pupils. At times they fight over food and it will be so scaring,” said a man who requested anonymity.

Mrs Mukombiwa also confirmed the frequent the pythons ‘visits’. “I was in Harare and when I came back that is when I was informed of the presence of these pythons in this area. I saw them feeding on leftover sadza and was shocked. I have never heard of snakes feeding on sadza, this is witchcraft at play,” she said.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that one of the pythons once swallowed a goat. Mr Amon Putseni said he believed that the pythons were a ritual which had gone terribly wrong with the owners failing to tame them.

Another villager, Mr Murasira Tangayi (48), said they had informed officials from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management as well as Environment Management Agency.

He said the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management demanded $100 for them to come and capture the pythons. Mr Nisson Munhondo (22) called for a traditional solution to the python problem. state media