A Kadoma man has been arrested for attempting to sell his eight-year-old daughter to a Chivhu businessman for ritual killing.

Tapiwa Vhutani (27) of Kumboedza Farm in Kadoma was arrested after he continuously pestered businessman Obert Juru – son to Bishop Ollah Juru – that he was selling his daughter for $12 000.

Vhutani appeared before Magistrate Winfilda Tiyatara at Chivhu Magistrate Court last week facing allegations of “conspiracy to commit murder”, contravening Section 188 (1) (b) as read with section 47 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, chapter 9:23.

He was remanded in custody to this Tuesday.

According to state papers, Vhutani was trapped and arrested on the spot by the Chivhu Criminal Investigations Department (CID) police while attempting to hand over his daughter to another team of law enforcement agents who posed as potential buyers.

It is alleged that sometime in March, the accused went to Dirozvi Meeting Place, a bar in Chivhu, and asked a reveller for the contact details of the owner of a vehicle with South African registration plates that was parked outside.

The vehicle belonged to Bishop Juru, but Vhutani was given Obert’s mobile phone number. “On 27 March 2017 Vhutani sent a text message to one Obert Juru’s cellphone number asking if he was willing to buy children for rituals (purposes),” said the state represented by prosecutor Nicholas Mabvongodze.

“The accused said he was in dire need of cash, continued persistently to send Juru text messages asking him to buy his child.”

It is further alleged that on May 27, Vhutani asked Obert, who had already informed the police, if he had found a buyer for the child.

The police then directed Obert to arrange a meeting with Vhutani with the CID officers posing as potential buyers.

Vhutani met Obert who was in the company of undercover police agents who negotiated the price for the child from $15 000 to $12 000.

The accused was given $20 bus fare to go and collect the girl who stayed with her grandmother in Wedza.

“Upon his return to Chivhu with the child on May 30, the undercover detectives handed over an envelope written US$12 000 on one side, but actually contained US$50 as payment for the child,” the state alleges.

“Vhutani was arrested on the spot, at Dirozvi Lodges by another team of detectives who were hiding nearby.

“An envelope marked US$12 000 was found in Vhutani’s possession. Text messages between him and potential buyers were also recovered.”

In his statement to the police which was presented in court, Vhutani said he had heard through the media that there are people from South Africa who buy children for killing to enhance business fortunes. state media