Traditional leaders in the Midlands province have been warned against engaging the services of traditional healers popularly known as tsikamutandas who are notorious for fleecing unsuspecting villagers of their cattle and other valuables.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Midlands Traditional Leaders’ Day Commemorations at 5 Infantry Brigade recently, Chief Zama Ngungumbane, who is the national chiefs council deputy president, said reports of tsikamutandas fleecing villagers were disturbing.

“The issue of tsikamutandas is disturbing in the province and the country as a whole,” he said. “We have been receiving reports of chiefs  who are working in cahoots with these tsikamutandas. 

“As a provincial assembly, we have made a resolution that no chief should be seen dealing with tsikamutandas.

“We have been receiving reports of chiefs who are allowing these tsikamutandas to fleece villagers of their cattle and other valuable possessions. Let this be a warning to the traditional leaders against such practices. That should stop immediately.”

Senator Chief Ngungumbane said chiefs should be protecting their subjects.

“We expect the traditional leaders to be playing their part in protecting their subjects not hiring these ruthless people who are stealing their subjects’ livestock,” he said.

Chief Ngungumbane said such actions did not only put the names of chiefs into disrepute but was also criminal.

“We are saying besides it being illegal to have such people in your jurisdiction, the move goes on to taint your image and integrity,” he said. 

“We are, therefore, calling upon all the chiefs who have been doing so to stop with immediate effect.” 

His sentiments came at a time when villagers in Zhombe and Silobela have been crying foul over tsikamutandas who are demanding beasts after conducting cleansing ceremonies.

Villagers are being forced to participate in the cleansing ceremonies by traditional healers who are reportedly benefiting from such acts.