A monitor lizard has caused a stir in Old Magwegwe suburb in Bulawayo, stoking fears of witchcraft against a background of strange animal sightings in the area.
On Friday last week the community convened a meeting to discuss the strange happenings, top on the agenda being the monitor lizard.
There was no concrete resolution at the meeting though many believed the animal sightings were linked to the dark world.
At the meeting some residents claimed that they had trouble sleeping at night due to strange noises that they suspected were linked to the nocturnal creatures that left strange marks in their homes.
Some challenged residents to organise a cleansing ceremony to get rid of what they believed to be tools of witchcraft.
Residents claimed that a monitor lizard, which some had thought was a snake, had terrorised the area as they often saw the marks in the morning. Last week a resident, Danisa Mpofu, was reported to have picked up the dead monitor lizard along Pumula Road where he alleged it was run over by a car.
Mpofu reportedly carried the big lizard in a wheelbarrow with the intention of skinning it and keeping the skin.
A Ms Moyo, who is a resident in Old Magwegwe said: “ Danisa wanted to draw the lizard because he is an artist.”
However, Mpofu later had other ideas since he believed healers could have use for the animal. He reportedly approached a traditional healer named Nkanyezi who allegedly told him that he had no use for the animal since he had since converted to Christianity.
Mpofu, according to a resident, frantically tried to get the interest of two other traditional healers in vain, as they also would not buy the lizard.
It is reported that it was at this point that Mpofu decided to dispose of the creature near Marisha Bar leading to scores of people thronging the scene to witness the spectacle.
“As scores of people assembled at Marisha a few residents took the lizard and said that they wanted to braai and eat it because it was good meat,” said a Ndlovu.
Secretary of the residents association and Marisha community member Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu said: “It is astounding to find such animals especially in a community area.
In our culture we subscribe to the fact that animals are representational.
The elders of the community must sit down and map the way forward because it is scary to find such an animal within the community.”
Another resident, who identified himself as Mlalazi said: “This is extreme witchcraft, how can one claim to draw such a big lizard and also approach traditional leaders in order to sell it.
The person is making money or wants to make money from weird animals which signify witchcraft.”
Mpofu declined to speak to a B-Metro news crew about the incident.
However, reports of animal sightings in the area are not new, with our sister paper, uMthunywa, having reported the case of a warthog that was seen roaming near Marisha Cocktail Bar one morning earlier this year.