‘Flesh eating’ witch caught after ‘running out of witchcraft powers’

52-year-old Ellen Khayiya Mpofu, a suspected Zimbabwean witch from Pelandaba in Bulawayo caused a stir in Mpopoma suburb after she ran out of her “witchcraft powers” and found herself at a stranger’s house.

Khayiya was picked up by police after she invaded Patricia Tshabalala’s house just before 2AM and claimed that her friends “dumped her”.

Dressed in a wrapping scarf with no shoes and holding a plastic bag with pieces of cloth, mysterious objects and some concoctions, Khayiya shocked Mpopoma residents after she apparently found her way into the house through a locked door.

Ellen Khayiya Mpofu who was caught trespassing while half naked at a Mpopoma house
Ellen Khayiya Mpofu who was caught trespassing while half naked at a Mpopoma house
Stunned residents thronged the house to catch a glimpse of the “witch” before she was whisked away by the police at about 7AM.

Tshabalala said she was asleep when she heard someone scratching the main door from outside and she rushed to check, suspecting that thieves were trying to break into her house.

“I heard what sounded like a pet scratching the door at about 2AM. I listened carefully and the sound continued until I rushed to the door and asked who the visitor was. Before I could get an answer, the door was flung open and a half-naked woman, carrying a plastic bag stood before me,” said Tshabalala.

“I asked her how she had opened the door and she told me she used her fingers. While I was still shocked she tried to push herself into the house and I screamed, alerting neighbours who came and beat her up before interrogating her.”

Tshabalala said the woman, who gave contradictory statements, claimed she had travelled by taxi to Mpopoma from Hillside before her friends dumped her and later revealed that she was riding on a child.

“The woman had two twisted fingers on her right hand. She told us it was caused by opening people’s doors during her night escapades. She bragged that she never worries about relish as she feeds on people’s blood and flesh.

“The plastic bag contained blood-stained pants, a bra, a petticoat, a T-shirt, a jersey, some jewellery and pieces of cloth. She was also carrying all sorts of strange things,” said Tshabalala.

Khayiya reportedly told stunned residents that she had three children from different fathers but stayed alone in Pelandaba as she could not stand men.

The woman, who kept on falling into a trance and changing voices, claimed she inherited the witchcraft powers from her sister, a teacher at a local school.

“One of my neighbours who knows the teacher phoned her and she disclosed that the woman was her sister. She pleaded with us not to beat her up, but she did not come to take her until the police came.

“The alleged witch claimed that her whole family was into witchcraft and said they rode on different people’s backs during the night to travel to different places for witchcraft purposes,” said Tshabalala.

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