Several armed suspects, a tribal chieftain says, could be the victim's own children shot a man identified only as Pastor Ndendela. The area's local chief bared that the incident happened last week in Binga District, in Zimbabwe's Magangala area.

The pastor was reportedly rushed to Binga Hospital and then to a Bulawayo hospital for his recovery.

Local Chief's Theory About the Suspects

Chief Siabuwa of Binga theorized that the victim's children could be behind the shooting, saying the latter had an issue with their father over livestock matters.

"I suspect that his children hired gunmen from Zambia to shoot him after they had a misunderstanding about cattle and pointed him out as a witch," Bulawayo24 News quoted village chief Siabuwa saying.

The news outlet said in its report the at-large suspects shot Pastor Ndendala's right hand before fleeing. The report revealed that the pastor hails from the Magobo village under chief Siabuwa. Siabuwa is in charge of wards 2 and 23, the report noted.

The local chieftain disclosed that he intends to gather residents in a meeting on Dec. 15 to talk about the problem. Chief Siabuwa explained that residents called "prophets" trigger such potentially fatal situations with their wrongful actions.

"Prophets are the ones that provoke the situation. They tell people that they are being bewitched without evidence, hence triggering the situation," Siabuwa said.

There is no available proof to support the claim of the victim's children that their father is involved in anything that can be considered witchcraft.

Accordingly, an unnamed police officer who responded to the scene involving Pastor Ndendela's shooting told reporters he and other fellow law enforcement agents are embarking on an education drive. The police officer disclosed that they are educating the local residents not to turn to violent acts to resolve anything they do not agree on.

"We are doing campaigns teaching people that eliminating by substitution is not a solution," he told Bulawayo 24 News.

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Similar Assault Incidents in Binga

The news outlet disclosed that the shooting incident involving Pastor Ndendala was not an isolated case.

Apparently, local informants have divulged that there have been other recent mysterious murders and deaths of local residents in the Binga district. While the pastor was lucky to have survived the armed attacks against him, the other victims were not as fortunate.

The unnamed local sources told investigators that a man was discovered lifelessly last week close to the area where the assailants shot at Pastor Ndendela.

Chief Siabuwa told Bulawayo 24 News that he has a gut feeling such reported deaths are part of ritualistic murders by some local tribespeople. Consequently, the local tribal leader has issued a plea to the local police force to beef up their police presence in the area by conducting regular patrols.

Police Inspector Glory Banda, the spokesperson of the Matabeleland North Police, told the news outlet that he was not in his office when Bulawayo 24 News called him for his comment on the murders.

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