The Zimbabwean government has dismissed stranger than fictional reports that there are some locals who are cutting off and selling their toes for as much as US$40,000 for ritual purposes.
For the past week, Zimbabwe has drawn a lot of interest from the Southern African region over the disturbing news that some locals in connivance with some rich occultists were dabbling in the dark magic and were paying handsomely for toes, thumbs, and other fingers.
The reports went viral on various social media platforms alleging that some Zimbabweans are selling their toes for between US$20,000 and US$40,000 and Ximex, a popular Harare mall was the centre of the drama. According to some of the traders at the mall, the toes would be used for ritual purposes.
Hordes of desperate Zimbabweans facing starvation and abject poverty thronged the mall seeking to also sell their toes. This followed a video of a trader at the mall Davis Kaseke, alleging that there was indeed a trade in toes going on at the capital city’s haven for deals.
Kaseke, who was speaking to some local tabloid said, “The toes issue is actually true. It is actually happening here, we have the full prices of the toes, this has been happening for a long time,” he said.
“But first, a person willing to sell their toes has to pay a joining fee of US$200, then we tell them everything,” he said at the time.
Kaseke also alleged that he was one of the many agents, who supply the occultists with toes.
“So, these people just come here with bags and tell us to fill the bags with toes. If you come and you want to sell your toe, we will show you but right now we cannot reveal finer details.”
However, Kaseke later made an about-turn when the story went viral catching the attention of many countries in the Southern Africa region.
He said he had been intoxicated at the time, but many believe he was cowed into reversing his story which many still believe is true.
Media from Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria and even South Africa faulted the story raising a lot of debate over the authenticity of the reports.
On Thursday, June 2, the Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Kindness Paradza paid a visit to Ximex mall in Harare where he held discussions with the youthful traders who were said to be behind this strange phenomenon.
Many denied that they had sold their toes for money and said their ‘flamboyant’ lifestyle was a result of hustling and hard work.
“Since the story broke out many people came here wanting to also sell their toes for money. We told them that the story was not true, and we all had our toes intact,” said a young man only known as Ginimbi Lite.
Many traders also agreed and took off their shoes to show that their toes were intact.
“We have conducted some investigations on the matter and found out that nothing like that is happening.
“We are here at the Ximex mall in Harare but as you can see people here are working hard doing their everyday jobs,” said the Deputy Minister during the main news bulletin on the local television station Zimbabwe Broadcasting Services (ZBC).
He warned that anyone found peddling such untruths would be punished severely since this was now tarnishing the country’s image.
“This is the work of detractors bent on soiling Zimbabwe’s good name. We will not be the ridicule of the region,” he said sternly.
This comes amid sad reports that millions of Zimbabweans will go hungry as the country faces a severe grain shortage due to a poor rainfall season and hoarding of maize by farmers who are demanding payment in United States dollars.
Zimbabwe is also currently battling an inflation rate that has jumped to 132% after its currency slumped.
Officially according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe the rate is now ZWL$308 to 1USD but on the black market, which is what many people use, it’s ZWL $480 for 1USD.