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When a thief gets conned by witch-doctor

Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
WHAT’S the problem with some people? After stealing millions of cash from their employers, they end up paying more for their sins than rent.
I mean, it is laughable to hear that a cashier who had run off with millions of Kwacha ended up losing it to a witch-doctor.
Not that the witch-doctor needed the money more than the cashier, nor was the traditional healer picked at random as a beneficiary, but as fate would have it, the cash moved from one thief to another.
What the cashier didn’t have was any kind of clue as to what the witch-doctor was going to do with his loot.
Of course, some witch-doctors shouldn’t be allowed near huge sums of money, especially if their gods have stopped listening to them.
I don’t know what those who buy lottery tickets every week would say about a cashier at a security firm who allegedly stole K90,000 and took it to a witch-doctor to be multiplied into more cash.
In case you are wondering where this took place, last week the Zambia Daily Mail reported that an Amaguard Security Company cashier in Chisamba allegedly stole K90,000 from Zambeef Plc.
But instead of running home to share the ‘good’ news with his wife, the first person he thought of showing the loot was the witch-doctor to help him multiply the money.
I guess this is what economists mean when they say we should grow our money in the constantly changing world of business.
But in the hood, one thing is sure, even if you’re lucky enough to find that rare stock broker to manage your finances, he turns out to be a witch-doctor.
It appears in the hood only witch-doctors know about the money market despite their own financial challenges.
I am not encouraging you to start looking for a fetish shrine in the hood to deposit your retirement package in the hope of it being multiplied.
I mean, have you ever heard about a witch-doctor who has magically multiplied his own money and flown to The Bahamas for a holiday?
Or have you heard about a witch-doctor who has multiplied his own money and relocated from the hood to live in the lap of luxury in New York?
If you’re suspicious about some of these witch-doctors, I understand. It is normal to mistrust witch-doctors even if the cashier believed in one of them.
Most people in the hood believe them, because, hey, they must know something about money, right? How else could they become witch-doctors if they didn’t know about the allure of cash?
They profess to have a solution to every problem, including bringing back your lost lover to enjoy your loot with?
They even claim to have the powers to help you recover stolen property such as television sets, car tyres, batteries, cell phones, money etc.
Perhaps this is the reason why the cashier decided to do deals with a witch-doctor.
He didn’t want to wait until the jackpot by Zambian Lotto got bigger than the current K942,900, what with the odds always against him winning the lottery.
I am not sure how many times he failed at winning the lottery before deciding to steal the money from Zambeef and take it to a witch-doctor to have it multiplied.
May be he wanted to please his warlord, or sorry, landlord that he could now afford to pay rent three months in advance.
What would one do if his landlord had the freedom of disturbing his sleep at 04:00 hours to demand rent?
But whatever the motivation, the cashier ended up paying more for his sins than rent.
He was arrested to help with investigations while the police have launched a manhunt for the witch-doctor.
The story about the cashier reminds me of the famous Ringo Phiri, a security guard who stole money a few years ago.
The interesting thing about Ringo Phiri’s story is that he only bought sausages because he did not know what to do with his loot.
But unlike the Amaguard Security Company cashier, Ringo Phiri chose not to involve a witch-doctor in his theft.
And if witch-doctors have the power to recover stolen property, they would be working closely with the Zambia Police Service – in fact operate from the same counters so that whenever a victim of crime reports about theft at the office or home, they would take over.
Government would halt the recruitment of hundreds of cops every year and instead enlist a few witch-doctors to be dealing with crime and social issues.
There would be no local courts.
If witch-doctors had powers to multiply people’s money, political parties that have failed to pay nomination fees for their candidates would have flocked to fetish shrines for help.
In fact, we would all be stinking rich by now and witch-doctors would be rich, too.
Perhaps the Finance Minister and Bank of Zambia governor would be witch-doctors to help solve the country’s financial challenges.
But these witch-doctors, who usually come from across the border, work on people’s mind-set by promising to multiply the money from strangers when they have never multiplied coins in their own neighbourhoods.
Ever wondered the source of the black dollar? The same witch-finders prowl on unsuspecting pensioners by luring them to turn their cash into dollars and take it to their shrines.
And after delivering the cash, they are told to return the following week, only to find such witch-doctors have vanished.
Any wonder some pensioners die early after losing their money to witch-doctors.
As the Bemba say, “Witch-doctor temunobe”, meaning, “You never get used to a witch-doctor.”
I am sure the cashier is thinking of consulting another witch-doctor to recover his loot.