Chief allegedly demands US$21 000. . . as search for missing Nyanga tourist continues

Relatives and friends of the missing tourist Zaid Dada converge at the foot of Mount Nyangani as the search for him continued in Nyanga yesterday

Relatives and friends of the missing tourist Zaid Dada converge at the foot of Mount Nyangani as the search for him continued in Nyanga yesterday

Herald Reporter
The search for the missing tourist who disappeared on Mount Nyangani in Nyanga while hiking with his wife and friends on Saturday resumed on Wednesday after it was temporarily suspended due to bad weather.
Zaid Dada (31), his wife and another couple tried to climb Mt Nyangani but halfway up, the women and the other man gave up while he proceeded by himself.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri confirmed the development and said the helicopter that was dispatched to assist in the search was forced to land after heavy winds disrupted the search programme.

“We are still searching for him and on Tuesday, the family visited local chiefs who gave advice on what needs to be done. The police officers, Parks rangers and members from the army are still assisting the relatives.

“On Tuesday the helicopter had to land after there were strong winds which hampered its assistance in the search,” he said.
On Monday, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Ms Caroline Wa- shaya-Moyo said more than 60 people, including rangers and relatives of the missing tourist, were involved in the search.

Air Force of Zimbabwe spokesperson Squadron Leader Donovan Muro-yiwa said they dispatched a helicopter with four soldiers from One Commando Regiment to assist in locating the tourist.

Meanwhile, Chief Saunyama of Nyanga reportedly demanded US$21 000 from the relatives of the missing tourist.
He demanded US$1 000 which he said was meant for him to leave his homestead and assist while the remaining US$20 000 would be paid after finding Dada.

According to a source who declined identification, Dada’s friends came from as far as Australia, South Africa, Botswana and the United Kingdom to assist the Parks rangers, police and soldiers in locating him.

The local Indian community and a helicopter was hired to assist in the search.
“We were shocked on Tuesday when the local chief was consulted. He said that he would leave his homestead after US$1 000 was paid and also a further US$20 000 after finding Zaid.

“There was no option but to pay because what matters is that he is found alive wherever he is because Zaid needs assistance. Assistance has been coming from all corners of the world so that he is found in good shape,” he said.

When contacted for comment, Chief Saunyama refuted the claims saying he delegated people to assist Zaid’s relatives when visiting spirit mediums.

“When one is lost we assume, he would have done something wrong which he is being punished for and traditionally we consult mediums who said he is alive. People take advantage to put my name into disrepute.

“I delegated people to assist his relatives and there is no direct contact with them. We have to handle the issue with care because it is a tourist resort,” said Chief Saunyama.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri could neither confirm nor deny the allegations saying that he was aware that the family visited local chiefs who gave advice on what should be done.

“On Tuesday the helicopter had to land after there were strong winds which hampered its assistance in the search.
“Currently there is another helicopter which was hired to assist in the search and police officers will not leave until we exhaust all efforts to find him,” said Insp Chishiri.

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  • tinoona

    Madzimambo ave nehundyire. It happened some time ago in Chimanimani and all the family had to do was give a token to the chief and to pay for the sacrificial beast. Madzishe ekare aiziva kuti wava ishe uri Baba saka hawuiti utsinye kune vanhu vako nevashanya. Madzimambo anhasi are now heartless thieves which is why I have no respect for them anymore. Ndosaka mvura isinganayi when the custodian of the culture are so corrupt – kuzvidza pasi (that of course and other issues dzevanhu vanongoshungurudzwa with the chiefs’ connivance).

    • makwavararama

      taura hako zvakatanga nekuvapa zvimabenefits nemota saka kukara kwacho hakuperi kuri kutokura- $21 000 because zvinevarungu mukati vanemari.

      • Analysis Zimbabwe

        ma India varungu here nhai gosha?

  • Bvumavaranda

    Greedy chief.Shame,shame on you. Is he demanding ransom money!? Does he have him hidden somewhere. This is disgusting.

  • manyongorindiyeakamisabhazi

    could it be RENAMO? just thinking.

    • Worried

      Chief, what is important now is to locate the lost tourist; if they are happy with your assistance, they will definitely thank you in which ever way they feel like; but to say you cant assist because you need to be paid is disgusting!!!!! Unhu hwedu hwakaendepiko?

    • Jotham

      Mere speculation apa.

    • Megamind

      Aiwa mukoma manyongori ana matsanga havatambiri kunzvimbo iyi. Whenever they want to terrorize, they visit local villages like Nyafaru and Nyamaropa. Besides, I see no motive in them kidnapping this fellow. The last time they did cross the border, it was in retaliation to the presence of Zimbabwean forces in their Civil war

    • rukudzo

      worthy looking into

  • Gamba

    These are sacred lands the tourists use, they have to follow specific regulations I dont know if that was done on this particular hike. In all last disappearances in the Nyangani area some breach was sighted against specified code. So chief may be want to use the resources to appease vadzimu maybe in a big style. Maybe machinda ashe and the community can chip in and ensure communal benefits coz ishe munhu, kana maporofita chaiwo achijuta ko ishe voregawo here kuripisa pakareba. The chief also needs support for the best strategies and results.

    • Sense

      The code is relatively simple.
      Don’t go up alone, and if the weather turns, wait on the path until it clears.
      This applies to hiking at altitude anywhere on Earth, Nyangani is no exception.

      • Superstitious

        Totally agree with you. This guy just got lost and probably fell into some abyss. Let’s not be superstitious about Mt. Nyangani and attract unnecessary attention, there is no spirit there that eats pple.

        • thenjiwe

          it is possible that he broke some code. its sacred ground, many can testify to this if you have been there you would know


      Nothing is sacred in that mountain. Its only mist and in some areas there are quick sands to say the least

  • Godo

    They must brew beer and not cry and he will be found….if its an issue of sacred ground and breaking covenants of the sacred mountain… However I hope the police are still investigating this as a possible murder coz why would he just have decided to go on ALONE in a strange place?that doesn’t sound right especially as they went there together on holiday…also if its near mozambique he could be held captive by renamo!
    Is this chief certain that he will be found after this money is paid? Guaranteed? And the mediums who say he is alive, did they say where he is? Seeing as the family and friends came from all over the world they should contact phsychic investigators uk or USA…Nat parks should consider hiring out trackers that people can wear on their legs whilst hiking there.. Like people on parole in USA….


    Stupid Chief. Shameless and heartless or in the name of tradition and all these nonsense beliefs.

    • Itaimushe

      Truth matters but should be handled wisely. You don`t insult a chief and the whole religion; by so doing you reveal your lack of fundamental good manners. Just say the opposite of your insulting words and you can get anything from anyone for free!

  • Megamind

    hezvo, chief Saunyama mava kutoda kuvaka Mansion kuNyatate nemari yevanhu vari mudambudziko!

  • SDD

    Police must investigate the other guys. That is wife and the other couple. Look into insurance claims, business associations, love triangle for motives. My heart’s not at peace with this.

    • Investigation Discovery

      I totally agree with you SDD. Of all the comments I have read yours is the only sensible one!

  • muvhomora

    ..thief not chief kkkkkk

  • eddie

    21,000!!!! do these so called chiefs understand the value of money. Seems like We are living in a society where the USD is becoming like the ZIM dollar. People are just calling pathetic figures.

  • t5552

    I have a feeling his been kidnapped and the chiefs know his whereabouts.

  • jack

    prayers are with the family at this sad time..

  • jack

    my prayers are with the family

  • jack004

    Very sad to hear of such an incident.
    Prayers are needed

  • mhofuyomukono

    ayaz this chief amakisa nyika uyu.Vakomanaka, life is important than money.ndevzekupenga zve $21 000 izvo.Yechii mari yese iyi, kusanyara, we now know why akazviita vakajaidzwa kupiwa zvemahara.

  • gutsie

    I have my doubts about that figure for ransom. If it is true, then the Local government minister must urgently act decisively because the extent of damage to all the chiefs is far reaching. This is extortion and the police can immediately press criminal charges. Being a tourist area, and a misfortune has befallen a tourist family, we only need to empathise with them. Like some contributor already said, do not go up alone, and when the going gets tough, resign, rather than playing macho! Just imagine the pain this has brought to so many people who have had to travel from far afield to join in the search. Special commendation to the locals, the army, police, tourism authorities and all others for their current efforts. I pray that they find him alive.

  • chiendambuya

    Mr President – please may you kindly reprimand this thieving chief. This is one step to stop corrupt selfish idiots. I have no respect for this chief ..he has no idea kuti basa rake nderei…

  • sunwind

    **but why herald muchinyora zvekunyepa soo you contacted the chief he said its not true even zayds family has said the chief never asked for knew this story is utter rubbish and lies thats why the reporter ddnt put his name and also refused to reveal the name of his can you dtag someones name in mud just because you want to sell your paper.what happened to responsible journalism shuwa.nxaaaaa im disappointed

  • theShield

    “When one is lost we assume, he would have done something wrong which he is being punished for ….”

    We assume? So you demand money on the basis of fembera fembera!? What a shame.

  • harare

    ko happison akatora rwaani