A man in Zimbabwe has been arrested for attempting to sell his eight-year-old daughter to a businessman for ritual killing.

Tapiwa Vhutani was arrested after he continuously pestered businessman that he was selling his daughter for $12 000.

Vhutani appeared before court last week facing allegations of “conspiracy to commit murder”.

He was remanded in custody to on Tuesday.

According to state papers, Vhutani was trapped and arrested on the spot by Criminal Investigations Department (CID) police while attempting to hand over his daughter to another team of law enforcement agents who posed as potential buyers.

It is alleged that sometime in March, the accused went to a bar in the area of Chivhu in the country and asked a reveler for the contact details of the owner of a vehicle with South African registration number plate that was parked outside.

The vehicle belonged to a Bishop, but Vhutani was given another person`s contact number known as Obert.

“On 27 March 2017 Vhutani sent a text message to Obert Juru’s cellphone number asking if he was willing to buy children for rituals (purposes),” said the state represented by prosecutor Nicholas Mabvongodze.

“The accused said he was in dire need of cash, continued persistently to send Juru text messages asking him to buy his child.”

It is further alleged that on May 27, Vhutani asked Obert, who had already informed the police, if he had found a buyer for the child.

The police then directed Obert to arrange a meeting with Vhutani with the CID officers posing as potential buyers.

Vhutani met Obert who was in the company of undercover police agents who negotiated the price for the child from $15 000 to $12 000.

The accused was given $20 bus fare to go and collect the girl who stayed with her grandmother in a far area known as Wedza.

“Upon his return to Chivhu with the child on May 30, the undercover detectives handed over an envelope written US$12 000 on one side, but actually contained US$50 as payment for the child,” the state alleges.

“Vhutani was arrested on the spot by another team of detectives who were hiding nearby.

“An envelope marked US$12 000 was found in Vhutani’s possession. Text messages between him and potential buyers were also recovered.”

In his statement to the police which was presented in court, Vhutani said he had heard through the media that there are people from South Africa who buy children for killing to enhance business fortunes.

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