Sunday, February 13, 2011




The Witchcraft Act section 4 prohibits anyone from accusing someone of being a witch or practicing witchcraft or naming any person as being a witch or a wizard. A person that accuses another is liable to a fine or imprisonment for 5 years. This section discourages any advancement of any complaint of witchcraft against anyone.

As the cases below indicate, the law has been applied incorrectly by the Police. The police charge and prosecute the accused and not the Accusers with pretending witchcraft or Conduct likely to bring breach of peace. The Accusers have been left to go scot free and have been used as state witnesses. It is the ACCUSERS who should have been charged and prosecuted.

We have not come across anyone or any case where the accusers have been charged and prosecuted. Witchcraft accusations are the most common crime being committed.  Many of the victims on pretending or Conduct are mostly women and the elderly.


1.    Belita Yohane; Balaka court. Case no 427/2009, Balaka District.  Age 63; Offence:  Witchcraft; Sentence- 4 years imprisonment. No 15 on our list.

Belita was accused of teaching children witchcraft in November 2009. It is alleged that she was transforming them into pigs, chickens and ducks before taking them to a graveyard. Yohane denied the charge.  Modetsa Petro and Alice Umali and their children are the ones that accused her of being a witch and practicing witchcraft. These ladies organized people to beat Belita Yohane. Well wishers took Yohane to Balaka Police.

Rather than helping her, the police charged her with pretending witchcraft. Her accusers who committed an offence in line with section 4 of the act were not prosecuted. Her ACCUSERS were instead used as state witnesses. The children and their mothers testified against her. At her trial, the Magistrate commented that her sister was also a witch. Clearly, Yohane could not get a fair hearing under the circumstance. She was found guilty and was convicted to 4 years imprisonment with effect from 25 November 2009. She is at Zomba prison serving her sentence

2.    James Kunje & Emily Kunje, Case no 231/09, Nchalo, Chikhwawa. No 8 on our list

There was a sudden death in the community where the two stayed in Nchalo, Chikhwawa district. This one who died suddenly was Sophia Suti aged 28 years. Because the death was sudden, witchcraft was suspected. The accusation fell on Emily and James Kunje. The mob descended on them. They were taken to police and then to Nchalo Second Grade Magistrate Court in October 2009. They were charged with pretending witchcraft. Those who accused them were not charged.

The magistrate sentenced them for 5 years imprisonment with hard labor. Emily Kunje is 63 and James Kunje 68 years old.

3.    Malita James, Age 48, Mwanza Neno, Case no. 116/08 Mwanza Neno district. No 18 on our list

Malita James comes from Mwanza district.  She was charged with practicing witchcraft. She is serving a sentence of 5 years at Domasi prison, in Zomba. Malita was accused of witchcraft by some children and it was their evidence that carried the day in court. She owned a good piece of land and she believed that people`s jealousy made them rise up against her and accused her of witchcraft. The whole village rose against her. She was beaten and made to walk a long distance to the police station. The police were told to deal with her or else if she returned to the village she would be killed. She was tried in court and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.

Her accusers who committed the crime were never prosecuted. The police did not also act on those who issued threats on James Malita. She did not commit any crime and yet she is in prison serving a very long sentence.
4.    WYSON KANJIWA- case no 08/09 Nchalo, Chikwawa. No 11 on our list

On 6 Jan 2009 Wyson Kanjiwa, (51) was arrested following an accusation from his wife that he was a witch. On the 9th January, he was taken to Nchalo magistrates’ court where he was charged with pretending to be a witch. He was arrested while drunk and was advised to plead guilty. Since he has never been in the hands of the police before he pleaded guilty. When he first appeared at the magistrates’ court he pleaded guilty. The trail was postponed until the 12th when he was again asked to enter a plea and he chose to remain silent. The magistrate used his previous plea in conducting the trial. He was never made aware of what was happening and was unaware of the importance and impact of his plea. The prosecution told him that since he had already pleaded guilty he would be convicted. He was unable to make himself clear and was unaware that he could change his plea. He was consequently sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Mr. Kanjiwa travelled to Mozambique  to visit a witchdoctor to get rich. He was given medicine and a piece of clot sewn like a pillow with oil inside. He was instructed to oil himself every morning in order to get rich.

He took the medicine around 5 months – his wife has aware of his visit to the witchdoctor and the medicine that he was taking. She later claimed at the police station that whilst her and her husband were having sex the wife felt as though a heavy stone was on top of her believing this was witchcraft. She made a complain on this basis.

He believes he is guilty of the charge against him because he did visit a witchdoctor. He did not know that this was breaking the law. He was simply trying to get more money. Although he has admitted he has not queried circumstances under which the confession was made. He himself never experienced any heaviness during intercourse, although his previous contact with a witchdoctor means he thinks he deserves punishment although he is adamant that he has not harmed anyone.
This is a question of belief and falls well in line with Justice Chikopa ruling on the Republic v Catherine Hara where the High court did not confirm the sentence, when he said; is this day and age we cannot be sending our citizens to jail simply because they have an exaggerated prowess of themselves
5.    ROSELINA BEMA, Case no 68/10. Limbe. Comes from Nsanje. No 5 on our list
Roselina Bema is a widow. She has five grown up children. She lived at Machinjili, Blantyre. On 2/11/09 she returned home at about 1200 from her fields only to find a note from the Limbe Police asking her to report there. When she arrived at Limbe she found a former neighbor who had left the area about 7 years ago – a Mr. Tondoya - together with his daughter Brenda aged about 12. The child accused her of teaching her witchcraft. She denied the charge but the Police locked her up. She was bailed the following day. On 19/2010 she attended the Limbe Court. There were no witnesses called. She denied the charge saying that since her neighbors had left she had had no contact with them and didn’t know where they were living.
The Police read out from their file and she was convicted. She accepts that she had signed something at the Police Station but she cannot read or write and thought it was her denial statement!  The Accusers committed an offence and not Roselina.
6.    LAFIKESI TADZERANKHANI, 78, Case no. 1608, Nchalo, Chikhwawa. No 6 on the List.
Because of ill health, Lafikesi was transferred from Chikhwawa prison to Chichiri prison’s ‘home care centre’. He became too ill for the prison to cope and, ever since, he has been at QEC Hospital where we visited him in Ward 3B in the main ward where he is staying without prison guard. According to medical staff, he has a bad heart condition. According to the Sister-in-Charge, he is very popular in the ward because he is something of a cheerful comedian and keeps everyone entertained.
Lafikesi comes from Nsanje. He is old, quite frail but very cheerful. He had brought up a child in his house who, when grown, married and had two children. One of the children died. The woman had a third child which eventually died. After the funeral, he and his brother were together accused by a man called Keniasi of killing the child by witchcraft. Lafikesi was taken by the villagers to the Police. Keniasi was the accuser, he was supposed to be prosecuted and not Lafikesi.
At the Police, his brother agreed to having been responsible for the deaths through witchcraft. When asked if he had done it alone he implicated Lafikesi, the wife and one other who was subsequently released. Lafikesi denied but the Police said “You’ve heard everything. If you deny, you’ll be in trouble. We’ll beat you.” Because of force, he reluctantly signed a ‘confession’ on the basis of which, it would appear, and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison.  He was charged with pretending witchcraft.
Lafikesi and his brother are the only ones of his family left. In the time he has been in prison, his house has fallen down. He is not strong enough to build himself another house but says; “Ndizangopempha boma kuti lindisunge mpaka ndilimbe. Kwabwino kuti ndifere ku mudzi” (I’ll just ask the Government to keep me until I get strong. It’s better to die at home.).
7.    DUMISANI TADZERANKHANI, Case no 16/08, Chikkwawa district. No 2 on our list
See brother’s case above. His case is the same as that of Lafikesi Tamverankhani above.
8.    STELLA MAGANIZO, case no  375/08 Nchalo Chikhwawa, No 1 on our list
Stella was summoned by the Village Head to answer a charge of witchcraft which she denied. She was taken to Police and then to court and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment.
Those who laid information to the chief are the ones who, the chief could have advised that they had committed an offence. Section 4 of the witchcraft act says exactly that. However, Stella was charged with pretending witchcraft. 
9.     Ms Zuwana Kampalira; at Dedza Prison, case no GMC Dedza District. No 30 on our  list

Zuwana Kampalira (65 years old) was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment with hard labor from 11 December 09 for practicing witchcraft. She was charged with the same offence as Josephy below.  She comes from  T/A Kachindamoto, Dedza. She is a widow, has 4 children; 2 ladies and 2 boys. One of the boys does visit her at prison.

Zuwana was awakened at night and was told to go to the Chief to answer an accusation of teaching children witchcraft. The accusation was made by a Mr. Charles and his child Thokozani. It was alleged that Zuwana was taking the child to Lilongwe on a magic plane so that he could kill his grandfather who resides at Mgona location in Lilongwe with a magic hammer. The child is said to have refused and Zuwana is reported to have requested her to kill her father through magic, instead. Zuwana denied the charge at the chief. The chief should have charged Mr. Charles and the child according to section 4 of the act. But the chief referred the matter to the police at Golomoti Police who then took her to court in Dedza. The police advised her that it would be better to admit to the charge because it would be in their best of interest. Zuwana then agreed and acted as proposed by the Police.

Mr. Charles and the child were never charged despite committing an offence in line with the witchcraft act section 4.  She is currently serving her sentence at Dedza prison.

10. Josephy Namalinda Serving their sentence Dedza Prison- cases no GMC Dedza District. No 31 on our list

Namalinda Josephy, 70 years was sentenced 30 months by the Dedza Magistrate court. Josephy comes from Kazembe village, T/A Kachindamoto, Dedza. She is a widow. Josephy has 6 children; 3 boys and 3 girls.  Josephy was awakened at night and asked to go to the Chief court. At the Chief place she was accused of teaching children witchcraft by a Mr. Charles (as in the case above-Zuwana).  In the case of Josephy, it was alleged that at night in presence of the child she could transform herself into a black log or a big snake. Josephy completely denied the accusations and insisted for evidence to the allegations. 

The chief did not charge the accuser but referred the matter to the police at Golomoti Police. At the Police she continued to deny the charge. Despite the warning from the police to admit to the accusations for a smaller punishment, Josephy continued to deny the accusations. She denies the charge to this day!

Josephy maintained her position at the police in Dedza and at the court in Dedza. Her accuser actually told the police that Josephy was actually a troublesome woman. At the court Josephy pleaded not guilty. Despite her pleading, no witness was brought to testify against her. Sadly she was also sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and also sent to prison.

11. Margaret Jackson and Eviness Elifar.  Case no 06/10. Mkukula Court.  Dowa district No. 21 and 22 on our list.
Margaret and Eviness are sisters. They were accused of teaching children witchcraft of their brother and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on 6th June, 2010.  Margaret is about 60 years and has 4 children while Eviness has 3 children. She is around 50 years and is epileptic. She frequently suffers from frequent fits. There were three on the same case with Justice Mpinganjira. Justice, a relation, died in prison while on remand at Maula in Lilongwe. The sentences were handed down to them while in prison without a full trial. No witnesses were called to testify against them.

The three were taken to the chief by the accuser. Their accuser was their brother who is a village headman in the village. At the senior chief, the accuser was not charged in line with section 4 of the witchcraft act. Instead the three accused as witches are the ones that were charged with practicing witchcraft according to the prison records. There is no such a charge in the witchcraft act.

12. Alubano Alibereko, Case no 166/10 Mchinji Magistrate Court. No 26 on our list
Alubano Alibereko comes from Mchinji, at Lunzu turn off, Mchinji- Lilongwe main road. Three kids alleged that he was teaching them witchcraft of flying in a magic plane. The story started when his wife called a witchdoctor to cast spell on a beautiful house that they had built. During the night, he dreamed of flying to distant places with children. When he narrated his night dreams to his friends, hell broke loose and he was accused of being a witch and was taken to the police and then to the court. He was charged with pretending witchcraft.

He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. He is serving his sentence at Maula prison. This case fits well section 33 of the constitution and very relevant to the Judgment that Justice Chikopa delivered in the Republic v.  Catherine Hara.
13. Namakhalepo Kamphata, Nambuma, Dowa; Case No 40/09:  No 24 on the list.
Namakhalepo Kamphata is a sad case. She is old and very old indeed. Kamphata is + 80 years. She is sick and Kamuzu Central Hospital has advised home based care for her.  Her story is that a child died in the village where she comes from. People in her community accused her of playing a part through witchcraft in the death of the child.

She comes from Chimutu village on Salima, Lilongwe road. She was taken to court and was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. Her charge was that of practicing witchcraft. Her accusers were never charged. They were supposed to be charged according to section 4 of the act. Instead, it was her that faced the music.

This is a desperate case while we are recommending immediate consideration for release. She was not supposed to be arrested and thrown in prison. She is old and very sick. She cannot walk and the Christian well wishers have given her some clutches which she is using to work around. Because of poor prison conditions, she is anemic. She cannot even talk consistently!

14.  Chigayo TChale, Mkukula Court, Nambuma, Dowa; case No 40/09:  No 25 on the list.
Chigayo Tchale was about 70 years. He came from Chimutu Village on Salima road, T/A Kamphata, Lumbadzi, Dowa district. He was tried at Mkupula court in June 2009. He was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment as a witch or practicing witchcraft. He was a cousin to Namakhalepo Kamphata above. He was on the same case as Namakhalapo; they are actually. The allegation was that he was part in the bewitching the child that died suddenly at the village.

The people who accused them were never charged. Unfortunately, Chale died on 29th December at Maula prison. He will never see himself exonerated of the case that he was convicted of. Sad! We have in November 2010 made a plea to have him released on special consideration together with her cousin.

15.  Ms Fiades Felix- Case no 68 of 2007-Senior Grade Magistrate Court- Nkhotakota District. No 33 on our list.

Fiades Felix (55 old) is the longest serving prisoner on witchcraft. She was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment with hard labor from 5 May 2007 for practicing witchcraft. The story is that Fiades Felix was given a plot to grown rice by a chief. This plot was earlier given to a lady who had failed to cultivate it for t two years. The move to give the plot to Fiades Felix did not go down well with the former owner. The former owner bore a grudge against her and eventually used her son to accuse Fiades of teaching the child witchcraft. Three more old colleagues were added on the list of being witches, i.e. .Asitaliya and husband Kalimake and Diamond.

The case of witchcraft accusation against them was taken to the chief on 30th April, 2007, where all the four were accused to be witches. On the same day, they were whisked to the police at Benga in Nkhotakota district. The four were interviewed separately and they denied the charge at both the chief and police.

Their Accusers were never charged or prosecuted. The boy who accused Fiades of witchcraft and his friends were never charged in line with section 4 of the witchcraft act. He was left scot free.

The four were then taken to court for pleading on 5/5/2007.  At the court they simply agreed because they felt that their fate was already sealed considering the manner in which they were mishandled. The magistrate sentenced them to 6 years imprisonment. The plea at the court was unnecessary because the accusers were supposed to be the ones taking the plea not Fiades and fiends.

Fiades and her colleagues were sent to Maula Prison to serve their sentences. While at Maula, one of them, Mr. Kalimake passed away.  In December 2009, the other two colleagues were released due to old age. Ms. Fiades Felix was transferred to complete her sentence at Kasungu prison, where she is now.

16.  Ms. Lorena Mtonga; Kawale Police; Case no 3/ 2011: Lilongwe District; January 2011. Victim No 48 on our List.

Lorena Mtonga, 41 appeared before the police area 24 on 11th January 2011.The Banda family of Area 22 accused her of being a witch or practicing witchcraft. It was alleged that Lorena was teaching their daughter Chisomo aged 12 years witchcraft. Chisomo stated that Lorena comes from Area36 at night through witchcraft and takes her to graves yards through witchcraft. She uses a magic plane of a basket (lichelo) where they go to dig grave yards looking for human blood and body parts.  Chisomo also alleged that Lorena teaches her how to kill people with magic hammer.

Her ACCUSERS the Banda family and Chisomo were not charged by the police in accordance with section 4 of the witchcraft Act. Instead, Lorena Mtonga was taken to Kawale Police on the night of 11 to 12 January, 2011where she was kept in a cell and on 12th January she was taken to court to answer a charge of pretending witchcraft.

Her ACCUSERS who broke the law by accusing her of witchcraft were left scot free and were paraded as state witnesses. One does not pretend witchcraft after being accused as a witch in the first place. In court, she pleaded not guilty. Four people, who accuse her as a witch testified against her.  He case is still continuing in court to date. She is on bail

At Area 24, Lorena was assaulted by the Banda’s and the teacher in front of the police. The police did not take any action, they did not charge the assaulter and they did nothing to stop this attack on Lorena. Lorena was hit on the head and on her elbow.

17. Ms Maness Thom and Raphael Anderson – Kawale Police, Case at Lilongwe Magistrate court, Lilongwe, January 2011. This is case no 46 and 47 on our List.

On 30 Dec. 2010, at Kawale Police, M. Kwayimba & Children accused Ms. Maness Thom and R. Anderson of being witches or practicing witchcraft. They were accused of teaching children witchcraft. The Police left the ACCUSERS scot- free but charged Thom and Anderson of pretending witchcraft. It is Mr. Kwayimba and Co. who committed an offence crime according to section 4 of the witchcraft act. Mr. Kwayimba and children were supposed to be charged and prosecuted.

Thom (65) Raphael Anderson (70) denied the charge of pretending witchcraft at the police.  They were taken to court on 31st December 2010. At the court, both pleaded not guilty. The prosecution used their accusers as state witnesses and the case is still in court to date.

18. Ms Liness Nkhukuyalira, Kanthumkako Supaunyolo and Nurse Nthala- case No 76/10-Msongandeu Court, Mvera, Dowa District.

Liness Nkhukuyalira (72 years), Kanthumkako Supaunyolo (80 years) and Nurse Nthala (62 years) were accused of practicing witchcraft in their Mgabi and Khingi villages in Group Village headman Salesa Mtonga, TA Nkhombedza, Salima.

On 30th November, 2010, Dalitso Medison aged 6years with her mother accused Kanthumkako of witchcraft. The mother of Dalitso went to village headman Mgabi to lay the accusation. As the issue was being discussed, other 4 children came forward and reported that they were also being taught witchcraft by Liness and Nurse. Rather than Headman Mgabi charging the accusers under section 4, he referred the matter the Group Village man Salesa Mtonga. Even Salesa did not use the witchcraft Act to charge the accusers but he tried his best to coax the women to admit. Under duress, 2 ladies admitted, but Liness did not succumb to pressure. She denied.

The 3 ladies were taken to police at Mvera Dowa. They were assaulted on the way. At the police, their Accusers were still not charged. The ladies were charged with pretending witchcraft and were sentence to 12 months in prison with an option of a fine of MK 6000.00. Because they are poor and could not pay the fine, they were transferred to Maula prison in December 2010 to serve the custodian sentence.

This is another demonstration were the chief and the Police failed to charge the accusers in the first place. The accusers went scot free. To obtain a conviction, the police charged them with pretending. It is inappropriate to charge a person with pretending after she has been accused as a witch in the first place. The crime that was committed by the children and the mother at the villages was that of witchcraft accusation under section 4.It was Madalitso and other children who committed an offence. The crime was not committed at the chief’s court or at the police station.

The Association came across the case at Maula in January, 2011. It paid the fine and the ladies were release and delivered to their homes
19   Ireen Mundoli 53, Lexa Nyirongo 46, & Elvas Zimba 80, Mzimba Magistrate court, October 2010.  No 34 to 36 on our List

Ireen Mundoli 53, Lexa Nyirongo 46, and Elvas Zimba 80 were convicted and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment with hard labor for indulging in the conduct likely to cause breach of peace by Mzimba First Grade Magistrate court on Friday 29th October, 2010. The court held that the women were teaching 64 children witchcraft. 10 children were paraded in court as witnesses. They revealed that the women taught them witchcraft at the grave yards. The children also said that the women were feeding them nsima with human feaces during their training sessions. One of the children said her hair was shaved by the women as punishment for attending a church service. The women came from Amon Phiri Village in T/A Mzukuzuku in Mzimba district.
Here is a case where the police in order to convict people by hook and crook resort to desperate means to take people to court even when such individuals are innocent. It is the accusers that were supposed to be prosecuted with accusing others of witchcraft according to section 4.
Witchcraft cannot be conduct. It is their accusers who could have been charged with accusation of witchcraft and then  charge Conduct to those that destroyed property of Ireen Mundoli, Lexa Nyirongo and Elvas Zimba. The report by WILSA points out clearly this anomaly of charging people accused as witches vis a vis Conduct.
The accusers were never charged. And the three women were convicted by the Mzimba magistrate court in October, 2010
20   Mercy Baliati, Christina Mbeu, Bertha, Banda and Maria Chitimbe, all female. Mukunguzi Court Zomba. No. 54, 55, 56 and 57 on our List
These four ladies were arrested by the police in Sogola Village close to Matawale Township in Mulunguzi, Zomba. It is alleged that the four were teaching children witchcraft. The number of children that claimed to being taught witchcraft was 50!

Rather than arresting the accusers the police charged 4 ladies with Conduct likely to breach peace. The children that accused them of witchcraft were actually used as state witness. Five children were paraded as state witnesses. The women were convicted on 13 Jan 2010. They are now in prison

As pointed out earlier witchcraft cannot be conduct. These ladies were not supposed to be prosecuted but their accusers in line with section 4 of the witchcraft act.

21      Witch hunt in Usisya Nkhatabay during the month of November to early January, 2011
A witchdoctor with the sanction of TA Mbwana conducted witch hunts in Usisya, Nkhatabay for two months starting from November 2010 to January 2011. The witchdoctor terrorised the villages around Usisya and according to him found a lot of witches in the community. All those identified as witches had to pay heavy fines and were detained for exorcism. Some elderly women had to sell their gardens to find money to pay the fines. The police in Usisya did not take any action against the Chief and the witchdoctor. The main victims were the elderly and women.

We received the report in January 2011 and we asked the Inspector General to intervene. The witch finder was arrested. The chief was not. This is another case where the accusers went scot free for sometime without the law taking its course.

22  Ms. Kate Kanjere (Mzuzu Prison); Age: 55; Offence: Witchcraft; Sentence: 6 Years imprisonment. Case 42 on our list
Kate Kanjere came from Chitipa and was imprisoned for 6 years. She was accused by 4 children that she was teaching them witchcraft. She was taken to the police where she was charged. Her accusers were left scot free. She was taken to court and was sentenced accordingly The evidence that was used was the testimony given by the children on how she came to take them at night and go to South Africa Zimbabwe using magic plane.
23  Ms Severe Kalonga (Chichiri Prison) Age: 64 years; Offence: Witchcraft; Sentence: 3 Years imprisonment.  Case no 45 on our list

Ms. Severe Kalonga came from Manaseh town ship in the city of Blantyre. She was a primary school teacher retired and owned a house and small piece of land and run a nursery. One afternoon she was called to a chief and told that some children in the neighborhood have accused her of teaching children witchcraft. She was told that the children had accused her of taking them to Zimbabwe, South Africa on magic plane. She denied the accusations. The mother of the children who was the neighbor pressed charges and the matter went to court. A lawyer was hired but withdrew because she got frustrated as the magistrate could not accept his submissions that the evidence by the accuser was not admissible in court or rather did not prove what was alleged.

At the end of the trial Severe Kalonga was convicted and sentenced to 3 years sentence.
This is another sad case where the chief and the Police did not comply with section 4 of the witchcraft act. They were supposed to prosecute the accusers both at the chief’s court at the police and the magistrate could have done the right thing.
Severe is on bail pending appeal. It is one of the cases that we appealed for withdrawal.

24    Williams Mzembe and his wife, Case no 118/2010, Lilongwe magistrate court, Lilongwe. No. 40 on our list

The Mzembes case is at Lilongwe magistrate court. They stay in Likuni, Lilongwe. On this particular day, they received a lady named Ms Kwengwere. She went to their house while the wife was admitted in hospital. Ms Kwengwere accused the Mzembes of Satanism. On the second day, she phoned them that they are witches. The Mzembes went to the Police at Area 18 to complain for being accused as witches by Kwengwere.

While at the police, the Mzembes were surprised to find the Chiphwanya family there. The police called the Chiphwanya family aside and discussed a few things with them.  When the police emerged out of the office, they called the Mzembes and charged them with pretending witchcraft. The case is in court and the state has paraded 4 witnesses mainly children who are alleging that the Mzembes were teaching them witchcraft. It is stated that they fly at night from Likuni to Are 18B and take the Chiphwanya children on night escapades.

As in all the above cases, it is the Chiphwanya`s who have committed an offence by accusing the Mzembe`s of being witches or practicing witchcraft.

25    Mbonani Sanditchaya, Njolomole, Case No. 27/2010 Ntcheu. No 38 on our list
Mbonani is a boy aged 16 years. He is at Kachere Prison. He is charged with murder through witchcraft. It is alleged that there was a boy in their area who was sick. He had been sick for two weeks. He was hospitalized. One day, the sick boy woke up at the hospital bed and narrated his dreams that Mbonani had pierced a witchcraft stick through his anus. Within two days of narrating that story, the sick boy died at the hospital.
The parents of the sick boy went about and told the neighborhood that Mbonani had bewitched their son. Mbonani was taken to the police and charged with murder. He is on remand since April 2010
26   Fosna Lekitala- November, 2010- Case no 176/10-Senior Grade Magistrate Court- Lilongwe

Fosna Lekitala was charged with two counts; Pretending Witchcraft and Unlawful wounding through witchcraft of Esau James as at 6/11/2010. Fosna Lekitala pleaded not guilty when the case came before a magistrate in Lilongwe, Malawi on 9th Nov. 2010. Judgment on the case was delivered on 16th Nov. 2010. The State paraded 4 witnesses who revealed that Fosna was a witch. She had 10 seater magic plane which she used to take people to graveyards to feast on human flesh. On the night of 5-6th November, it was stated that Esau James refused to accompany Fosna to participate in witchcraft. The boy was then stabbed with magic knife.

However, the true story as told by the parents of the boy was that the child was injured by a basket during the night. He actually fell in his bedroom and injured himself. The parent referred him to the hospital accompanied by a chief who had some personal grudge with Fosna. At the hospital, the chief told the boy to change the true that it was a magic wife that pierced him and implicate Fosna. The story stuck and Fosna was in trouble. The mob in her area descended on her as a witch having injured the child at night through witchcraft. She was beaten and had her property destroyed.

Fosna denied practicing witchcraft. As in all other cases, her ACCUSERS were not charged. Instead, the Police charged her with pretending witchcraft and unlawful wounding through witchcraft; after being accused of being a witch. Her accusers went free without being charged! Those who beat her up were never charged as well.

Fosna was taken to Kawale police where initially she denied the charge. Later the Police advised her to admit to pretending witchcraft. She was paraded on TV Malawi on Tuesday on 16th November, 2010 to talk about her witchcraft story as if it was true.

However at the court, the magistrate in the main acquitted her. The magistrate ordered the police to take her home in Nkhoma, Lilongwe. The Association provided transport to her village.
27   Tryson Jere: Tryson Jere, Witness Nyabanda, Mabvuto Jere, Agness; Nyachunga. Case at Mzimba police, Court Mzimba Magistrate court.

Tryson Jere and his relation were accused in Embangweni; Mzimba of teaching witchcraft to 17 children aged 9 to 15. The children claimed that they fly with them in a basket plane to South Africa and within the district to play football.  They drink human blood and are asked to kill the children’s relatives.

Their Accusers were Lonely Jere, Mandela Jeer,  NyaTembo, Tione  Jere, Chiza Jere, Magodi Jere (V/H Chinombo),  Mr. Mvula   and  William Tembo.  As is common in these cases, the accusers were not charged nor prosecuted.

One of our officers queried the police why they were subjecting the accused to such an ordeal because according to the Act (section 4), it the accusers that had committed a crime by accusing these people of witchcraft. A police Officer in Charge was asked to arrest the accusers in compliance with the Witchcraft Act. The Officer adamantly refused and he proudly said he is a witchcraft believer and he could not do what was being asked.

The accused are now on bail awaiting the court hearing of their case. This is another good example where our police officers are deliberately not applying the law correctly. They clearly showed that it was their belief that mattered and not the law.

No comments:

Post a Comment