Two elderly women were forced to bury a dead person on their own while one of the women fell into the grave after being badly beaten on allegations of witchcraft in the area of Inkosi Kampingo Sibande in Mzimba.
A video shared on social media show the women being forced to fill the pit after a coffin was lowered into it. The work is usually done by a group of young men.
One of the women was then hit by a man and she fell into the pit which the two were filling.
Members of a church are seen in the video wearing uniform at the funeral but they watched on together with chiefs and community members.
The video has shocked Malawians on social media , with many condemning the conduct of the community members as well as the church.
“When we proclaim that we are a God fearing nation, surely I disagree. We have been talking of theft of public funds, but silent on various abuses in our midst.
“I don’t know how these women, who are said to be from Kampingo Sibande, who were forced to dig a grave as it is reported were suspected of witchcraft,” said one person on social media .
Journalist Chikondi Magalasi wrote on Facebook: “I always say that religion is a scam. Most of people do not practice what they preach, look in this video there are church members who always sing and praise about love but can’t show it. They are just standing watching and shouting instead of rescuing these innocent women. I am told even chiefs were here just watching including those community policing forum members.”
Meanwhile, Senior Chief Mthwalo of Mzimba has said he will engage traditional leaders in the area on the matter.
Mzimba police spokesperson Peter Botha has told the local media that police are investigating the issue.
Accusing a person of practising witchcraft is an offence in Malawi under the Witchcraft Act of 1911 and convicts are liable to five years in prison.
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