Police in Dedza district have arrested seven family members for conspiring to set on fire a 75 year-old woman after accusing her of witchcraft.
Spokesman for Dedza police constable Cassim Manda confirmed of the development.
Manda identified the seven as Renald Store, 42, who is the prime suspect, Posiyano Mtokoma, Sidonia Store, Doris Filias, Felentia Simeon, Pelepechuwa Malisiyano and Aliseniyo Dickson; all from Juwa- Kadamanja village in the area of Traditional Authority Kamenyagwaza in Dedza.
According to Manda, Sidonia Store a wife to Renald Store had been repeatedly beating her daughter Selepiya Store and one day after another severe beating the girl went missing.
But Renald accused the 75 year-old woman, who is his own mother, of being behind the child’s disappearance saying the woman bewitched the girl.
He therefore conspired with the other suspects to set ablaze his 75 year-old mother.
Fortunately, police quickly came in after being informed by well-wishers and rescued the old woman.
Thereafter police arrested all seven suspects who are answering two charges: the charge of wrongful confinement contrary to section 266 of penal code and the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to section 254 of penal code.
“Let me have opportunity to warn the general public, it is unconstitutional to suspect any person of being a witch,” said Manda.
Meanwhile, police managed to find the girl at her friend’s house near Dedza border.