Police in Chikwawa are keeping behind bars a 24-year-old man for murdering his two grandparents after accusing them of practising witchcraft.
Chikwawa police public relations officer Foster Benjamin identified the suspect as Ephraim M’bumpha.
According to Benjamin, M’bumpha is suspected to have brutally killed his grandparents identified as Wilfred M’bumpha, 96, and Ntchayi M’bumpha Nyamande.
Police disclosed that the incident occurred on the night of 9th January at Nankumba village in the area of Sub-Traditional Authority Masache in the district.
“On the particular night, the suspect, who deals in second hand clothes at Ngabu Trading Centre, travelled to his home village.
“Whilst there, he summoned his grandparents and one of his uncles on the pretext of discussing family matters,” said Benjamin.
In the course of discussion, the suspect produced a panga knife and hacked the two grandparents while accusing them of bewitching him in the same way they did to his late father.
M’bumpha fled from the scene, leaving the two dead.
On Wednesday, morning law enforcers nabbed him at his rented house at Ngabu trading centre.
Postmortem results showed that the two died due to severe bleeding secondary to deep head cuts.
M’bumpha is expected to appear before court soon after all investigations are concluded to answer murder charges.
Both Wilfred M’bumpha and Ntchayi M’bumpha Nyamande hailed from Namkumba village in the area of Traditional Authority Masache of Chikwawa district.
Malawi has a 1911 Witchcraft Act which was enacted on May 12, 1911 and premised on the belief that witchcraft does not exist in the country.
The law was developed with an aim of dealing with trials by ordeal, witchcraft and the use of charms.
The Witchcraft Act forbids any trial by ordeal that involves ‘poison, fire, boiling water, or any ordeal which is likely directly or indirectly to result in the death of or bodily injury to any person’.
The Act also forbids accusing anyone of being a witch or practising witchcraft, employing a ‘witch finder’ to identify ‘the perpetrator of any alleged crime or other act complained of,’ and representing oneself as ‘a wizard or witch or as having or exercising the power of witchcraft’.