Three killed over witchcraft in Dowa


Three people including a 56-year-old chief have been killed in Dowa after being suspected of practicing witchcraft.

Two bodies of men have been found while the body of a woman who was also killed is still missing. The victims are Village Headman Kachiwaya (Master Gogo Kachiwaya), Jenala Chidzele and Sintuma Siliya

According to Dowa Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Sub Inspector Gladson M’bumpha, the three were murdered on Sunday, May 31, 2020 in the two villages of Kachiwaya and Kanyumbo in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa District.

On May 28, villagers from Kachiwaya Village accused Village Headman Kachiwaya (Master Gogo Kachiwaya) of bewitching his nephew who on May 18 2020 was involved in a fatal road accident.

All the village headman’s property was burnt to ashes but Kachiwaya escaped.

On Sunday, the villagers mobilised themselves and picked him from Lilongwe where he went to seek refugee on pretence that they were taking him to police.

When the mob brought Village Headman Kachiwaya to the village, they burnt him and left him on the ground until police in conjunction with Malawi Defence Force soldiers went to the village and recovered the body.

Police managed to arrest four suspects and the dead body of the village headman is currently at Dowa District Hospital awaiting postmortem.

On the same day, villagers from Kanyumbo Village and nearby villages upon hearing the news that villagers from Kachiwaya Village had burnt to death Master Gogo Kachiwaya after accusing him of practising witchcraft, they too also hunted for Jenala Chidzele and Sintuma Siliya whom they had been suspecting to be witches.

The villagers got hold of Chidzele and beat him to death. They then burned his body. Later, they chased Sintuma Siliya and beat her at a garden. Her body is missing, according to the police.

Police in conjunction with MDF soldiers of Mvera Support Battalion recovered the dead body of Jenala Chidzele and arrested six suspects.

Master Gogo Kachiwaya came from Kachiwaya Village, Jenala Chidzele from Kanyumbo Village and Sintuma Siliya, from Kanyumbo Village all from Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa District.