Villagers in Dowa burn houses over witchcraft allegations


Villagers in Dowa on Sunday set houses on fire and damaged property worth millions of kwacha after accusing one family of witchcraft.

Dowa Police spokesperson Sub-Inspector Gladson M’bumpha said it is reported that Elluby Kamuyikeni aged 67, and two others from Misi Village in Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa but currently located at Mbuta Village were being accused of practicing witchcraft by villagers of Mbuta and Misi.

On the day of the arson, the victim (Kamuyikeni) and the two other family members namely Kiliyoni Kamuyikeni and Velentina Chunga both of the same village were doing morning chores.

“At this time, the victim was about to start washing clothes when she heard villagers chanting that they were about to start demonstrations.

“The next thing was stones at her house. The villagers claimed that the victim Elluby Kamuyikeni bewitched Mabvuto who died in 2017 and it was their turn to revenge,” said M’bumpha.

Kamuyikeni fled to Dowa Police to seek refuge and whilst at police, the daughter to the victim came and informed her that Kamuyikeni’s house had been demolished and her son’s house had been set ablaze.

As police were about to go to the scene, Velentina Chalunga also came and reported the same that a house belonging to her had been demolished and three others belonging to her sons been set ablaze.

She added that property such as iron sheets and household items had been stolen.

“Meanwhile, investigations are underway to arrest the suspects and recover the stolen items,” M’bumpha said.