Villagers kill chief over witchcraft accusations


A mob at Kamanula Village yesterday killed Village Headman Kadzabwani, 63, and burned his body on allegations that he bewitched his step-grandson who died last week.

According to Dedza Police Deputy Publicist Sergeant Cassim Manda, the victim has been identified  as Village Headman Kadzabwani whose real name is Lawirani Paul Shadreck, of Traditional Authority Kachere in the district

The villagers accused Kadzabwani of bewitching his step grandson who on December 6, 2021 fell down from a branch of tree before drowning in a well.

On 12 December, 2021, Kadzabwani’s sister in-law, Grace Chikaiko, 48, started speculating that her grandson didn’t drown but that he was bewitched by Kadzabwani and his wife. Chikaiko further branded an autopsy report which certified the death of the child to have occurred due to suffocation as fake.

Chikaiko later mobilized some villagers to go and bring Kadzabwani home who at that time was in his garden.

When the irate villagers brought Village Headman Kadzabwani to the village, they beat him to death and later burnt his body. His house was also set on fire.

Later, the irate villagers caught his wife and again seriously beat her up but she was rescued by well-wishers. The wife is currently at Dedza District Hospital where she is receiving medical treatment.

Chikaiko and her daughter Matilida Yendetsani, 27, have since been arrested.

Meanwhile, Police have condemned and have urged people from neighbouring villages to assist the police with useful information on the whereabouts of villagers of Kamanula who have fled following the murder.