Police in Mzuzu have arrested five people at Mchengautuba location within Mzuzu City for allegedly employing a witch finder and charging a person with witchcraft.
The suspects have been identified as Gabriel Phiri 45, Linda Mkandawire 40, Tryness Mhango 63, Stella Mkandawire 42, and Hastings Kumwenda 61.
It is reported that in January 2023, children from Kamfyokoto village started mentioning names of people who were alleged to be witches and wizards and were teaching them to practice witchcraft.
This story raised people’s eyebrows within the village who therefore made an arrangement on engaging a witch finder.
On April 25, the witch finder arrived and started his antics in the area. However, well wishers tipped the Police about the situation who rushed to the scene. They rescued the person who was being accused of practising witchcraft and managed to arrest the five suspects.
The five will appear before court very soon in order to answer two charges of employing a witch finder and charging a person with witchcraft which is contrary to Section 4 of the Witchcraft Act.
Police have since warned the communities in Mzuzu and surrounding areas that the law will not spare anyone found accusing or attacking another person over witchcraft allegations.
At the moment, there is no statute in Malawi that empowers citizens to accuse each other of witchcraft. The community members should promptly report such unfortunate incidents so that perpetrators are brought to book.
All suspects hail from Mzimba District.