A self confessed witch stunned the Chipulukusu local court in Zambia when she openly admitted to bewitching some of her family members.

Esnart Changwe, 52, of Chipulukusu Township in Ndola told a packed courtroom that she was a witch and she had bewitched some family members because they did not take care of her.

The confession left the court shocked and elicited scornful remarks from people who were listening to cases, resulting in a decision to remove everyone from the courtroom, except the family members.

This was done to protect Ms Changwe and her family members. Ms Changwe was sued by Ms Mushinga Chipoya, 60, for defamation of character after she confessed before a prophet and some family members that they were both witches. In her testimony, Ms Mushinga told the court that Ms Changwe was her brother’s mother-in-law.

Ms Chipoya said on September 25, she received a phone call from her brother that Ms Changwe said she killed her mother and that they practised witchcraft together.

“I then came to Ndola so that I can know what was happening. The following day, both families gathered and invited a prophet, who then asked Ms Changwe to point the person she was practicing witchcraft with,” narrated Ms Chipoya.

She told the court that her in-law then went on to state that she bewitched her children, grandchildren and that she was the one who kept the charms.

“She defamed my character. She said we are a group of 10 witches but did not reveal the others. I am a Christian and I do not know how to use charms,” she said. In her defence, Ms Changwe, who did not dispute being a witch, said Ms Chipoya’s brother was her son-in-law who mistreated her. She said Ms Chipoya used to fight her in her dreams after she told her that she was considering to resign from witchcraft.

“We do witchcraft together using magic powers and yes, I bewitch people,” she said. And her daughter, Judith Chanda, narrated that pastors said her mother was a witch. She told the court that her mother also confessed that she is the one who bewitched her and her children.

“As a family, we are not convinced that she has not stopped witchcraft because I am still sick and my blood pressure is always at 200 even if I am well. She said each time she performed any house chores, her body gets swollen. In response, Ms Changwe said she reversed her witchcraft on Ms Chanda. Ms Changwe said she bewitched her daughter because she did not support her financially but instead supported church members.

In its findings, Chipulukusu Local Court magistrates Judy Bwalya and Ntembe Sakala ruled in favour of Ms Chipoya, stating that Ms Changwe did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that the plaintiff is a witch.

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