At least 15 people from Embangweni, Traditional Authority Mzukuzuku in Mzimba are reportedly detained at a residence of a Zambian herbalist, widely known at the border as Dr. Simbiyamoto, for allegedly failing to pay him K25, 000 each for the service of witchcraft identification and exorcism.
Village Headman Kalawo Nyirenda in Embangweni has confirmed that the detainees are from his Malata Village and Mbenuka Village.
He claims that since Friday last week, the herbalist has been keeping them in a fence that looks like a cattle kraal at Katambalale Village, in the area of Chief Mwase under Lundazi District, Zambia.
Nyirenda has told Rainbow Online that the decision to consult the herbalist followed mysterious deaths that had been happening in their area.
But he admits they never thought Simbiyamoto would be so demanding to the point of detaining people over non-payment of money.
“I didn’t go to Zambia myself but it was some weeks ago that we agreed that at least two members from each family (60 in total) should appear before Dr Simbiyamoto so that our villages are clean,” explains Nyirenda.
He says things are now getting more pathetic on two fronts–most of the detained are elderly people and back home the villagers have no money to secure their release.
President of Traditional Healers in Malawi Edward Kayange acknowledges the issue but is shocked with the conduct of the Zambian herbalist.
“The first priority should be saving human lives and not detaining the people for money. I am making arrangements to physically visit the place,” reveals Kayange.
The herbalist’s place is just near few kilometers from Malawi’s Kapopo Mhlanga Village to the other side of the border.
Jenda Police spokesperson in the district, Alfred Lucio says they are yet to receive a formal complaint but confirms launching investigations on the matter.
Source; Rainbow Television