Leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa who is also Democratic Progressive party (DPP) Vice President for the South has condemned harassment of two elderly women in Mzimba on grounds that they were practicing witchcraft.
Over the weekend, social media was awash with a video of an elderly woman Christina Mphande being beaten and forced to bury the body on her own.
Mphande was accused of bewitching her daughter-in-law who died in South Africa.
According to Mzimba Police Public Relations Officer Peter Botha, the dead body was repatriated back home on Friday and during the burial ceremony, a group of people pulled the victim and forced her to bury the body alone.
When the victim was forced to start burying the dead, her sister joined her to offer help.
Botha said in the process, some people assaulted the victim to the extent that she lost two of her teeth.
But in his reaction Nankhumwa has condemned the behavior of the said villagers.
“I have learnt with horror that two (2) elderly women at Mandala Zimba Village in Kampingo Sibande (Eswazini) area in Mzimba district were harassed, including being beaten and forced to bury a dead body in a graveyard for being suspected to have bewitched the deceased.
This is not the first time in this country that elderly people have been accused of witchcraft and subjected to all sorts of harassment and attacks. Many others have even suffered deaths under gruesome and sadistic conditions.
“Fellow Malawians, this is a very sad trend in this country and it appears to be coming about due to strong and pervasive beliefs in witchcraft in our societies across Malawi, coupled with the attitude that justice can be meted out there and then,” wrote Nankhumwa.
He added: “Unfortunately, the situation is pushing Malawi to slide down a dangerous cesspool of anarchy and lawlessness. We must not allow this country to go down that path.
“The Mzimba incident must not be allowed to pass and to recede in the distance as a statistic. Rather, it must serve as a lesson and deterrent to any would-be perpetrators to never engage in these medieval and uncivilized acts. All those who were involved in these demeaning acts must face the law, immediately.”
Meanwhile, Nankhumwa has asked the law enforcers to move in and arrest the perpetrators.
So far over 20 people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
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