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Advocacy for Alleged Witches Commends Police for Rescuing Accused Woman in Malawi

By Leo Igwe || Contributor
Malawi Advocacy for Alleged Witches Commends Police for Rescuing Accused Woman in Malawi
TUE, 02 JAN 2024 LISTEN

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches(AfAW) applauds the police in Malawi for the prompt intervention and rescue of an old woman, accused of witchcraft in the Dowa district in Malawi. An advocate in Malawi, Wonderful Mkhutche, shared the following post on the AfAW WhatsApp group: "Facts of the case are that on 27/12/2023, Gradesi Chiwoko, a sister to the victim(the accused) died suddenly after suffering some headache. The suspect started spreading rumors that the deceased had passed on due to some magical harm by the victim. Today 28/12/2023, at around 1400 hrs villagers, alongside the suspect gathered and managed to confront the victim. The accused was held hostage in her house. Some locals started digging a grave so that they could bury her alive alongside the deceased. Some persons reported the matter to the Dowa Police Station, and officers rushed to the scene where they found that the victim was about to be buried alive. The mob had covered her head with some sand. Fortunately, the police rescued her. The police arrested the main suspect, who is currently in custody at the Dowa police station. The victim was referred to Dowa district hospital, where she is receiving some treatment. Investigations are underway, and there are plans to arrest some of his accomplices".

The AfAW advocate in Malawi shared a short video (attached) that showed the accused about to be buried alive. The mob had covered her with some sand up to her neck. A shovel was held close to her dusty head. And one could overhear the following exchange:

"Man: Whom did you bewitch?
Woman: [Hesitatingly] Chikaiko (Seems a relative of hers)

Man: Do you have bewitching tools at your home?

Woman: [Silent]
Man: If you are not answering, tomorrow we will be having your funeral.

Woman: [Silent]"
All people of conscience should condemn this barbaric episode. Civilized people across Malawi should denounce the inhuman, and degrading treating of this innocent woman.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches is relieved that the police arrived on time and saved her life. As reported, only a suspect has been arrested. The police should arrest all involved in this ugly incident. The police must ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice because it takes a number of persons to carry out this dastardly act. The arrest and prosecution of all implicated in this savage action will serve as a deterrence to others. Witch hunting persists in Malawi because perpetrators often get away with their crimes. So, impunity must end, otherwise these horrific abuses will not stop. Witch hunters, witchcraft accusers and witch persecutors must answer for their crimes.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges the government of Malawi to take all necessary measures to combat witchcraft accusations and witch persecution. Authorities should ensure that alleged witches are protected, and witchcraft accusers, including those who aid and abet witch hunting in the communities, are punished.

Leo Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches, which aims to end witch-hunting in Africa by 2030

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