Wed, 06 Mar 2024 Feature Article

Stop Stoning Alleged Witches in Africa

Stop Stoning Alleged Witches in Africa

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges all Africans to desist from stoning suspected witches or anyone accused of harming others through magic. This appeal followed the reported stoning of two women in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week. According to the report , the two women, aged 60 and 65, were accused of being responsible for deaths in their community. A local mob abducted these women, stoned them to death, and burnt their bodies. As often the case, the police intervened late. By the time they arrived, the women were dead. The brutal killing of these women was not an isolated incident.

Congo DRC is notorious for the accusation and persecution of alleged witches, especially children. A local nongovernmental organisation, the Association of Women in Media stated that alleged witches in the area were banished or killed. The stoning of alleged witches also takes place in Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The practice of stoning witches continues because perpetrators get away with their crimes. There are no measures to deter and help end this barbaric practice. Those who stone alleged witches are not arrested. And in cases where they are arrested, they are not prosecuted or jailed. In many cases, after reporting the news, nothing is done. No further action is taken. The matter fizzles out. Life returns to 'normal' until another alleged witch is murdered.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges Africans to stop this primitive and cruel practice of stoning alleged witches. Africans should understand the foolery in stoning witches. Look, if these women were witches as believed or accused, the outcome would have been different. If they had mystical powers, as alleged, they won't allow people to attack or stone them to death without using their supposed mystical powers against them. If the women were witches as alleged, they would have used their witchcraft powers to tackle, resist, and destroy their stoners and killers.

But these women were not witches. They had no witchcraft powers. They were innocent of the crime. Africans should realize that witchcraft is imaginary. Witchcraft is a form of superstition. Witchcraft has no basis in reason, science, or reality. Belief in witches is an ancient superstition that should be abandoned.

But this realization cannot take effect until state authorities rise to the occasion and fulfill their responsibility to protect alleged witches. State actors should know that the lives of alleged witches matter. They should ensure that persecutors of alleged witches are brought to justice. African governments should enforce laws against jungle justice and trial by ordeal. African schools should educate and help reorient the minds of children and youths. They should encourage them to think critically and scientifically. Belief in witches persists due to dogma and blind faith in the human ability to harm others through magical means. But critical thinking will help weaken the grip of this superstition on the minds of Africans.

Stop witchcraft accusations! Stop stoning alleged witches in Africa!!

Leo Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches