Two Malawian men jailed for hacking old woman over witchcraft

Two Malawian men will the next eight years languish in jail after a court convicted them for hacking their 67-year-old grandmother’s left leg.

The two, identified as Wilson Misokwe, 19 and Medson Jafali, 29, hacked their grandmother, Margret Wesley, with a panga knife on suspicion that she was practicing witchcraft.

The incident occurred in January at Manila Village, Traditional Authority Chikweo in Machinga District. Both Misokwe and Jafali come from the same village.

According to Police Prosecutor, Gladys Jentala, the two, upon their arrest, were charged with grievous harm contrary to section 238 of the Penal Code.

Thindwa posing with the two "witches" freed from jail. Liviness Elifala, 51 and her friend Margaret Jackson who looks 70 of Lodzanyama village, Traditional Authority Ntema in Lilongwe

Thindwa posing with the two “witches” freed from jail. Liviness Elifala, 51 and her friend Margaret Jackson who looks 70 of Lodzanyama village, Traditional Authority Ntema in Lilongwe

However, they pleaded not guilty but after several witnesses testified against them, the magistrate court proved that they were indeed guilty of the offence and had a case to answer.

Liwonde First Grade Magistrate Jones Masula observed that the two committed a serious offence that resulted in the old woman becoming disabled following their brutal hacking.

Subsequently, Magistrate Jones Masula convicted and sentenced them to eight years imprisonment with hard labour.

But the court discharged the third suspect, Black Whiskey, from the case saying he had no case to answer as he was only implicated.

Whiskey had been on the run until the police in Machinga arrested him in connection to the case.

Meanwhile, doctors have amputated the old woman’s leg after noting that it took time to be referred for medical attention and had gone bad.

The woman was hacked in January this year but the incident was only uncovered in March after a concerned community member reported the matter to Care for the Elderly Organization.

The organisation works in collaboration with the Association for Secular Humanism (ASH) of George Thindwa.

Meantime, ASH, which is currently implementing a project in Machinga district on combating witchcraft-based violence, has pledged to buy an artificial leg for the old woman.

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