Tension has gripped a village of Group Headman Chawuteka in the area of Senior Traditional Authority Wasambo in Karonga after over 28 houses have been set ablaze by neighbouring community over witchcraft claims.
According to the Senior Chief Wasambo, the development have occurred during the night of Wednesday as the angry community of Group Village Headman Tondoli suspect their neighbouring village to be stealing farming produce magically.
Wasambo further said the two villages tend to quarrel every year on many issues happing in the community.
“It is true that our friends from Group village Headman Chawuteka have been left homeless as their neighbouring village set mostly grass thatched houses on fire their houses due to some disagreement,” said Wasambo.
The fire razed down all the property possessed by the 28 household, with the arsonists vanishing in the dark.
Police Officer In charge of Chilumba Station Billy Chimbonga said they are investigating the matter.
“We have managed to arrest five people in connection to the issue,” said police officer in charge.
He refused to disclose their names and warned the locals from taking law in their own hands advising them to forward the suspects to the police stations and relevant authorities.
Police officer said further said “after the investigation the arrested people will appear before court to answer charges of arson and malicious damage.”
According to Wasambo the affected families are now hiding in the church which has been identified as an evacuation centre.
Belief in witchcraft runs deep in Malawi
In a related development, Police in Ntcheu arrested three men for allegedly murdering a man suspected to have killed their relative through magic.
According to Ntcheu Police publicist, Hastings Chigalu, the three suspects, who are currently in police custody are Wilson Ligomeka, 31, and Mthiwani Million, 27, both from Njolomole Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Njolomole Ntcheu, and Wisikesi Yakobe, 24, of Donda Village, T/A Njolomole, Ntcheu who on 23 March this year chased and stoned to death Wilson Thembachako, 30, of Donda Village T/A Njolomole, Ntcheu after a commotion erupted in the village during the funeral of their relative.
“The suspect was allegedly stoned to death as he ran away from his house which was set on fire by the suspects after they accused the deceased of practising witchcraft,” Chigalu said.
He said the suspects also allegedly torched five other houses within the village in protest against the death of their relative.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :