Eliza Davison, 67 who was jailed up to two years for practising witchcraft has been freed by High Court of Malawi.
Davison was jailed on August 15 last year by the Mulanje Third Grade Magistrate Court, under section 6 of the Witchcraft Act after she admitted that through magic, she inserted an insect at the throat of her 25-year-old grandson to stop him from eating or drinking water.
But Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (Chreaa) helped Divason, who comes from Mbewa Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabuka in Mulanje, to seek justice at High Court through an appeal.
High Court Judge McLean Kamwambe in his determination said Mulanje Third Grade Magistrate Court had no jurisidction to hear the case of Divason, saying offences to be tried by such courts was three years and the maximum sentence of the charge of Divason was 10 years imprisonment.
Kamwambe said the witchcraft convict had already spent almost half of her sentence in jail “enough to teach her a lesson.”
The Judge quashed the conviction and set aide the sentence.
Chreaa executive director Victor Mhango bemoaned poor delivery of justice in lower courts.
He said Divason leaded guilty to the charges out of ignorance since some of the country’s laws conflict one another on the matter.
Malawi has a Witchcraft Act that dates back to the colonial times.
A person could only be found guilty of practising witchcraft if they confessed to being a witch.
George Thindwa from the Association of Secular Humanism is appealing to prosecutors that witchcraft cases “should not be entertained”.
“The problem is that our police and our courts most of them are witchcraft believers and this belief is very strong here in Malawi,” he said.
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