Association of Secular Humanism executive director George Thindwa has called for an end to violence against suspected witches, maintaining his stand that witchcraft is a belief and that witches do not exist.
Thindwa said, if witchcraft really existed, he would have been bewitched by now following his K200, 000 offer to anyone who would bewitch him through magic.
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times, Thindwa said witchcraft exists only as a belief, saying as evidence to to prove it remains elusive.
He argued that the belief in witchcraft is there just like people believe in God.
“But the question of whether there is a God or not is another thing. So, people believe in witchcraft, but witches do not exist. So, this thing of casting spells on each other is not true. It is just in the mind of people, “he said.
Thindwa said his organization is going to implement a three year project on the eradication of witchcraft based violence against children, women and the elderly.
The project which is being funded by the Norwegian Embassy to the tune of K 206, 980, 200 will be implemented in 11 districts in the country.
The districts are; Mzimba, Karonga and Rumphi in the north, Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe and Mchinji in the central region and Machinga, Neno, Chikwawa and Mulanje in the southern region.
The project will therefore target 38 T/As across the country
Thindwa said in 2011 his organization and the department of sociology at Chancellor College conducted a survey where it was discovered that many people, especially the elderly were subjected to various forms of violence on suspicions that they were practicing witchcraft
”Many people especially women and the elderly have lost life and property on suspicions that they are practicing witchcraft. And in most cases there were no evidence to prove that they were really practicing witchcraft,” said Thindwa.
Among others, the project will aim to civic educate the masses on the witchcraft act which clearly states that witchcraft does not exist.
Concurring, Executive Director for Hope for the Elderly Thomas Pondani-Mbewe hailed the project which he said would help reduce witchcraft related cases against older people.Believing in witchcraft in Malawi forms part of tradition. In a study by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in 2008, 76 percent of sampled Malawian households said they know of witches in their community and 62 percent said they know someone accused of witchcraft.
According to this study, the majority of the ordinary Malawian believes in witchcraft.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :