The Malawi Network for Older Persons’ Organizations (MANEPO) has challenged Malawi Police Service (MPS) to immediately arrest and prosecute every person involved in stoning to death of an elderly woman accused of witchcraft.
On Monday, social media was awash with pictures of a mob stoning to death an innocent old lady accused of witchcraft at Fumbwa village, T/A Tambala in Dedza district.
In a lengthy statement released Tuesday, MANEPO chairperson Andrew Kavala has rapped the police, saying this tendency continues to escalate because of laxity by law enforcement agencies.
“We hold it that escalation of abuse, discrimination and even killings of older persons can be explained by continued failure by law enforcement agencies to prosecute those who accuse older men and women of practising witchcraft.
“The uncoordinated responses at various levels of the justice administrative system and the absence of structured community support systems continue to make Malawi one of the worse countries for one to grow old in Africa,” he said.
He further enlightened the public that Malawi’s Witchcraft Act of 1911, witchcraft doesn’t exist and states that it is an offence to accuse anyone of practising witchcraft.
“The 2016 National Policy for Older Persons recognises the duty of the State to protect the rights of older persons in a country grappling with changes in traditional family values and the erosion of social support structures,” he said.
Kavala has also advised Malawians against the malpractice, Malawi passed the era when one could do what it pleases, without being restrained by the muscle of the law.
“It is imperative that everyone should use proper channels to address concerns, for one cannot concurrently play the roles of an accuser, prosecutor and judge,” he said.
He has since called on government to demonstrate political will by guaranteeing the safety and protection of the elderly in this country.
Meanwhile, Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda has expressed concern over increasing cases of Malawians taking the law into their hands when aggrieved.
The Minister said while delivering a report in Parliament on Monday on the state of security in the country that Malawians should follow legal processes in seeking remedies for all grievances.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :