Veteran human rights defender, Undule Mwakasungula, has weighed in on the rampant killings of men and women who have been accused of witchcraft, especially in his home district Karonga, describing it as a national crisis that requires “urgent and critical attention.”
Since December 2019, over eight lives have been lost in Karonga and Chitipa district alone; and, Mwakasungula said the development was overly worrisome.
He said, through a media statement issued Friday, that if the situation continues to be underrated more innocent people and families will continue to lose their lives and property.
“Since December 2019, Malawi, especially Karonga, has been making headlines on the killings and destroying property of people accused of practicing witchcraft. This is sad because, in most cases, it the poor and the elderly who suffer the most with development as the greatest loser,” reads Mwakasungula’s statement.
According to him, the limited knowledge on human rights by communities compounded by the culture of superstition is a driving force of witchcraft related mob justice in the country.
He said the recent national protests against government and some leaders have empowered Malawians to take the law into their own hands; therefore, inflicting torture, suffering and death on fellow innocent citizens.
Ubdule then called upon President Peter Mutharika to initiate a national dialogue on the witchcraft related mob justice in the country.
On short term, Mwakasungula suggested that government through the Malawi Police Service (MPS) should immediately arrest the perpetrators of the vices.
“I believe delay in arresting and bringing the suspects to justice could be one of the factors motivating others to continue torturing and killing people believed to be practicing witchcraft,” said Mwakasungula in a telephone interview with Nyasa Times.
He also urged religious leaders to intensify preaching the word of love and co-existence in communities, aside condemning any forms of mob justice.
Nyasa Times has learnt recently that a hoard of witchdoctors have been invited in a number of districts in Karonga for exorcism.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :