The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) condemns the lynching of an elderly man for witchcraft in Malawi today. According to a local source, this unfortunate incident took place in Zolozolo in Mzuzu. Mzuzu is the headquarters of the Northern region. A photo of the incident that is being circulated on the social media shows a young man torching the body of the alleged witch which was covered with sticks and tyre.
Locals could be seen watching from a distance as the alleged witch was set ablaze. Recently there have been many reported cases of witch persecution and killing in Malawi including an incident where an alleged witch was stoned to death.
These cases of violence against alleged witches happen with the tacit approval of local/traditional authorities. According local sources, traditional authorities turn a blind eye on these mob attacks due to pressure from their witch fearing community members.
The government of Malawi must rise up to its duty to protect alleged witches and bring to justice witch killers and witch hunters. It must adopt a proactive approach to combating witch persecution and nip this witch cleansing in the bud. Violence linked to witchcraft beliefs must stop. Alleged witches are innocent because witchcraft is an imaginary crime, a form of superstition that should be consigned to the bin of cultural mythologies.
The people of Malawi should not stand by and watch as alleged witches are lynched or stoned death. Instead they should join efforts with AfAW in protecting and defending these innocent vulnerable members of the human family. Lynching a witch is an act that debases our humanity and shames us all. It should have no place at all in the 21st century Malawi and in the 21st century Africa.