Home Opinion Featured Articles Necessity of Proactive Measures Against Witch-Hunting in Zimbabwe

Necessity of Proactive Measures Against Witch-Hunting in Zimbabwe


The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges the government of Zimbabwe to adopt a proactive approach to witchcraft accusations and witch persecution in the country. Recent cases of witch-hunting in the region have this directive necessary. On February 6, 2024, a local newspaper reported that the police were looking for a 25-year-old man, Takudzwa Mugariri. Mugariri allegedly murdered a grandmother, Easter Marozva, 94, after accusing her of being a witch. Mugariri used a log of wood to beat her to death and then burnt her clothes.

In a related development, the police have arrested a 23-year-old man, Tinevimbo Nyika, for murder. The police said that Nyika accused the father of witchcraft. He assaulted the father with a rod, pierced the father’s stomach, and drew out his intestines, killing him on the spot. In May last year, police in Hwedza launched a manhunt for a 49-year-old man, Evaristo Magaisa, for allegedly killing the mother after accusing her of bewitching and killing the father. The report stated that the suspect approached the mother, “who was clearing a path to a nearby river where she fetches water. He then accused her of using witchcraft to kill his father in 2017 before severely assaulting her with an unknown object”. In another case, a 45-year-old man has murdered the parents over claims that they were witches.

There have been other cases of brutal attack and murder of suspected witches in Zimbabwe. In most cases, the authorities used a reactive approach in addressing the problem. The police intervened after the harm had been done, after the suspected witch had been killed. The police launched a manhunt for perpetrators who might never be arrested or prosecuted.

The government of Zimbabwe needs to change this approach because it is ineffective. As the cases have illustrated, witchcraft accusation is a form of death sentence. A reactive approach is a form of ‘medicine after death’. While it is pertinent to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice, the government should take measures to prevent allegations of witchcraft. The government should identify communities where witchcraft accusations are pervasive and liaise with chiefs and other leaders to educate and enlighten the people.

Zimbabwean authorities should carry out a door-to-door public health education program in these places and inform people that nobody causes diseases or kills another person through magical means. That witches do not fly around in baskets at night, as popularly believed. The authorities should tell Zimbabweans that witchcraft is a form of superstition, a notion based on fear and ignorance. That witches are mythical entities and imaginaries and lack basis in reason or reality. The government should deploy police officers to monitor and patrol parts of the county where witch persecution is pervasive. Very often, witchcraft allegations start as rumors. Local authorities should be vigilante and ensure that the rumors do not translate into accusations and persecutions. The government should institute rewards and incentives for whistleblowers, informants, and all who help nip suspicions of witchcraft in the bud.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches appeals to Zimbabwean authorities to take urgent steps to combat witch-hunting and horrific abuses of alleged witches. They should adopt more proactive measures against witchcraft accusations and witch persecutions in the country.

Leo Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches which aims to end witch hunting in Africa in 2030

Send your news stories to newsghana101@gmail.com Follow News Ghana on Google News



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

WP Radio
WP Radio
Exit mobile version