GOVERNMENT will not protect people who use witchcraft and other supernatural powers to harm others, a Cabinet Minister has said. Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa said any person who could provide evidence to show that one was a witch could escape criminal prosecution. The minister said this yesterday in the Senate while responding to inquiries from Mutasa-Nyanga Senator Patrick Chitaka (MDC-T) who had asked why the Government was not repealing the Witchcraft and Suppression Act considering that the practice was rampant in the African culture.
“Clearly if you point out that someone was a witch, it is defamatory.
“But if you can prove it that someone was found with a human hand that is enough proof,” he said.
“If you can open a grave and eat its contents, that’s enough proof.”
The major objective of the Protocol, the minister said, was to legally protect and promote economic and social exploitation of traditional knowledge systems and expressions of folklore for the benefit of holders of such traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.
Well, color me confused. His idea of evidence would be quite different from mine. I’ll admit that I don’t know what it means that “a human hand…is enough proof” or “open a grave and eat its contents”. Something lost in translation? OBVIOUSLY. Because witchcraft DOES certainly seem to be a completely superstitious notion, out of line with modern knowledge. But, it looks as if he really likes the traditional knowledge and wishes to protect that. Cultural expression? The rest of us would disagree, Zimbabwe.
Tip: Molly Hodgdon