Vigilante action results in the murder of a man accused of witchcraft.
An 81-year-old Murehwa man was fatally assaulted by two fellow villagers on Saturday on allegations of practising witchcraft. Acting Mashonaland East Provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Norbert Muzondo confirmed the incident yesterday.He said police had arrested Never Chikurunhe (52) and Shorishi Miranza (22) in connection with the alleged murder.
After asking the man to come out for a drink, they accused him of using witchcraft to kill their uncle. They assaulted him with logs, it is reported, and he died at the scene.
We’ve had many stories of witchcraft accusations in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa. This article sums up the problem. “There is no scientific or legal proof that performing an act of witchcraft has any physical result. It is a crime of intention, an intention to do harm, with no measurable way of discovering if there was any harm…”
And people seek out vigilante justice for this intent without proof. Superstition reigns. Amendments to a Witchcraft law make claims of witchcraft an unacceptable excuse for murder. Oh, yes, very progressive. There still is a law stating witchcraft is a crime subject to a fine or jail term. I think we are still centuries behind the times here. But belief is not something you can legislate away.
Tip: Tim Farley @krelnik on Twitter