Scrap the witchcraft act from the laws of Zambia – Chalobesa

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A traditional leader in Mumbwa district has petitioned government to scrap the witchcraft act from the laws of the country.

 

Village Headman Chalobesa told the Legal and Justice Reform Commission sitting in Mumbwa that the witchcraft act is not serving the required purpose it was crafted to do.

 

He complained that the local courts are abusing the witchcraft act in adjudicating cases when it cannot be proved in a court of law.

 

Headman Joshua Chalobesa submitted to the Legal and Justice Reform Commission that local courts be stopped from demanding for proof of witchcraft and admitting it in court to adjudicate cases.

 

Mr Chalobesa said aggrieved persons are normally sent to Kaoma where it is believed that there is a powerful witch finder who issues written evidence confirming witchcraft practice upon which the local courts make judgement.

 

He said such evidence should not be allowed in a court of law because it is an illegality.

Mr Chalobesa said the practice is unfair because it is difficult to prove witchcraft in a court of law due to the mysterious nature.

 

He observed that witch finders are splitting families apart and must be stopped at all costs in order to protect families from victimisation and infringement of their human rights.

 

However, Justice Frederick Chomba said it is wrong for court officials to admit such witchcraft evidence in court as it is against the law.

 

He said it is an offense for anyone to label or describe another person as a witch.

Justice Chomba said the practice by local court justices is a glaring disregard for the law and directed that the practice be immediately stopped.

 

And 57 year old Anne Siachongwe said people are living in fear because of rampant witchcraft in the area.

 

Mrs.  Siachongwe appealed to relevant authorities to address the issue of witchcraft so that ordinary citizens are protected and live in peace.

 

The commission urged people to change their mind sets over long held beliefs and notions over witchcraft in order to live in harmony in a modern society.

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