Sunday, October 2

New witchcraft law to reduce cases of mob justice

By Hastings Yobe:

The Special Law Commission, constituted by Malawi Law Commission (MLC), says it has finalised its review of the Witchcraft Act and has come up with proposed amendments which will decrease cases of mob justice if adopted by Parliament.

This was revealed on Tuesday in Lilongwe during a press briefing organised by the commission to present findings on the review on myths surrounding witchcraft in the country.

Chairperson for MLC, Justice Robert Chinangwa, said in the past, cases of mob justice have been increasing since the law was not recognising existence witchcraft.

Chinangwa said the new law should recognise that witchcraft exists and that the practice should now be considered as a criminal act.

“Malawians throughout the country believe that witchcraft exists. It is not just a myth, it is a reality.

“We are making propositions that the maximum penalty to a person found guilty of practicing witchcraft should be 10 years and death penalty for people convicted of killing through witchcraft,” Chinangwa said.

In his remarks, Minister of Justice, Titus Mvalo said the findings and recommendations by MLC would change the way people handle witchcraft cases.

“It is my hope that the findings and recommendations will help create peace in Malawi,” said Mvalo.

The Witchcraft Act was enacted in 1911 and has never been changed ever since.

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