Man killed over witchcraft allegations, police launch manhunt


Police in Nkhata Bay District have launched a manhunt for suspects who allegedly set ablaze a 65-year-old man over witchcraft allegations at Thotomsinje in the district.

The deceased has been identified as Joseph Mphande of Katuwa Village in Traditional Authority M’bwana in the district.

According to Mphande’s wife, they both on February 1, 2023 around 18:00 hours, went to a nearby hill to connect a cellphone to an available network, as they wanted to call their relatives.

Two hours later, they decided to go back home. Unfortunately, as they were passing by the suspects residence, a certain boy who has been identified as Junior Singa stopped the couple and started accusing the man of bewitching their father who died some weeks ago.

They failed to come to an agreement such that the boy started beating the man. His three sisters joined the band wagon beating Mphande. They severely beaten him before tying him to a wooden log and set him ablaze.

The matter was reported to Nkhata Bay Police Station where officers together with a medical official visited the scene on February 2, 2023.

The medical personnel conducted a postmortem that revealed that the death was due to a shock caused by severe blood and fluid loss (Hypovolemic shock), secondary to burns.

Meanwhile police in the district have launched investigations to track down and arrest the suspects who escaped after committing the offence.

Police have further condemned the tendency of mob justice connected to witchcraft issues, as it infringes rights of innocent senior citizens.

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