Opinion: Of Killing The Elderly People



Everyone has the right to life and the right to life includes the elderly people. Therefore, nobody has the right to take anyone’s life for whatever reason, we must all live.

On the other hand, whenever there’s a case there must be evidence to that case to prove beyond any reasonable doubt. Secondly, we have well established government institutions that take care of complaints, these are the police, the courts, and the prison. The complainants/people cannot take the place of complainants, Police, court and prison at the same time. The system to justice doesn’t work like that anywhere in the world.

The Challenge

According to The Daily Times, Twenty five elderly people were reportedly killed in 2023 on aviations of practicing witchcraft, the Malawi Network of Older Persons Organizations ( MANEPO) disclosed. The report says 56 senior citizens faced harassment largely on witchcraft allegations. In 2022, twenty three (23) elderly people were killed fire being suspected of practicing witchcraft.

It is therefore surprising that the society keeps targeting senior citizens in witchcraft suspicions. I think there’s something wrong somewhere which must be corrected now or else everyone who becomes old will become victim of such circumstances in the near future. If witchcraft exists it cannot be specifically focus on one particular age group of people. It could probably be a mixture of all age groups of people for sure.

Senior citizens are among those vulnerable groups because they are weak to defend themselves. Is Malawi doing justice by targeting people who are too weak to fight back? This makes the elderly people even more vulnerable as communities continue to turn against them.

It is therefore interesting that Hon Ken Zikhale Ng’oma decided to celebrate New Year with the elderly in his constituency. This is a bold and very good step taken by the Member of Parliament and cabinet Minister of Homeland Security which everyone must emulate from.

The reality of witchcraft is that it is a practice which has been there from time immemorial. It is there in the Bible. Dealing with witchcraft had always been very complicated and difficult in our society and sometimes leads to loss of life to innocent victims through mob justice.

In conclusion, let us love the elderly people as we would love ourselves when we grow old because nobody will forever remain young. The elderly are lucky to reach old age but if they have a case to answer, communities should have valid evidence against them for whatever case it could be to prove in court. Otherwise, we should avoid monopolizing the role of complainant, Police, Court and Prison Warders. Bravo to Hon Ken Zikhale Ng’oma for demonstrating that love for the elderly people!

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