By Anjoya Mwanza
Minister of Homeland Security, Nicholasi Dausi on Friday ordered Police in Nkhotakota to strengthen the commission of enquiry into the case where houses of over thirty families were torched due to witchcraft allegations.
The minister said this at Kaso Primary School in Chitsulo Village, Traditional Authority Mwansambo in the district where he went to sympathise with the victims and deliver relief items.
Dausi condemned the witchcraft accusations and brutality actions by the community members, saying no one has liberty to take the law in their hands whenever something bad happens.
“I have appreciated the impact the victims suffered and it was a sorrowful situation. Worse, some of the people affected are children who have nothing to do with such accusations.
“I therefore ask the police to continue with their investigations until the real culprits are found and receive rightful punishment to deter the would-be offenders,” said the minister.
He asked the local leaders not to interrupt the investigations until the culprits are taken to book.
Also speaking, Chief Mwansambo condemned the actions demonstrated by his subjects. He regretted that such unfortunate actions occurred in his community.
Mwansambo apologised to government and victims, and promised that such things would never happen again in his community.
“I, together with all the local leaders apologise to the government and all victims of the witchcraft accusations who had their houses and belongings burnt by fire by irate community members.
“I promise that my area will remain peaceful and exemplary from now onwards and everyone shall be protected,” he said.
One of the victims, Emily Mzumazi said she never anticipated that such things would happen until that day when she found her house on fire while she was coming from the field.
Mzumazi failed to identify the people who set her house ablaze, saying there were many people including masked Gule wamkulu dancers.
She, however, said since then, no one is torturing or threatening them only that they have no shelter.
One of the village heads who spoke on condition of anonymity said people torched the houses because the witchcraft accusations were long overdue.
“We summoned the suspects several times to the group village head Chitsulo who failed to take control of the situation. People had to take action after one of the children in the village got burnt with cold water,” said the local leader.
On Tuesday, November 6 this year, irate community members from the area in Nkhotakota torched 31 houses belonging to families that were suspected to be practicing witchcraft.
During the visit, the minister delivered food items as well as kitchen utensils to the people who were affected.