Lilongwe – Malawian President Peter Mutharika has expressed shock, and spoken out against the murder of four elderly people who were killed by an angry mob who believed they were witches.
According to Nyasa Times, Byson Kanjete, 73, Eliza Enoce Kanjete, 86, Elenefa Kanjete, 76, and Idesi Julius Kanjete, 69, were beaten to death by members of the community who accused them of being involved in witchcraft and causing the death of a 17-year-old girl.
“The president is saddened by the brutal acts of the mob in Chimbalanga Village and has since ordered the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Services to investigate the matter and bring to justice and trial of all those involved in the killing the four innocent people,” said presidential spokesperson, Gerald Viola.
The Nation reported on January 26, that the teenage girl was arranging buckets on a veranda in order to collect rain water when she was struck by lightning.
Following the incident, the community organised themselves into a mob, and accused the four of being involved in witchcraft and causing the girl’s death.
The mob then beat them to death.
Viola urged Malawians “to stop accusing the elderly of witchcraft whenever someone dies”.
The Malawi Civil Society also spoke up against the attacks, saying: “We would like to remind Malawians that mob justice violence, whatever the reasons behind it, finds no justification in both our domestic and international legal human rights system as it violates the right to due process, sanctity of life (Section 16 of Malawi Constitution) and their presumptive innocence until proven otherwise by a competent court of law.” — AFP