Story By: Lee Bullen, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
An angry mob has burned a village chief to death and fatally beaten two others for practising witchcraft.
The two lynchings took place in the villages of Kachiwaya and Kanyumbo in the Central Region of Malawi, according to Gladson M’bumpha, spokesperson for the police in the town of Dowa, Malawi.
M’bumpha named the three victims as Village Headman Kachiwaya, real name Gogo Kachiwawa, 56, and Jenala Chidzele, and Sintuma Siliya.
The police spokesperson confirmed that the village chief and Jenala Chidzele were burned to death while Sintuma Siliya was killed by beating.
M’bumpha said: “On 28th May, villagers accused Village Headman Kachiwaya of bewitching his nephew, who on 18th May was involved in a fatal road accident, and all the properties of Village Headman were burned to ashes but he escaped.
“On Sunday 31st May, the same villagers mobilised and picked him up from Lilongwe where he went to seek refuge on pretence that they were taking him to police.
“When the mob brought Village Headman Kachiwaya to the village, they burned him and left him on the same ground until police in conjunction with Malawi Defence Force soldiers went to the village and recovered the unattended body.”
The police confirmed that four suspects have been arrested in connection with the village chief’s death so far.
M’bumpha said: “On the second incident on 31st May, villagers from Kanyumbo Village and nearby villages, upon hearing the news that villagers from Kachiwaya had burned to death the Village Headman, also hunted for the second deceased Jenala Chidzele and Sintuma Siliya.”
The police said the mob also suspected the two victims of being involved in witchcraft.
M’bumpha said that Jenala Chidzele was beaten and burned while Sintuma Siliya was beaten to death, although the body has not yet been found.
He added: “Police in conjunction with MDF soldiers of Mvera Support Battalion recovered the dead body of Jenala Chidzele and arrested six suspects.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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