Former cop assaults elder accused of witchcraft

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Aron Mushaukwa
Katima Mulilo

Twenty-nine-year-old Shaddy Mbala from Lusu in Sibbinda Constituency in the Zambezi Region is at loggerheads with the Chinchimane khuta over a case involving an old man from Lusu, whom he accuses of having used witchcraft to ensure he lost his job in the police.

Mbala says he was employed as a police sergeant for eight years, but apparently lost his job last September in a mysterious manner after the old man cast a spell on him.

Due to this, in December he decided to go and consult a witchdoctor who told him that he lost his job because of one old man from his village who is married to his aunt. Mbala decided to go and confront the suspected wizard and the two ended up in the Lusu sub-khuta, but the matter was later transferred to the Chinchimane khuta.

Another witchdoctor was then brought in by the Chinchimane traditional court in February this year and he ‘validated’ the earlier findings confirming that old man Mukuwa was behind Mbala’s misfortune.
The accused pleaded guilty to these charges and he was ordered to pay eight cattle or the monetary equivalent of N$8,000. In addition, he was ordered to pay N$15,000 to compensate Mbala for all the financial losses incurred by the former police sergeant to bring the witchdoctors from Zambia.

However, from February up until now, Mbala is yet to receive his compensation. “I have been going back to the khuta to launch my complaints but to no avail – at one point I left the khuta while the court was in session and I was charged N$3,000 for that. I was told that if I won’t pay that amount my case will never be heard in court again. I paid it but up until now I am yet to receive my payment from the wizard through the khuta,” he said.
In June the case returned to the khuta, and this time the alleged witch made a U-turn by saying that the two witchdoctors had lied as he is not the one responsible for Mbala’s misfortunes. He added that he wants them to go to Zambia to go and consult another witchdoctor.

The khuta then ruled that Mbala should pay for four people who will accompany him to Zambia to consult another witchdoctor. It was at this stage that the former policeman lost his temper and he allegedly assaulted the alleged wizard. He said he had been treated unfairly by the khuta.

“I have asked them to refer my case to the chief because in my opinion they have faileded to administer justice – up until now they haven’t done that,” he said.

Speaking to New Era a senior induna from Luusu, Gibson Mataba, confirmed the incident.
“There was no boredom that day as we were entertained – we had to separate Mbala and the said wizard. We were the ones who took the issue to the khuta, and we ended up being the ones to separate them from killing each other,” he said.

According to Mataba, Mbala assaulted the said wizard because he was not happy with the ruling. “All he wants is to be paid the money, he does not want to go and consult another witchfinder that is why he assaulted the wizard,” he said. Efforts to get comment from the alleged wizard proved futile.

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