Sorcerers in Chimbu held for Dorpar’s death

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A CHIMBU villager has “confessed” under duress that he has used sorcery to kill Madang provincial administrator Joseph Dorpar.
He also said eight other “sorcerers” had “collaborated” with him to cast their death wish of the senior public servant.
This bizarre revelation came after people in a village in the Kerowagi district, Chimbu, where late Dorpar is from, convened a kangaroo court two days after his burial to find out who was responsible for the death.
After being beaten up by Dorpar’s relatives on Saturday, the villager, “confessed” to the “crime”, telling the villagers and the leaders that he was not the only one involved.
The “court hearing” took place not more than 20m from Dorpar’s fresh grave where the burial had taken place last Thursday.
Dorpar died on April 25 at the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby after suffering a stroke.
The National which attended the hearing noted that the villager was tortured by angry relatives into naming the other alleged sorcerers.
Neither the police nor the judiciary service was invited to lay down the rule of law.
Sorcery is a serious “crime” in Chimbu and guilty parties are often burned alive, stoned to death or thrown into fast-flowing streams.
Such village gatherings to find the culprits are not uncommon in Chimbu.
The villager said he was not the only one involved and the others all had their reasons for joining him.
He told the gathering Dorpar had not given him money from a road project; another alleged sorcerer said Dorpar owed him a pig while another said Dorpar had not removed a “haus krai” of a woman relative quickly enough.
These failures had led them to plan how to get even, the villagers were told.
However, the eight “accomplices” denied any involvement in the death because they were not Dorpar’s blood relatives.
They told the people that sorcery only works along one’s own blood lines, through family connections.
A community leader and former councillor, who presided over the “case”, ordered the injured villager and his eight co-accused not to leave the village at any time until their fate is decided by a “glassman” – a witchdoctor.
In the meantime, they were ordered to kill pigs and eat the hearts while awaiting the glassman’s arrival.
After the hearing, the tortured villager was taken to the Kerowagi health centre and admitted for treatment of his injuries.