Village courts to deal with witchcraft

Main Stories, National

The National, Friday 24th May 2013


SORCERY will soon be dealt with in village courts Constitutional and Law Reform Commission secretary Dr Eric Kwa says. 

“We will present before the Parliament an amendment for sorcery to be dealt with in village courts because it deals with custom,” he told a seminar to mark Museum International Day yesterday. 

“The law will punish those who commit criminal offences on allegations that someone has used magic or witchcraft because the law cannot prove or deny sorcery.”

Kwa said the Sorcery Act of 1971 recognised and prohibited sorcery but it had also accepted the fact that it was a belief that people could not question. 

“We have also discussed imposing the death penalty on sorcery-related killings,” he said.

National Museum and Art Gallery director Dr Andrew Moutu said sorcery allegations had become an issue because it was often directed at a minority group that seemed to be vulnerable. 

“After reflecting on what had happened in the last few months, we have seen a pattern; the majority accusing a small group,” Moutu said.

“Sorcery is not just a belief, it exists; the question is how can law address itself on understanding sorcery? 

“We have seen and heard how sorcery has fuelled emotions through a series of questions, searching for truth and how it has instructed methods of accusations.”