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Witchcraft and the Zimbabwean constitution

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The law is silent about witchcraft yet people believe that it exists and is affecting them on a daily basis. In Zimbabwe for example, more than ninety percent of the people believe that their lives are in one way or the other being tampered with through witchcraft. However once one claims to have been bewitched by someone the present law punishes the victim and does not bother to establish fact from the allegations. This points to a view that there is no such thing as witchcraft. Surprisingly people are losing their wealth, beasts, goats and cash through community cleansing activities, like trough the Tsikamutandas, other traditional healers and prophets.

Now that the country is running towards a democratically made constitution, what will people say with regard to witchcraft? Will the law still be made to remain silent about this issue? If not, who will be empowered to physically preside over such offenses created in the spiritual realms and be assured to live there after?

The problem is how to prove the allegations of witchcraft beyond reasonable doubt. Whereas a postmortem can prove a case of murder, no technology can prove witchcraft activities. Even if three n’angas are consulted, they never agree among themselves. Some think that the n’angas are to blame for all the cases around witchcraft as they are the suppliers of the magical tricks. Should the law ban the n’angas then? To what extent have the n’angas contributed to moulding the present day Zimbabwean culture?

Some feel that it is high time the constitution of the country does something about witchcraft because of all the stories around like people seen with goblins, naked and performing unfamiliar rituals and some killing each other on allegations of bewitching one other.  Some feel that witchcraft is of the spiritual world, and no earthly law can stop or regulate it unless spiritual means are employed. This gives rise to the question of how the so called n’angas and prophets who see beyond the naked eye are important in the present day society.  What about the role of the church?

Will all people join the debate?

One comment to “Witchcraft and the Zimbabwean constitution”

  1. Comment by Damon Leff:

    I find it interesting that you have reached conclusions concerning this subject, that South Africans have also reached, concerning allegations and accusations of witchcraft in South Africa.

    In South Africa the words witch and witchcraft are used as accusation, but the people being accused do not identify themselves as witches and deny practicing witchcraft. The terms have been inherited to incorrectly describe traditional African religious and magical practices, practices which are not described as ‘witchcraft’ by those who adhere to them. This is a direct product of European colonial prejudice against traditional African religious belief systems.

    Witchcraft is real and Witches do exist, but they are not what culture and religion would like you to believe they are. Actual Witches constitute a recognized and constitutionally protected religious minority in our country. We regard Witchcraft as our religion. We are not murderers, and we do not trade in human body parts or practice blood sacrifice.

    Legislation which seeks to suppress witchcraft and witches will always fail to prevent people from making accusations of witchcraft whenever things go wrong. Education is a far more potent weapon against the witch-hunters.