17 March 2017

Zimbabwe: Ex-Mugabe Minister in Witchcraft Storm

Photo: Hans Hillewaert/Wikipedia
Witch doctor in Zimbabwe (file photo).

Harare — ZIMBABWE'S Constitutional Court has been urged to speedily conclude a witchcraft case involving a former cabinet minister lest the family perishes from his alleged sorcery before the case is concluded. Former education minister, Aeneas Chigwedere, and his son Mangwiza, are involved in a public spat over the allegations witchcraft, occultism and voodooism.

The son is wary of the continued postponements of the case fearing the entire family would be wiped out by the time the courts eventually rule on the matter. Mangwiza has appealed to Constitutional Judge, Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, to rule on the probe promptly.

Gwaunza argued she could not proceed with the alleged witchcraft case in the absence of some respondents in the matter. Other respondents are the complainant's stepmother Emilia Zharare-Chigwedere. Other respondents cited are minister of arts and culture, Abednego Ncube, local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, National Council of Chiefs, Human Rights Commission and Traditional Healers' Association. "Are you (Constitutional Court), therefore, saying this matter cannot proceed just because four other respondents are not here? Are you saying we perish because the sheriff has not served other respondents?" Mangwiza charged. According to the Witchcraft Suppression Act, it is an offence in Zimbabwe to brand anyone a witch but Mangwiza approached the courts last year seeking an order to compel his father and step-mother to undergo a cleansing ceremony to exorcise the alleged witchcraft. Chigwedere (77) is a stalwart of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

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