Police in Nkhata Bay have arrested six people for allegedly abducting Jane Zamtenge, 75, with the intent of taking her for witchcraft cleansing at Mugolomba Village within Mzenga area.
Nkhata Bay Police Station publicist Kondwani James identified the six as a traditional doctor popularly known as Dr. Maria, real name Charity Nyirenda and Gift Julius, both from Makanjira Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chikulamayembe in Rumphi District.
The others are Gonekane Mphande, Gift Phiri and Edward Nyirenda, all from Msinawana Village, and Zalema Manda of Mugolomba Village, T/A Kabunduli in Nkhata Bay.
James said last Wednesday Zamtenge went missing from her home at Mzinga within Msinawana Village and her son George Nkhoma reported the incident to Nkhata Bay Police.
“Through police investigations, it was revealed that she was abducted with the help of group village head Msinawana and his team to Mugolomba Village for ritual cleansing.
“Police invaded the area where Dr. Maria was providing medication to patients whilst waiting for the cleansing exercise,” he said.
James said the witch-doctor was invited to the village to provide traditional medication to a certain family, but other people took advantage of her presence to ask for the cleansing ritual.
The six have since been charged with various offences which include, practising professional witch-finding, charging a person with witchcraft and employing a witchfinder.
Recently, the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation wrote Inspector General of Police George Kainja to help deal with the vice following revelations that 46 people were killed last year over witchcraft allegations.