Traditional Authority Kyungu of Karonga has asked government to ban herbalists for allegedly promoting hatred among people and endangering their lives.
The chief’s appeal comes after some families were attacked in the district on witchcraft allegations early this week. The attacks left 26 people, including 14 children, homeless.
The victims had their homes demolished and burnt after one of them was accused of playing a role in the missing of his father last year.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, Kyungu condemned the fracas he blamed on the herbalist engaged to bring back the missing person.
The chief said people are also being duped as the suspect’s family paid K400 000 to the herbalist to bring back a missing person who was never found.
“These are poor people. Due to low levels of education, they were tricked into believing that the other family was keeping their father. The herbalist demanded K700 000 for the services, but the family raised K400 000.
“This must stop. Innocent children and their mothers are suffering because of a herbalist,” lamented Kyungu.
In his reaction in an interview, Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa said several authorities will have to be involved to ban herbalists.
“The issue of witchcraft is complex in Malawi and it did not start today. Many players and processes will have to be involved,” he said.
Karonga district commissioner Emmanuel Bulukutu said his office has engaged chiefs to help address the matter.