Activists step up measures against witch killings

Witchcraft beliefs are yet again regarded as the main cause for an increase in crimes and poverty in the community.

The remarks were made recently by a senior Police Officer at Western Songea division, Alfred Mwanisungule, while opening a public dialogue on the welfare of the older people that brought together different groups of people in Ruvuma region.

The Public dialogue was coordinated by Mfuko wa Maendeleo ya Wazee Mfaranyaki (MMWM) through funds from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

He said witchcraft accusations against older people in the district have become rampant, and more common on the outskirts of Songea – leading a worsening state of poverty.


He gave an example of a witchdoctor in Subira village who caused several panics among relatives because of his witchcraft rituals.

On his part an older person who attended the public dialogues and a survivor of witch killings, Dafrosa Nyingo, says it hurts so much to be drawn into social conflicts related to witchcraft accusations. She urges the government to take necessary and lawful action against fake witch doctors that instigate the kind of violence and point accusing fingers against older people.

On their part, youths who participated in the public dialogue, led by Frank Fusi, believe that youths’ indulgence in drug abuse contributes to growing witchcraft beliefs. He says failure to earn a living because of drug abuse forces the latter to think that they have been bewitched. 

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