The Livingstone Local Court has ordered a 47-year-old man of Maloni Compound in Livingstone to compensate a 75-year-old man with K1,500 for accusing him of practising witchcraft at his home during the night.

This is the matter in which Jason Masumba, 75, of Livingstone’s Maloni Compound had sued Benny Kangwa, 47, of the same area, demanding K5,000 compensation for defamation of character.

When the matter came up before Senior Local Court Magistrate Essau Daka and Local Court Magistrate Ruth Liato recently, Masumba told the court that on June 29, last year, around 17:00 hours, he went to Pumalanga bar with his friend.

He narrated that upon arriving, he told his friend to sit outside the bar as he went to the counter to buy beer.

Masumba said before he could buy the said beer, he heard the defendant, Benny, shouting on top of his voice, saying ‘you should stop playing around my home at night practising witchcraft’ whilst pointing at him.

He narrated that later on after his friend had joined him, Benny continued accusing him of practising witchcraft at his home and threatened to burn him and his friend if he continued to do so.

“I later went to call my friend to bear me witness because I didn’t know most of the people at the bar. As he came in, Benny continued shouting at me, including my friend Bernard Chipoya, saying ‘you should stop playing around at my home practising witchcraft, if you continue I will burn both of you using petrol’,” Masumba narrated.

He said when he reported the matter to the area Chairman, the Chairman told him that he could not handle matter because threats on their lives was a police matter.

Masumba further told the court that he reported the matter to Linda Police Station yet nothing was done concerning his complaint, but was advised to sue.

He said because of that he wants Benny to compensate him with K5,000 for defaming his character.

And Masumba’s friend, Chipoya, 75, told the court that on the material day, they went to Pumalanga bar in Maloni Compound where the defendant falsely accused him and Masumba of practising witchcraft at his home.

“As Masumba went to buy beer at the counter, he came back to call me and we went together. As soon as we approached the counter, Benny started shouting at Masumba and me, falsely accusing us of practising witchcraft at his house and warned us to stop, if not, he will burn us using petrol,” Chipoya said.

The defendant, however, denied the claim, saying he did not accuse Masumba of practising witchcraft because he was not a witchdoctor to know whether he was a wizard.

Benny said he was just complaining of witchcraft practices at his house during the night as there were a lot of strange things happening there.

He added that he was only complaining to himself when Masumba was passing.

In cross-examination, Benny failed to challenge Masumba and his witness, Chipoya.

The court then ordered that he compensated Masumba with K1,500, to be paid in monthly instalments of K200, effective January 31, 2019, until the whole amount was fully paid.