Police in Western Province have arrested a witchdoctor for torturing residents suspected of practicing witchcraft.
In an interview, Western Province Police commissioner Charles Lungu confirmed the arrest of Shadreck Chimbinde, adding that the suspect had been slapped with 32 counts.
Meanwhile, UPND councillor for Mazili ward in Limulunga District Mubukwanu Sile, gave an account of how the witch finder was torturing people suspected of practicing witchcraft, disclosing that a pregnant woman delivered in his custody while being abused.
Sile said it was believed that some senior police officers in the region where on the witchdoctor’s payroll and afraid to arrest him, but Lungu said officers have since arrested the culprit.
“We are aware of him; he has been arrested and charged with 32 counts by the court of law. And at the moment he is in police custody. He has actually appeared in court in Kalabo and he will be once more appearing in court on Monday next week,” said Lungu.
And councillor Sile narrated that the accused had been cutting tattoos on suspected wizards while forcibly detaining them in his custody.
“There is one very unfortunate activity here in Western province where a witchdoctor is going round catching perceived or suspected witches; he detains them for over a week. Wherever he goes he constructs a tent where he detains those people and then starts torturing them. And just recently, a pregnant young lady was also detained on suspicions of being a witch and she even delivered at the same detention camp in Situlu,” Sile said.
“And that witch finder also cuts some tattoos on those people, claiming that after they have been tattooed and he puts some concoctions on the tattoos, they will no longer be witches. That has been reported to the police several times because that is assault. This witchdoctor has become rich now because he actually charges people as many as 10 to 15 herds of cattle. This witch finder has been carrying the same activities for the last 10 to 15 years but recently he was jailed for 4 years for the same assault, he tortured an old woman who even died. But after he came out of prison, he has started again. Now he has been doing it for two years.”
Sile disclosed that the witchdoctor was operating in different parts of Western Province.
“He has been all over Mongu, Kalabo, Lukulu and Limulunga districts. He set up detention centres in the following villages: Linu, Situlu, Ngonjongo, Nakasheke, and Nangulwe,”revealed Sile.