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15 elderly people killed since January

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A total of 15 elderly people have been killed since January this year on suspicion of practising witchcraft, according to the Malawi Network of Older Persons’ Organisations (Manepo), but authorities say the figure could be higher than that.

Manepo officials produced the figures in Lilongwe yesterday, when the organisation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Malawi for the provision of resources that will culminate in presentation of awards to journalists that report on elderly people issues.

Manepo Country Director Andrew Kavala said order persons are living dangerously and not free in their own country.

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“We have always reminded Malawians that if somebody is aggrieved, the best way is to seek redress from either the Malawi Police Service or even the Judiciary.

“No one should, at any cost and any point in time, act to be the prosecutor, judge and accuser because [by doing that] you are aborting justice in the process. Mob justice should be condemned by everyone in Malawi,” he said.

Malawi Police Service spokesperson Peter Kalaya, while not confirming the figure of 15, said the figure could be higher than that.

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Kalaya told The Daily Times Monday that police document all mob justice cases, including those of the elderly people killed on suspicion of practising witchcraft.

Misa Chairperson Tereza Ndanga said journalists might not have done well in covering deeper issues and analysing issues to bring to light the plight of elderly persons.

“We thought that that gap could be covered in a number of ways, one of which is partnering an organisation that is invested in issues to do with order persons,” she said.

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