As people were still celebrating the New Year on January 1, people of Njambe Village in Chiradzulu District had a rude awakening when an alleged witchcraft ‘plane’ crash-landed at a certain house.
They quickly converged at the place, where owner of the house Estelle Bandawe told Malawi News that she believes the plane might have been driven by an unknown man, saying a male voice was calling out her husband’s name around 2am.
‘’I just heard the voice calling my husband’s name but I did not answer since my husband was at work because he works at night in Limbe. So the caller called the name for a number of times then stopped. I just let it be and slept, only to find that something strange was in front of my house in the morning,’’ she said.
Bandawe said she had no clue as to what the object was but narrated that last year, her child died suddenly without suffering from any disease, which had prompted the family to seek help from a traditional doctor.
Asked to explain if the ‘plane-crash’ is part of what the traditional doctor said would happen, Bandawe said she could not comment on such issues in public.
One of the traditional doctors in the district, a ‘Doctor’ Kankhuni said said what had crash-landed at the Bandawe’s home was a witchcraft ‘plane’.
‘’I can tell you that what you have seen is a witchcraft plane and do not undermine it because it can carry more than 20 people at once. You did not see any person in the plane because they had escaped. Had it been they had been severely injured, you would have found them there,’’ he added.
Despite many believing its existence, Malawian laws do not recognise witchcraft.
Recently, the Malawi Law Commission (MLC), through its commissioner Wezi Kayira, said MLC recommends that there be a change of the Witchcraft Act scheme to recognise the belief of witchcraft in order to align the scheme of legislation pertaining to witchcraft with the socio-cultural values and beliefs of Malawi society.
MLC Chairperson Justice Robert Chinangwa (retired) indicated that there were two schools of thought, one of which backs the existence of witchcraft while the other dispels such a notion.
He, however, said their findings show that the majority of Malawians believe in witchcraft.