Dedza elderly woman murder incident under investigation

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) says they are in the final stages with investigation on the matter which an elderly woman from Dedza was stoned to death over witchcraft allegations and the suspects will be brought before the court soon.

The woman, Stella Chigule, was killed on October 18, by members of her own community at Fumbwa village, Traditional Authority Tambala and his body was set ablaze.

Following the incident, the Police arrested and are still keeping in custody three men in connection with the murder.

Speaking to YFM online, MPS Spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said their investigations are at an advanced stage however, he declined to disclose the dates for the trial.

Kadadzera said: “The three suspects are on remand in prison and when everything in as far as paper work on investigations is ready, they will appeal before court to answer charges of murder.”

The three suspects, who are in Police custody are Stefano Grevazio ,30, Andrea Diverson, 27, and Wessly Petulo 30.

The incident raised public alarm including President Lazarus Chakwera who describe it as “disgusting and barbaric”.

In a related development, the Malawi Network for the Older Persons Organisation (MANEPO) and Women Lawyers Association (WLA) announced that they will petition the State President on November 13 to present grievances over the rampant attacks and killings of the elderly.

Statistics show that in 2020 alone, there have been over eight cases where older men and women were killed just on suspicion of practicing witchcraft despite Malawi’s Witchcraft Act of 1911 not recognising its existence.

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