Dr. lily white 2012-04-22 08:52:39
** The original article had no paragraph breaks, so I put some in to make it
Zim to recognise witchcraft practices
By Memory Gwiza
WITCHCRAFT practices will, with effect from July this year, be legally
recognised in Zimbabwe following the amendment of some sections of the
Witchcraft Suppression Act.
Until the amendment, it was a criminal offence to brand anyone a witch or
wizard or to accuse someone of meddling in the supernatural, even where
there was tangible evidence. In an interview yesterday, the Minister of
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, confirmed
the amendment of Part VI of Chapter V of the Witchcraft Suppression Act,
which will be implemented in the courts of law with effect from July 1,
“Yes, the Witchcraft Suppression Act was amended and is now at the criminal
courts. Judicial officers are currently being trained so that they can
easily implement it. The President, Cde Robert Mugabe has assented to the
amendments and criminals will be charged for breaching certain sections of
the Act as from July this year,” he said.
Part VI of chapter V of the Witchcraft Suppression Act now reads: “Whoever
accuses a person of witchcraft means to indicate that the person (is
possessed by a spirit or) used non-natural means (witch-finding) to cause
death, injury, disease or inability in any person. This also means that
destruction or loss of or damage to property of any description was
“Any person who engages in any practice knowing that it is commonly
associated with witchcraft, shall be guilty of engaging in a practice
commonly associated with witchcraft if having the intention to cause harm to
“Such practice inspires in the person against whom it was directed, a real
fear or belief that harm will occur to that person or any member of his or
her family, and be liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or imprisonment
for a period not exceeding five years or both,” reads the emended part VI of
It further reads that “Spoken words shall not in themselves constitute a
practice commonly associated with witchcraft for the purpose of this
section, unless accompanied by or used in connection with other conduct
commonly associated with witchcraft.”
The amendment also makes it a criminal offence for anyone to knowingly
assist a person in meddling with witchcraft. “For the avoidance of doubt it
is declared that any person who assists another person to commit the crime
of engaging in a practice commonly associated with witchcraft, by giving
advice or providing any substance or article to enable that person to commit
the crime, shall be liable to be charged as an accomplice to the crime.
“A court shall not take judicial notice of any practice that is said to be
commonly associated with witchcraft, but any person who, in the opinion of
the court, is suitably qualified to do so on account of his/her knowledge,
shall be competent to give expert evidence as to whether the practice that
forms the subject of a charge under this section is a practice that is
commonly associated with witchcraft, whether generally or in the particular
area where the practice is alleged to have taken place,” reads part of the
The amendment also criminalises the hiring of witch hunters and those
convicted will be fined or jailed for periods of between one and five years.
“Any person who groundlessly or by the purported use of non-natural means
accuses another person of witchcraft shall be guilty of indicating a witch
or wizard and liable.
“It shall not be a defence to a contravention of a subsection involving the
purported use of any non-natural means for the person charged to prove that
the person he/ she accused actually engaged in any practice commonly
associated with witchcraft, but the court may suggest such circumstance as
mitigatory when assessing the sentence to be imposed.”
The amendment disqualifies as defence to murder, assault or any other crime
that an accused was influenced by a genuine belief that the victim was a
witch or wizard and a court would only use it as mitigation.
*** Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com ***
3,4-methylened 2012-04-22 08:52:41
W**? It is so bizarre to read, that they seem to have legal recognition
of the power of witchcraft, if only its psychological effects on those
who believe themselves to be victims of witchcraft. My interpretation is
that the Zimbabwe politburo amended the law to allow Mugabe to declare
all his political opponents to be witches and have them burned at the
stake and if their friends and family aren’t careful they’ll be convicted
as witch accomplices and burnt too.
Dirk bruere 2012-04-22 08:52:46
Since in southern Africa alone there are hundreds of alleged witches
burned to death every year it’s not suprising that in at least one
nation throwing off its ‘Western liberal oppressors’ it will now be done
I would have thought Wiccans everywhere would applaud being taken at
Bobbie sellers 2012-04-22 08:52:51
Well what they call witchcraft and what wiccans call witchcraft
may be completely different. But more importantly it suppresses
“witchfinding” i.e. placing the blame on the usual suspects whereupon
the presumed witches would be burned.
Of course you may be correct in your assumption regarding the
intention of political suppression.
bliss — C O C O A Powered… (at california dot com)
bobbie sellers – a retired nurse in San Francisco
“It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of cocoa that the thoughts acquire speed,
the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion.”
–from Someone else’s Dune spoof ripped to my taste.