Nkhatabay Witchdoctors Continue to Practice in Defiance of Court Orders

By Thula Chisamba

In what Government officials might interpret as contempt of court, some traditional witchdoctors in Nkhatabay are still offering their services despite the recent court order, which banned them from operating in the country.

On Saturday, The Malawi Star found that most temples used by traditional healers, were still patronised by locals.

In Chitheka area, withdoctors (or herbalists as they are also known), continue to conduct the traditional spiritual dance called ‘Vimbuza,’ which is believed to have some healing powers.

An herbalist only known as Fwiti zakomwa, told our reporter that his spiritual gift to help sick and traumatized people cannot be restricted by artificial laws.

“We don’t just wake up one day and claim that I am a herbalist. This is a gift given to us by our ancestors thus we do what the spirits tell us,” he said.

Another witchdoctor, Thembuzawu, echoed the same sentiments, citing that their failure to comply with spiritual demands comes at their own risk.

Thembuzawu clarified that a witchdoctor can even die or go mad once he fails to carry out the duties assigned to him by his ancestors.

“It’s a risky decision when an herbalist dares to deny duties of his ancestors. People die and I have even seen others getting mad,” he claimed.

In this area, most people seem to believe in the witchdoctors’ trade. In each of the temples we checked, the locals praised the withdoctors.

According to on local, very recently people in the area invited a witchdoctor, who conducted a witch hunt. About five suspected witches were chased out of the village at one time.

Drums for traditional healers are said to be thumped every Wednesday and Saturday.

According to some, the sick get healed and those bewitched get relieved.

Nonetheless, witchdoctors are believed to be behind the rise in cases of albino abductions.

It’s believed that these predators are being urged by such spiritual men to kill or exhume for the prized albino bones.

The witchdoctors we interviewed in Nkhatabay claimed to have joined the campaign against torture of people with albinism, citing that their ancestors would never allow them to spearhead such evil practices.

“My duties are not urging people to be killing albinos but helping the sick to get healed and relieving the bewitched people. In fact, count me in the campaign against that,” said Thembuzawu.

On his part, Fwiti zakomwa described herbalists who are fostering the malpractices as satanists and not gifted witchdoctors.

“They belong to something satanic and not our spiritual family. Albinos are people like everyone else, thus they deserve justice,” said the herbalist.

Recently, the Mzuzu High Court Judge, Dingiswayo Madisi, ruled that herbalists are banned from offering their services in the country, owing to claims that they are behind the rampant killings of albinos.

When we went to press, Nkhatabay police publicist, Sergeant Ignatius Esau, was unavailable for comment.

36 Comments on Nkhatabay Witchdoctors Continue to Practice in Defiance of Court Orders

  1. traditional doctors… what harm do they do to the society as it is some 1nz belief that makes them visit traditional doctors…. according to wat they leave on and religious bealif towards life… ! Naturally we africans are bealivers… so i beilve in God and any natural existance

  2. traditional healers are not witchdoctors. Above all, African tradion Religion (ATR) is not banned constitutionally, why then barring these traditional doctors who are just practising what their religion demands? Deal with the buyers amangwetu. Nkhata ndimadziwa ine ndi imeneyo. Simasekerera zopusa. Bravo Tongans!

  3. I’m a Christian
    But it pains me to see us look down on our ancestral practices.
    Let’s give traditional healers and herbalists their respect.

    That said….was it not ‘foreign asing’angas’ who were banned.
    Komanso our borders need to be secured……Albino bones are not being ‘used’ here but perhaps Tanzania where that juju is popular

  4. Pronouncing judgements in our law courts in pretext we’re in England won’t help our nation.Which law of our land prohibit the practice of traditional medicine? the judgement was misjudged by the judge himself.Traditional medicine is not meant for rituals only,sometimes patients are withdrawn from hospitals for traditional healers after being failed by the white man’s chemstry.Deal with the ritualists not otherwise.

    • Agree, the Media is to blame, they just love negative stories, they report as if they have established the racket behind this and that the human bones are indeed fetching Millions of Kwachas, that is why the killings are still on the rise. Instead of telling people the truth that there is no market what so ever for the bones and that only had work in School, business, work is the reason people are successful, they are busy accusing every body from the Police, religious leaders, political leaders, even the whole Head of state for failing to stop the vice are they serious?
      Which Gvt or Church can condone that nonsense?
      Malawians, the painful truth is that there is no market for the bones any where in the world, that is why your friends have been caught red handed with their bones intact and are in police custody because they failed to find a market. So if you kill, know that you are just committing murder for no gain, but just to rot in jail, the media knows this, but cannot tell you because they love negative stories, to confuse you and me because that to them is their freedom of expression which is so short of responsibility towards people with albinism.

  5. The media in Malawi loves negative stories and are perpetrators of these murders, every story on the murder ends with “it is believed that bones of people albinism are fetching huge fortune,”who did the media interview and told them this!

  6. its not nkhatabay only, its difficult to follow what the court ruled. do they have people to followup, most of these which doctors operate in villages how sure are you, the reporter that its only nkhatabay, come to my area on saturday, we have them displaying there meds

  7. I am a christian but I don’t care about anybody’s religious beliefs or background because if drums can be used to heal someone then i don’t see anything evil about it. And what is the connetion with albino killings? Don’t mess with culture else you mess yourself

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