A 65-year-old woman suspected to be practising witchcraft has had her house set ablaze four times within a year by unknown arsonists at M’gona Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Tengani in Nsanje.
In an interview on Monday, Group Village Head (GVH) M’gona said the victim, Dinalesi Thumba, is being accused of training children witchcraft.
She said the matter was settled by police at the end of last year, but some unknown people have continued to torment Thumba by setting her house on fire.
“This is the fourth time this has happened, but in the latest incident, which happened last week, the woman was not injured as she was out of the house, but all her property was damaged,” said GVH M’gona.
M’gona said she has advised Thumba’s relatives to take her into their custody for her safety.
The incident has been confirmed by Tengani Police Unit officer-in-charge Francis Mkandawire.
He said police identified one suspected arsonist who is at large in Mozambique.
“We are still negotiating with the Mozambican police to help us locate him,” explained Mkandawire.
He said police have also intensified patrols in the area.
“Let me put it on record here that as police we have the welfare of the elderly at heart, and in collaboration with the community policing forum, we are patrolling the area all night to ensure safety of this woman and others,” said Mkandawire.
Meanwhile, secular humanist George Thindwa has described Thumba’s situation as unfortunate, wondering why some individuals still subject the elderly to such humiliation.
Thindwa has also asked the police and other authorities to provide enough security to Thumba and other elderly people who are being targetted.