Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) board member Undule Mwakasungula has bemoaned the rise in mob justice cases in Karonga District.
His concerns follow the death of Hauli Mwaighogha, who was burnt last month at Malema II Village in Paramount Chief Kyungu on witchcraft accusations.
Police later arrested 10 people in connection with the mob justice.
In his remarks on Friday in Karonga during a meeting with traditional leaders and community members, Mwakasungula asked the traditional leaders to be vigilant and address the killings of people suspected of practising witchcraft and people with albinism.
He said: “Traditional leaders are key stakeholders in eradicating mob justice because they live with the community members.
“On the other hand, community members should not take the law into their own hands, but report suspected ‘witchcraft’ cases to authorities because witchcraft is difficult to prove.”
Mwakasungula has since asked the criminal justice system to prosecute people suspected of killing others on witchcraft accusations.
But group village head Kalambo blamed the youth for the rise in mob justice cases.
He said: “Traditional leaders are failing to control the youth who resort to mob justice.
“Again, we ask government to repeal the 1911 Witchcraft Law which does not recognise the existence of witchcraft.”
In an interview, Malawi Law Society president Patrick Mpaka said witchcraft is a complex issue, saying the society is working on the same and will issue its recommendations soon.
Karonga District Peace Committee chairperson the Reverend Patricia Mzumara said her organisation will lobby government to consider repealing the law on witchcraft.
Two months ago, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of Karonga Diocese embarked on a peace-building initiative to reconcile community members at Mpata who clashed over witchcraft accusations. n