Horror is what a man in Balaka experienced two weeks ago when a visit to a traditional doctor almost cost him his life.
He had gone to the witchdoctor to seek supernatural protection from harm, but got a near-death experience instead.
In his search for immortality, Mbwana Ali, 39, approached Anusa Ziyaya, 50, for a touch of his concoctions as a preventative measure from any form of attempts on his life.
But after being given the ‘protection’, things turned nightmarish for Ali when he demanded a trial from his doctor to ascertain the efficacy of the charms.
According to Balaka Police spokesperson Joseph Sauka, Ali asked the witchdoctor to hit him with a hammer to test the effectiveness of the protection.
“Ziyaya was approached by Ali for charms to protect him from knife stabs, gunshots or being hit by a hammer. He assured Ali that he knew the medicine, which he gave him.
“Ali then asked the traditional doctor to smash him with a hammer to test the waters. Soon after the hammering, Ali fell unconscious and when he regained consciousness, he screamed for help and reported the matter to police. He had bad injuries,” said Sauka.
He said Ali told police that he had plans to travel to South Africa, a country that has a reputation for violent crime. The spectre of being harmed in South Africa scared him; hence, the decision to seek Ziyaya’s services.
Sauka said Balaka Police arrested Ziyaya and charged him with unlawful wounding, which is a crime in terms of Section 241 (a) of the Penal Code.
Ziyaya pleaded guilty to the offence. In mitigation, he asked for forgiveness and leniency, saying he is an orphan with a family to look after.
Balaka second grade magistrate Maxwell Boaz sentenced the traditional doctor to 40 months imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful wounding.
Boaz said Ziyaya deserved a severe sentence to serve as a lesson to him and other herbalists who cheat their clients.
Efforts to speak to Ali on the issue proved futile.
Ziyaya comes from Chakola Village, Sub-Traditional Authority Kachenga in Balaka, while Ali comes from Kefa Village, Sub-Traditional Authority Kalembo in the district.