By BRIAN HATYOKA –
A magistrate in Livingstone has called for the amendment of the Witchcraft Act so that those practising witchcraft can be prosecuted in the courts of law.
Edsen Shanduba said witchcraft in Zambia was real and that such matters should not be ignored.
He was speaking in Livingstone on Friday in his contribution to a plenary session of a stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting during the launch of the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) registry in Southern Province.
Mr Shanduba said the judiciary was there to ensure justice was enhanced, hence the need for authorities to consider reviewing the Witchcraft Act.
“There is need to consider amending the Witchcraft Act. We have big problems when matters of witchcraft are brought before the court.
“According to the witchcraft definition, it just talks bones and one wonders if these are bones of an Impala or a donkey. So that definition has given us a slight problem,” Mr Shanduba said.
He said issues of witchcraft had increased in the media and had become a matter of public interest.
“It is my appeal that the Witchcraft Act should be amended,” he said.
The IRC, now a division of the High Court under the amended Constitution, was launched in Livingstone to handle industrial and other labour-related cases in the province.
This means aggrieved parties would no longer have to travel to Lusaka to have their matters heard by the court.
The first circuit would commence in Livingstone on April 4, this year and the last one would be on November 7, 2016.
Each circuit session would be for a period of at least two weeks.
Livingstone High Court Judge-in-Charge Ernest Mukulwamutiyo said the advantage of the new court was that cases started in the industrial relations division would be completed within a year at the most, and judgment delivered within 60 days from the completion of trial.