03 July 2006

Witchcraft ban ends in Zimbabwe

Thanks to Annan for bringing this to my attention!—
Zimbabwe has unbanned the practice of witchcraft, repealing legislation dating back to colonial rule.

From July the government acknowledges that supernatural powers exists - but prohibits the use of magic to cause someone harm.

In 1899, colonial settlers made it a crime to accuse someone of being a witch or wizard - wary of the witch hunts in Europe a few centuries earlier which saw many people burned at the stake after such accusations.

But to most Zimbabweans, especially those who grew up in the rural areas, it has been absurd to say that the supernatural does not exist.

In fact, it is not hard to find vivid stories about the use of magic.

continued via BBC News


Rev. Illuminatus Maximus said...

very interesting

It has always amused me listening to North American wiccans protest that witches do or don't do this or that and are unfairly persecuted but... read a couple of newswire stories about songoma healers in Angola or witchhunts in Zaire or mutu killings in London and you realize they haven't a clue!

Anyway, great that they removed the ban... it would be cool if the Zimbabwean witchdoctors also formed a professional association as has been done in South Africa, this has raised the profile of the profession in a good way.

Fell said...

Wow, I wasn't aware of the South African association. I'll have to look further into that!

nico said...

" Some Sangomas have been known to abuse the charismatic power they have over their patients by sexually assaulting them, sometimes dressed up as ritual. Repeated use of the same razor blade to make incisions for Muti carries HIV transmission risks in regions where the disease is rife"

Fell said...

Of course that's not cool, but I tend not to trust the public media too much. I never know the biases of those writing. And there is malpractice the world over, so broaden your understanding and apply it there as you would here.

nico said...

okay, fair enough, i guess.