A 40-year-old woman of Lusaka’s Lilanda has learnt the hard way about the Witchcraft Act when the local court fined her K700 for calling a 77-year-old man a wizard.
Senior Court Magistrate Lewis Mumba sitting with Magistrate Petronella Kalyelye at Matero Local Court ordered Judith Mukuka of Lilanda compound to compensate Eleckson Mudenda of the same compound for defamation of character calling him a wizard.
Mudenda told the court that Mukuka was his neighbour and that on March 11,2015 from 20 :30 hours to 22 hours, she was shouting on top of her voice accussing him of being a wizard.
He said the following day, Mukuka continued shouting from 10 :00 hours to 11 :00 hours in a similar manner.
Mudenda said his character was destroyed because a lot of people came to watch and witness what was happening.
He said he has lived in Lilanda for 43 years and no one has called him a wizard.
Mudenda’s witness, Margaret Kabumbwe,31, said Mudenda was her father and that Mukuka was her neighbour.
She explained that Mukuka was pointing at their house when she was shouting on top of her voice and that when she asked why she was behaving in that manner, she responded that it was because Mudenda was a wizard.
Asked by the court the distance between the two neighbours, Kabumbwe said there was just a road between them.
In defence, Mukuka denied calling Mudenda a wizard saying she was talking loudly to her 15-year-old daughter.
She said she was wondering whether her daughter had been bewitched because she was refusing to enter the house after she heard stones being thrown on the roof.
Mukuka also claimed that one of Mudenda’s sons went to her house carrying a knife and accussed her of being a prostitute and that she suffered from HIV.
The following day Mudenda’s son continued shouting at her and wanted to beat her but she was rescued by passers-by.
Mukuka’s witness, John Nkoma said when he was in Mukuka’s house they heard a stone hitting the roof and that when he went outside he found Mukuka’s daughter with a man who ran away.
He explained that when Mukuka was talking to her daughter, Mudenda’s son threw stones on the roof of her house and broke the bulbs.
Passing judgment, Magistrate Mumba said that Mukuka failed to convince the court that she never accused Mudenda of being a wizard.
The court ordered Mukuka to pay the fine with initial payments of K300 followed by monthly payment of K150.