Witchcraft sends health personnel packing

A GOVERNMENT clinic has been closed in South Downs agricultural area of Kitwe because any health personnel sent to work there flees suspected witch-craft incidents, Kitwe District agricultural coordinator (DACO) Raphael Muyaule has said.

Dr Muyaule has since told the people in the area that the clinic or health post would only be opened if the people in the area stopped threatening health personnel with witch craft.

He was speaking in South Downs area recently when he officiated at the opening of the K145, 000 multi-purpose storage shed which the people in the area would be using for the purpose of grain storage, inputs stocking as well as a marketing hub which shall service all community members.

The shed was constructed by SAP together with the community with funding from DFID through Oxfam International Zambia Programme, under the project entitled ‘Increasing women smallholder farmers’ agency and leadership in rural livelihoods.

“I know that this storage shed is a good thing which has come here, but let me hasten to say issues of witch craft have led to the closure of the  clinic in this area. Every health personnel sent here flees because of suspected witch craft incidences.

“Yes, witch craft incidences when someone is sleeping, he or she just sees a strange thing comes to squeeze his or her neck. Surely with such kind of things, health personnel cannot live in this area. Unless you stop playing such kind of games, the clinic will remain closed,” Dr Muyaule said.

And farmers in the area have appealed to Government to work on the bad state of the road because it was affecting the development of the agriculture sector in the area.

Chairperson of the South Downs farmers, Jane Kapusana, said the bad state of the road was one of the major challenges the farmers in the area were facing, adding that they also needed a dip tank at the newly constructed storage shed.

She however said the soya-beans project was well designed for women empowerment and that it was in the second year where 300 farmers had scored successes.

“In as much as the project has scored successes, there are major challenges like limited access to agricultural inputs, poor road infrastructure. We also need a borehole and a dip tank at the storage shed.

“All in all, the warehouse  project is good because it will enable us to store produce and sell it later when the price is good as opposed to selling it to unscrupulous and exploitative briefcase businessmen and women,” Ms Kapusana said.

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