POLICE in Northern Province have arrested 12 people for allegedly inserting sticks into two women’s genitals after accusing them of practicing witchcraft.
Northern Province deputy commissioner of police Milner Muyambango confirmed the arrest of the 12 who include nine men and three women.
Mr Muyambango said the incident occurred on February 3 on Chilubi Island when the women aged 44 and 47 were indecently assaulted after being accused of practicing witchcraft.
He named the suspects as Sharon Chabu, 34, Grace Mwewa, 22, Catherine Mugala, 22, Fredrick Kalenga, 42, Benson Steven, 30 and Evans Sandala, 23.
Others are Muma Sandala, 23, Kelvin Sandala, 19, Komac Sandala, 35, Pentino Musunga, 52 and two 17-year-old boys. All the suspects are from Chilubi Island.
“On February 1, a man went missing on the island and people suspected that he was eaten by a ‘human’ crocodile and they immediately pounced on any person whom they suspected of practicing witchcraft,” Mr Muyambango said.
He said the two women were severely injured and rushed to Santa Maria Hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.
Mr Muyambango said the women’s condition is stable and the missing man has not yet been found but speculation is that he drowned in Lake Bangweulu.
He said the 10 suspects have also been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and malicious damage to property.
“Currently, the situation on the island is calm and the 10 will appear in court soon,” he said.