Woman fined over witchcraft claims

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THE Ndola Main LocalCourt has fined a house wife of Chipulukusu Township K1,000 for allegedly accusing the neighbour of sending rats to bite her at night.
Court principal presiding magistrate Sarah Bwalya sitting with presiding magistrate Dismus Katampi and senior local court magistrate Kaala Nyambe said accusing someone of witch craft was a serious offence.
This was a matter where Stevania Mwaba 57, of House number 77 Chipulukusu Township in Ndola sued Mwansa Kalenga 42, of House number 77 for defamation of character after she was allegedly accused of practicing witchcraft.
Ms Mwaba told the court that her differences with the defendant started in 2010 when she was bitten by rats in her home while sleeping.
She said the defendant blamed her of having sent the rats to bite her which she described as an act of witchcraft.
Following this incident, Ms Mwaba reported the matter to the Residence Development Committee (RDC) chairperson Jonas Musela who gave Ms Kalenga a six months notice to live in harmony with her neighbour.
She said despite the warning, the defendant continued to insult the plaintiff and hence her decision to take the matter to court.
In her defence, Ms Kalenga claimed that there was a person who used to appear in her dreams.
Following the incident, Ms Kalenga complained about her nightmares to the plaintiff who insulted her and threatened to beat her.
She admitted calling the plaintiff a witch because she was pain resulting from the rat bites.
The court also summoned the RDC chairperson Mr Musela  who confirmed hearing defendant call the plaintiff a witch.
He said following this incident he called for a meeting where the defendant was advised  to stop spreading the false allegations.
In submission, the plaintiff told the court that Ms Kalenga had really tormented her for years and appealed to the court to punish her but Ms Kalenga had nothing in submission.
In passing judgment, the court fined Ms Kalenga up to K1000 to be paid five installments of K200, starting from March 25, 2014.
Magistrate Bwalya said rats wonder everywhere and it was wrong for defendant to accuse plaintiff of sending rats to her home.
She said no person keeps rats as they do not choose which house to go to but wonder everywhere as long as they find shelter.
She advised Ms Kalenga to learn to live in harmony with her neighbour.

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