From: Zambia Daily Mail
Police in Kafulafuta have launched a manhunt for a traditional healer who has allegedly been using a shotgun to terrorise residents of Masangano in Ndola rural.
The healer is also accused of using charms to trace suspected thieves.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Mary Tembo said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that police recovered the firearm on November 4 when the traditional healer, whose identity has been withheld, ‘arrested’ two men, tied them upside down to a tree and whipped them on suspicion that they are thieves.
“Some members of the public reported to police. This man has been using charms to trace people suspected to have stolen items and illegally arrests people in the area and tortures them,” Ms Tembo said. She said the traditional healer allegedly used the shotgun to threaten people after ‘arresting’ the suspects.
Ms Tembo said on November 4, some residents of Masangano reported to Kafulafuta police that the armed healer had arrested two suspects and tied them to a tree upside down. “This man started whipping the two men and when people saw what he was doing, they reported to the police. Luckily, police quickly responded to the report and rushed to the scene. The traditional healer fled but police found the two men tied to a tree upside down and freed them,” Ms Tembo said. She said police recovered the shotgun and a ball from the scene.
Vigilantism often leads to cruel and unusual punishments but what is particularly worrying about this case is that the “suspects” were singled out based upon superstition and then tortured.
We are all familiar with traditional and alternative healers pretending to be doctors but is this the first time they have pretended to be the law?