CASES of witchcraft reportedly happening in schools, especially those in the rural areas, must be condemned in the strongest terms.
We say so because, in our view, these practices or occurrences do not in any way add any value to the schools, the communities around the schools or the people involved. They simply only drive the teachers away through transfers, destabilise the learners, the learning environment and the entire community.
Today, we publish a report about a head teacher at a named school in Shiwangandu District, in Muchinga Province, who has been punished by a Kabanda traditional court for allegedly practicing witchcraft.
But this is in addition to the numerous other reports made throughout last year, by other media organisations, about some teachers, some pupils and some villagers being implicated in cases of witchcraft.
Some cases in point, include the disclosure last year by the Kawambwa Distrct Commissioner, Mr. Ivo Mpasa, to the then Labour Minister Donald Chitotela, that teachers at Alex and Muyembe Basic Schools in Kawambwa district had abandoned the two schools for fear of witchcraft.
The other report was from Kasempa District in Northwestern Province, where some teachers at Kanongo Primary School also had either fled the school or requested for transfers due to high levels of witchcraft in the community.
There was another report from Bahati Constituency in Mansa District, where the teachers at Kasamba Primary School abandoned the school, leaving only the head teacher, because of witchcraft by the community.
Numerous other cases exist, for instance, of teachers or pupils complaining of being haunted by sorcerers, witches, ghosts and other supernatural beings at night or some female teachers complaining of having sleepless nights and nightmares due to alleged witchcraft. They claimed that they sometimes
wake up to find their nightwear on the floor and semen on their private parts.
What we find strange is why some teachers or villagers would want to indulge in witchcraft practices and trouble other innocent souls for no particular reason at all. What is the benefit in doing so, if we may ask?
In our view, teachers and community members are supposed to be partners in the development of the pupils and the upliftment of the communities. But why one group should rise against the other, to the point of forcing them to flee is another issue altogether. People must learn to co-exist because that’s the only way we can attain economic and even social development. Like the adage goes, divided we fall but united we stand.
Please stop the rot. There is totally no benefit in practicing witchcraft.