Written by on March 8, 2019

A LUSAKA Pastor and four women of one family have been dragged to court by the latter’s aunties for accusing them of practicing witchcraft.

The plaintiffs are Memory Mwanza Makani, Kudzai Mwanza, Grace Mwanza, and Joyce Mwanza while the defendants include Pastor Evans Mukonda of Rehoboth Prophetic Remnants International Church, Sarah Mwanza, Loveness Mwanza, Chipo Mwanza, and Diana Malama Mwanza.

Joyce Mwanza told Lusaka Magistrate Nsunge Chanda on Wednesday that she and other   plaintiffs were born from a polygamous father who had three wives and that their mother was the second wife while Sarah Mwanza and Loveness Mwanza are granddaughters of the first wife; Chipo Mwanza is daughter of the third wife, and that Diana Malama Mwanza is married to the two of the defendants’ brother.

Ms. Mwanza, 43, a secondary school teacher, said problems started last September after the death of their sister Marjory Mwanza, who was born from their late father’s first wife.

She said after Marjory’s burial on September 11, 2018, the family agreed to have overnight prayers in memory of the deceased.

She said they later met at a family farm in Chongwe where their older brother Philip Mwanza said the gathering was about Sarah Mwanza’s problems in her life and marriage.

She said Mr. Mwanza told the meeting that Sarah, who got married in July 2018, went to Pastor Mukonda who discovered that she had a problem and that the clergyman even stayed with her for three weeks while praying for her.

Ms. Mwanza said Pastor Mukonda then started praying and a number people from the family of their late father’s first wife started speaking in tongues and making strange movements.

“As they continued speaking in tongues, Sarah fell down and started crying. She fell near the legs of Grace (one of the plaintiffs) and started hitting her own head while asking Grace why she was troubling her. It was so shocking because my mother, my sisters and I did not manifest or speak in tongues.

“Chipo also started manifesting, stood up and started calling out our names that we shouldn’t be too smart because we knew what we had been doing,” Ms. Mwanza said.

She said as the defendants continued making strange movements, one of them beat her 87-year-old mother, forcing the old woman to seek emergency medical attention.

She said later Pastor Mukonda demanded for soil from the family grave site within the farm premises, and put it in a clay pot, which he later broke in the middle of the sitting room where he had earlier poured an unknown liquid from the bottle he was carrying.

Ms. Mwanza told the court that she and her sisters ordered Pastor Mukonda to pray for them but he refused and only poured the same liquid on their heads.

She said the family later attempted to reconcile but soon after the first reconciliatory meeting, Diana Malama Mwanza accused the plaintiffs of being witches.

“We were not satisfied and we thought we needed an independent person to hear us. That is why we brought this case to court for defamation of character. Through the court, we want them to pay damages they have caused in the family. Right now we are not talking the way our father left us,” she said.

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