News Alert |

TBC Staff, 7/02/06: Zimbabwe has lifted a ban on the practice of witchcraft, repealing legislation dating back to colonial rule.

In 1899, colonial settlers made it a crime to accuse someone of being a witch or wizard-wary of the witch hunts in Europe a few centuries earlier which saw many people burned at the stake after such accusations.

But there will be some legal grey areas, like whether it is legal for a husband to place some charms in his bedroom-charms that may injure his wife if she is unfaithful.

The Witchcraft Suppression Act was used fairly frequently, but prosecuting someone under the new legislation may prove difficult. The new Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act will demand proof that a person has supernatural powers and that they are using them to harm others.

The repealing of the witchcraft laws is another sign that Zimbabwe's government is continuing to move away from Western values and placing more emphasis on the country's own traditions.