Monday, July 2, 2012

Naked Zimbabwe Witches Face Court Hearing

The two women who were found naked in the Zimbabwe town of Chinhoyi were arrested and will face a hearing to determine their medical status. The two still are apparently claiming to be witches, explaining that they wound up naked in another resident's yard after being thrown out of a "winnowing basket," a small hand-held basket in which local witches are said to fly to and from their rituals. Prosecutors are seeking psychiatric reports to evaluate whether or not the women are fit to stand trial.

Prosecutors said Thursday two women were arrested earlier this month after they were found naked in the yard of a home in the town of Chinhoyi, 110 kilometers (70 miles) northeast of Harare. The women are charged under witchcraft laws carrying the penalty of a fine.

In local belief, the flat, traditional hand-held winnowing basket is equivalent to a witch’s broomstick in Western fable.

Officials said a Chinhoyi court on Wednesday set another hearing for July 11 to hear medical reports and testimony from tribal healers.

The middle aged women claimed the basket "ditched" them in the yard after a naked night ritual nearby.

One of the other interesting points about this case is that the neighbor's account that the witches were "seeking human flesh" has been dropped completely from the prosecutors' account of the situation. My guess is that the neighbor made it up in an attempt to inspire a mob - in effect, to murder these two women. This being rural Africa, it's probably too much to hope that local law enforcement will charge this individual with attempted murder, which is a real shame.

Also, if any practitioner out there does know how to build a magical flying basket that really works, clue me in. One of those would save me a fortune on gas and car insurance!

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K.M. said...

The closest to a magical flying basket I know of is a Prius. Supposedly. Or the solar-powered flying cars they're supposed to make in the near future. Chop-chop, inventors, get on it!

Scott Stenwick said...

But it's not like a Prius actually flies. This, on the other hand, does - so it's getting closer. The main advantages of a magick-powered basket over a roadable aircraft are (1) it's much cheaper,(2) it runs on magick, so the fuel costs are negligible, and (3) apparently you can take off from your back yard rather than having to drive to an airport.