Sunday Chanda Responds: Witchcraft is not a religion protected by the Zambian Constitution

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Sunday Chanda
Sunday Chanda

The Witchcraft Act, Chapter 90 of the Laws of Zambia provides for penalties for the practice of witchcraft and related matters.

“Witchcraft” is defined under the above law as:

“…includes the throwing of bones, the USE OF CHARMS and any other means, process or device adopted in the practice of witchcraft or sorcery.” (Empasis added).

Section 5 of the same law provides that:

“Any person who-

(a) represents himself as able by supernatural means to cause fear, annoyance, or injury to another in mind, person or property; or

(b) pretends to exercise any kind of supernatural power, witchcraft, sorcery or enchantment calculated to cause such fear, annoyance or injury;

shall be liable to a fine of not more than one thousand five hundred penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding two years.”

Lastly, section 11(2) of the Act states that:

“Any person who has in his possession any charm or poison or thing which he intends for use either by himself or by some other person for the purpose of any act punishable by this Act shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of not more than one hundred penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding six months, or to both.”

Did the Senegalese under-20 National football team use charms? The evidence was shamesless open for the whole world to see!

The use of charms is within the definition of witchcraft as shown by the law’s definition above.

The Senegalese presented themselves or pretented to exercise witchcraft (by using charms) calculated to cause fear or annoyance to the Zambian team or their supporters.

The Zambian Supreme Court has observed that:

“…a belief in witchcraft, though unreasonable, is prevalent in our community.”

Thus, the action of using charms on a football pitch by the Senegalese had the potential of causing fear or annoyance to the Zambians even to the extent of disrupting the match. Such form of disorder arising from the belief or purported practice of witchcraft is what the Witchcraft Act seeks to prevent.

Is witchcraft protected by the Zambian Constitution as Chipenzi believes? No.

Article 19 (1)-(5) says:

“19. (1) Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this Article the said freedom includes freedom of thought and religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Except with his own consent, or, if he is a minor, the consent of his guardian, a person attending any place of education shall not be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own.

(3) A religious community or denomination shall not be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community or denomination in the course of any education provided by that community or denomination or from establishing and maintaining instructions to provide social services for such persons.

(4) A person shall not be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.

(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that it is shown that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required-

(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion;

and except so far as that provision or, the thing done under the authority thereof as the case may be, is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.”

The above Constitutional provisions guarantee freedom of conscience, religion or belief in general terms but remain alive to the fact that there are certain beliefs that may be injurious to others to the extent of even causing disorder or even death. It is to that extent that the practice or even belief in witchcraft is outlawed and the law so outlawing witchcraft is perfectly Constitutional.

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37 COMMENTS

    • Change like him or not makes a lot of sense to many. He has rightly revealed what the laws states about which craft. Of you can’t engage him knowledgeably just go and start singing about petition.

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    • FIFA, CAF never complained!! What the fuuuuck is wrong with these PF? Now you go to ConCourt over boys soccer game?
      Tomorrow will a swearing ceremony for Juju tribunal.

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    • Sunday Chanda is a better Lawyer than some chaps(like Linda). He has ably sitted the law in Zambia.

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    • If Chanda’s interpretations & his conclusion is anything to go by then he’s equally broken the law. That’s why people say you can’t arrest a thought or a belief. Nobody will arrest Chanda for having a fantasy on Esther Lungu unless he goes on to “injure” her.
      Point being witchcraft is a belief practised more in the mind (like all religions) & that’s how its tolerated.
      Its also stupidity to believe that witchcraft or god had a hand in sunday’s match. We won because we were the best team on the night.

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    • Typical of the air head Sunday Chanda, no wonder he can not pass ZIALE. He has no attention to detail. Chipenzi’s piece was on juju not which craft. Can you imagine such a dull lawyer representing you before a judge?

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    • Is witchcraft protected by the Zambian Constitution as Chipenzi believes?

      Which Chipenzi, ka McDonald? Atase naimwe baChanda why waste time on that Vuvuzela of some known opposition party!

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    • And one would think this is the kind stuff LAZ was meant for! But, alas, they are only concerned about politics, lambasting Govt, and rescuing their cartel friends when they f**k up. Sunday sounds more researched every time he responds than any of these LAZ talking-heads with their press releases.

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    • WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “No body listens to Sunday Chanda”? I AM INTERESTED TO HEAR AND KNOW WHAT WICHCRAFT IS ALL ABOUT AND WHAT THE LAWS OF ZAMBIA SAYS ABOUT WICHCRAFT. MOST OF WHAT HE HAS SAID IS QUOTED FROM THE LAW BOOKS OF ZAMBIA. SO, IS IT AGAIN JUST ABOUT THE SAME SPITEFUL FEELING AGAINST SUNDAY AND OTHER WINNERS OF SOME SORT? GO SUNDAY GO, EXPLAIN TO US.

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    • White man’s constitution.
      Listen to king Chiti, ata se!
      The Witchcraft Act was introduced by the British South Africa Company in 1904 and it has been copied and pasted ad infinitum by brain washed uncle Toms all these years. Today, Witchcraft is no longer an offence in the Western world. What a man does with his s t u p i d i t y is his own indaba.
      Please, concentrate on laws that bring jobs and improve the livelihood of citizens!

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  1. Plz he z nt talking 2 u Emilio whom do think u r by da way who r u coz Zambians does knw u bt Sunday chanda z knwn he z speakin on behalf of lovely dearly Zambians shame on u

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  2. Only witches and wizards would not appreciate what intelligent Sunday Chanda has written. For you witches here, this article is too high for your small brains. You only read in darkness.

    Thank you Sunday. Chipenzi was misleading people supporting Juju.

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    • CHIPENZI, PLIZ, DON’T RUSH TO MAKE COMMENTS ALL THE TIME. YOU ARE NOT ALL KNOWING. YOU WILL SOON BECOME USELESS.

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    • Chipenzi became useless a long time ago! Why should it take you this long to realize that?

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  3. I find “miracles” performed by Papas and prophets an annoyance. Is this also covered?

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  4. UPND everything and anything doesn’t make sense. What makes sense. E shi typical of a troubled child.

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  5. Am just from eating beef, can chanda come, i want to throw bones at him. I just wonder which judge will sit and listen to him prove his case that throwing bones at him is witchcraft, the only thing the judge will look at is annoyance and if those bones caused any bodily harm to him.

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    • @ 10

      No wonder all your posts don’t make sense! Your post has just shown how shallow your discerning power is….ati ”prove his case that throwing bones at him is witchcraft,”..mmmttsssss!

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  6. Chipenzi is one of us in the upnd but I will not sit here to celebrate his ignorance on this matter lol

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  7. Even those so called crush landing wizoz, how many have been prosecuted for witchcraft? Usually they will just be slapped with trespass.

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    • Am disappointed with infact very disappointed, this is not a fora to discuss economy/politics its football i case you forgot.

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  8. In this day and age where anyone can wake up and say anything, i welcome this article providing some clarity on this matter in accordance with the law. Nowadays people have got ‘itchy’ fingers to type anything except the truth. Silly as the debate maybe, Chipezi must sit down and learn!

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  9. But Mr. Chanda why is it that these Senegalese were not arrested because they did that openly. They knew that there is no Police in Zambia or Police do not know this law? They brought embarrassment to their own Country that Senegal is full of wizards. Zambia is a Christian Nation and no weapon fashioned against us shall prosper. They lost, we know it is a game and can be worn by any team but not under witchcraft.

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  10. With due respect, Mr Chanda has merely outlined statutory provisions, and not necessarily the law. The law is what the court says is the law. There has not been any judicial pronouncement on this matter, as far as I am aware. All we are doing is speculating on what the law on witchcraft in Zambia really is!

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  11. I see a lot of Zambian with inembo either on their forehead, hands or waists as is the case with women. Zambians believe in juju too much, it is even advertised by the so called traditional doctors. Don’t be hypocrites witchcraft is predominant in African society.

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  12. Good article, usually witchcraft allegations are hard to prove as they are assumed to be practiced in the dark, thereby erasing any trail of evidence. But in the case of senegal, the alleged witchcraft was done in broad day light, for all to see, with enough evidence to be arrested under the stated constitutional provisions.

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  13. all those chaps use charms once they the reach their career peak of playing in the national team including coaches!!!!!that law should be applied to Zambian players first bfore extending it to others..muleke amanga ba swine imwe!! God forbido…

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  14. I would like chipenzi to declare to Zambians that he is a witch and that is his religion . Chipenzi must also explain to us what benefits witchcraft brings in the lives of those who belong to his religion .
    From my shallow understanding of who witches are, they hide in the darkness their aim is to harm humanity and help Satan to draw man to hell.
    What kind of a Religion that hates humanity, bringing confusion in families bringing diseases in the lives of people.
    Stealing from the unsuspecting innocent, flying on broom sticks in the night .
    Give us a break.

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