Zimbabwe ‘witches’ to have medical tests
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – Court officials in Zimbabwe say two self-confessed witches who claim to have flown on a magical grain threshing basket are to undergo medical and psychiatric examinations.
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.
Belief in witchcraft and tribal superstition is common in Zimbabwe.
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