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COMMENT: Expand dispute resolution to cover even the unexpected

05 Jun, 2020 - 20:06 0 Views
COMMENT: Expand dispute resolution to cover even the unexpected

B-Metro

Wonders never cease. Cases of witchcraft and the insanely bizarre stories that this B-Metro is known to report on are quite difficult to believe.

We have reported on countless cases of allegations of witchcraft and goblins, and in most cases, those accused of being involved in such acts of the dark world rarely own up but strenuously deny, at times despite evidence against them.

In our previous edition we carried a story of a Bulawayo woman that besieged a pastor at his home early in the morning accusing him of killing her goblins. This was a rare confession that must have sent the chills down the spines of the neighbours. The religious folk will point to the Biblical signs of the end times, traditionalists will point to the need to cleanse such areas and rid the possessors of such powers of the underworld of their tools, while others may still maintain that the confessing woman had lost her marbles.

Either way, there is no denying that this dark other world does exist though people will differ on how far to believe in some of the things.

What we find quite interesting is how do such disputes get resolved legally. We have a case of the owner of mystical creatures confronting a religious leader over what she termed the destruction of her goblins through the use of holy oil by her tenants, who are members of the accused pastor’s church.

It is one thing for a prophet or tsikamutanda, to prophesy or expose someone for allegedly bewitching somebody else but quite another for one alleged to be a witch to come forward and complain that someone was interfering with their practice, to the extent of disarming them by killing some of their “live tools”. We believe our dispute resolution needs to encompass such situations so that there can be legal recourse.

Courts rely on tangible evidence in prosecution but in this case, the only evidence would be the attack on the pastor, breach of peace by a resident that claimed that the cleric had killed her goblins. These are matters that communities grapple with daily and sometimes lead even to killings but to a legal mind the underlying mysterious causes would never come to the fore since they would be deemed to be nonsensical.

We believe the woman that berated the pastor is entitled to her peace and if she feels aggrieved she should have room for recourse in the same manner that her tenants should also be afforded an opportunity to live freely without being subjected to any harassment by unseen beings.

The question is whether we have reached that point where such disputes can be resolved to the satisfaction of all since in this particular case the bitterness of the woman was quite palpable in that she did not mind being the talk of the area by confronting the pastor and being pictured picketing.

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