31 August 2007

Sorcerer dies in failed underwater spirit stunt

A TRADITIONAL medicine man in Tanzania drowned after jumping in a river and promising to resurface three days later with relevations from ancestral spirits, police said Tuesday.
The local witch doctor, named as Nyasio Alfonso, staged his ill-fated stunt last week at the village of Masingo in the western Mpanda district near Lake Tanganyika, Rukwa regional police commander Daudi Siadi told AFP.

Dozens of villagers chanted and drummed as the fortune-teller dived to confer with the riverine spirits, he said.

"The incident was reported to us by the village leadership on Sunday, four days after Alfonso threw himself into the river," he said. "His decomposing body was fished out several metres downstream."

The police officer said the incident was the first of its kind in the region. "We are not aware of such practices although belief in witchcraft is widespread in Rukwa region," he said. — AFP

Reprinted from The Zimbabwe Independent

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