HARARE – Two suspected “witches” who caused a stir in Harare’s Budiriro suburb early last month will not go to prison after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of public indecency.
Christine Nyamupandu and Elinet Ben, who were initially facing charges related to witchcraft, escaped a custodial sentence yesterday after Mbare magistrate Reuben Mukavhi wholly suspended a four-month prison term against them.
Mukavhi rewarded the women for not wasting the court’s time by pleading guilty to the charges.
The women spent close to a month in remand prison after Mukavhi ordered that they undergo psychiatric examination.
They were initially identified as Maria Moyo, 30 and Chipo Chakaja, 26 from Gokwe, Nembudziya, before prosecutor Fanuel Madanire discovered that they had given false names.
Madanire told the court that Chakaja’s real name is Christine Nyamupandu, while Moyo’s real name is Elinet Ben. He said the two are from Chihota Communal Lands.
During a bail application, they told the court the act had been stage-managed.
They were jointly-charged with Alfred Mupfumbati, who will appear in court today for trial, after denying the charges.