POLICE in Rukwa Region have apprehended 60 traditional healers nicknamed ‘lambalamba’ for allegedly involving themselves in practices related to witchcraft.
It was clarified that some of them, who came from as far as Lindi, Morogoro, Kigoma, Coast regions, allegedly cooperated with traditional healers and their agents from Rukwa Region.
It further emerged that lambalamba were enriching themselves by charging citizens in Rukwa Region exorbitantly, assuring them that they had powers to resurrect the dead and clean them from evil spirits as well as protecting them and their households from witches.
Rukwa Regional Police Commander (RPC) Mr Theopister Mallya spoke of the unacceptable social phenomenon during the recent media briefing held here in the municipality.
Detailing the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ms Mallya said the apprehension of the suspects was made possible following a crackdown carried out extensively in Nkasi and Kalambo districts.
She further said that 42 suspects were arrested in Kalambo District, while 18 in Nkasi District.
The RPC explained that though the crackdown yielded fruits law enforcers were afflicted with myriad of challenges during the operations.
She mentioned some of the challenges that wananchi in the region have strong beliefs on lambalamba as they are hosted and subsequently it is difficult to arrest them.
According to the RPC, out of 18 suspects who were arrested in Nkasi District, 15 of them have been arraigned into courts and their cases are in different stages.
“Three suspects are still interrogated by police officers. They will also be arraigned to court once preliminary investigations of their cases are completed,” the regional police boss explained.
The RPC explained that out of 45 suspects apprehended in Kalambo District 42 of them have already been arraigned to court while three will be brought before the court once preliminary investigations of their cases are completed.