Villagers stone four suspected witches to death in Tanzania By SALUM MAIGE, Mwanza, Tanzania | Thursday, May 10   2012 at  15:43

Four elderly women have been stoned to death and later their bodies burnt to ashes after being accused of witchcraft in Tanzania.

The incident occurred in Geita District, 85km north of the southern Lake Victoria port city of Mwanza.

The women were killed after villagers in the area accused them of keeping hyenas in their houses for witchcraft purposes.

Before the incident, a five-year-old girl Diana Salu from the area disappeared and her fellow children said later that she was snatched by a hyena.

According to the area’s village executive officer, Mr Fransis Kadilo, Salu was found dead the following day.

“The villagers accused the four women of being responsible of her death through witchcraft means, before stoning them and later on setting their bodies on fire,” he said.

Mr Kadilo added that after the group estimated to be in their hundreds, who were searching for the child found her dead, they decided to go from house to house looking for elderly women, and they ended up killing the four.

He named them as  Ms Kulwa Mashana, 65, Ms Laurencia Bangili, 62, Ms Ester Konya, 55 and Ms Roze Mabeshi, 42, all residents of Lwezera Village, in the district.