- Three in four Malawians (74%) believe “a lot” in the existence of witchcraft. Only 14% say it doesn’t exist (Figure 1)
- Educated citizens (82%) are more likely to believe in the existence of witchcraft than those with no formal education (71%) (Figure 2).
- More than six in 10 Malawians (63%) say that in their communities, elderly people are most often associated with witchcraft (Figure 3).
- Almost three-fourths (72%) of Malawians say witchcraft should be criminalised (Figure 4).
Most Malawians strongly believe that witchcraft exists and support changing the law to criminalise its practice, a new Afrobarometer survey shows.
Educated citizens are more likely to believe in the existence of witchcraft than those with no formal education. Most Malawians associate witchcraft with using magic to kill people, make them sick, or bring them misfortune.
The survey shows that the elderly, especially elderly women, are at greatest risk of being victims of witchcraft accusations.
A majority of Malawians favour changing the law to criminalise witchcraft, providing support for the findings and recommendations of the Special Law Commission on the Review of the Witchcraft Act in Malawi.
These findings also suggest a need for raising public awareness and instituting measures to protect segments of the population at risk of being accused of witchcraft.