Victimisation and killing of older women: witchcraft in Magu district, Tanzania

  • Kate Forrester Kibuga Research Consultant, Iringa, Tanzania
  • Alex Dianga HelpAge International Africa Regional Development Centre, Nairobi, Kenya


This article is based on research carried out in four villages in Magu district, Tanzania to examine reasons for the killing of older women suspected of being witches. An aim of the research was to gain knowledge for the design of strategies to address the problem of the killings. It was found that people in Magu district face many new problems brought about by rapid modernisation. In desperation they seek answers from traditional healers, some of whom promote notions of witchcraft. This practice may ultimately lead to the killing of older women who are accused of being witches. To break out of this cycle, an approach is needed to deal with these problems.


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