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The motivation of murders among relatives in Inhambane seems be personal frustration on the part of the perpetrators of the crimes. Police accuse ‘traditional doctors’ of identifying relatives as the people responsible for the failure of young people, a practice AMETRAMO says it has banned.
Without revealing personal details of the people murdered by children blaming them for misfortune and lack of success in entering the labour market in Inhambane province in southern Mozambique, Police Provincial Command spokesman Juma Aly Dauto told DW Africa that crimes of this type were increasing at a frightening rate, and that the perpetrators were educated individuals, who had attended school.
Dauto accused the Association of Traditional Doctors of Mozambique (AMETRAMO) of acting as the societal protagonist of these acts.
“The children take the lives, especially of their own mothers, claiming they are responsible for their failure in life,” he said, adding that maybe AMETRAMO could explain it to us better.
“There have been recurring cases that we are registering in almost all age groups, [involving] individuals at almost all academic levels,” he revealed.
In response, Bernardo Carlos, President of AMETRAMO in Inhambane, said he regretted the situation, and that healers were barred from divulging the names of sorcerers bewitching patients in order to avoid conflicts within families.
“The healer, if he is working with a patient, cannot say directly to the person: ‘Whoever is bewitching you is so-and-so,'” he explained. “You go to the healer just to find out about your health. Just to look for the problem.”
Lack of awareness
Cecilio Bila, provincial Justice director, told the press earlier this month (05.11) that crime in the region was increasing, and that young people should look for other ways of addressing the problems posed by their integration into society, and find other ways of responding to the challenges of everyday life.
“Because, if we think that our father or our grandmother is bewitching us, and that that is the reason for our misfortune, we will have these crimes in perpetuity. We have to look at ourselves as capable individuals, capable of collaborating for the good of society, and find adequate answers to the challenges we face,” he said.
José Chissuco, a provincial delegate from the Institute for Legal Assistance and Representation (IPAJ), told DW Africa that his institution had received several complaints, such as homicides that eventually divide families.
“Some cases appear at the IPAJ, and our mission is to protect the victim family from these ‘crimes of passion’, crimes which also have to do with cultural problems,” he said.
Police spokesman Dauto said that there was ongoing awareness-raising in communities in an attempt to overcome the scourge of intra-family murder.
“There is work being done in communities through the links with the police to discourage such acts. We have spoken with community leaders, and we have also met religious leaders, asking them to examine their own consciences,” he said.