Superstition and witchcraft among the Fipa people of Southwest Tanzania have attracted the attention, and condemnation, of the Prime Minister of the nation, Mizengo Pinda.
Speaking in the Sumbawanga District, he expressed surprise that, in this day and age, people still accepted superstitious beliefs. Apparently a common superstition is that some individuals can use witchcraft to steal crops and transport them to their own farms. Mr. Pinda condemned this way of thinking. He also debunked the idea that people who have died have necessarily been bewitched. “There is nothing like it in this century,” the Prime Minister said.
He emphasized the importance of studying modern farming techniques—proper planting, effective weeding, timely harvesting—rather than continuing to accept superstitious approaches to agriculture. He also talked up the need for a good education so people can learn the best ways of doing things. “It is very important to abandon these wrong beliefs because there is nothing like superstition. Let us emphasize on education as the only way to broaden our thinking,” the Prime Minister urged.
During his visit, Mr. Pinda officially opened a new school in the Miangalua ward of the district and agreed to personally sponsor a boy from the school who is doing very well academically. His wife, Mrs. Tunu Pinda, urged the young female students at the school to focus on their studies rather than just on marriage. She contributed five million Tanzanian shillings (US $3,700) to the school.