Govt will address sorcery accusations: Basil

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to address sorcery accusations and gender-based violence against women and girls.

Speaking at the close of the 31st synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG in Sinesine-Yongomugl district’s Mogl village of Simbu Province, Sam Basil noted the importance of the government-church partnership in delivering much-needed services to the people.

Basil, a member for the church, has cautioned the church to be mindful of sorcery, brushing aside claims of its existence.

 “We must not acknowledge its existence. The courts find it hard to establish it as it is to do with spiritualism.

 “If and when we tolerate its existence in our society, those accused can be tortured without any second thought.

“Relatives of those who die naturally or from illness are finding ways to accuse people of sorcery. I am afraid they may capitalise on it to torture them,” he told the synod on Friday.

He said instances of sorcery accusation and related torturing were common in both rural and urban areas. 

The Bulolo MP challenged the church to take ownership of the issues and find ways to provide solutions to them. 

Meanwhile, learning about the church’s board which has resolved its position on certain issues affecting the people, he commended the church for taking that bold stance.

Basil assured them that he with his other fellow MPs – who are members of the church – would continue taking a lead role to voice its concerns as and when the need arises at the floor of Parliament.

He also hailed the improvement in the leadership of the church.

Opening the synod early last week, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made a call to churches to take lead in the fight against sorcery accusations and gender-based violence against women and girls.

(Minister Basil, left, with Sinesine-Yongomugl MP Kerenga Kua and Eric Kwa, the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) Secretary, during the synod)

Press release