Man Found with Human Heart Gets Witchcraft Rap

LUSAKA, Zambia (Reuters) - A Zambian man has been jailed for witchcraft after a human heart was found in his possession, and police are investigating a possible murder, state radio and prosecutors said Thursday.

Moses Chisambo, 60, pleaded guilty to charges of witchcraft and possession of various items used in the trade, including a "witchcraft gun" -- a gun-shaped piece of wood believed to be used by witches to kill people at night.

"A fresh human heart wrapped in a chitenge (wrapping cloth) and a witchcraft gun ... used in mysterious killings of people were found in Chisambo's possession," said the radio.

Chisambo, from the Kabompo district, 590 miles northwest of the capital Lusaka, was jailed for 18 months.

Witchcraft is a criminal offense in Zambia, an officially Christian country where black magic is widely practiced in deeply superstitious rural communities.

Zambia's director of public prosecutions Mukelebai Mukelebai said Chisambo had not been charged with a serious more offence because police were still trying to find out how he got the heart.

"If it is found that murder was committed, then such a charge will follow," Mukelebai told Reuters.