Ghana: traditional leaders condemn rise in ritual murder cases in Sefwi Bekwai area

I’ve been doing research on ritual killings in African countries for many years. Yet, it still happens that I am surprised even flabbergasted by the new information I still find. One such experiences happened when reading the article presented below.

Reportedly, the Sefwi Bekwai area in Ghana is notorious for its ritual murders. The traditional leaders who recently spoke out against the rise in murders in their region notably the increase in ritual murders are to be commended for their public outcry. They referred to more than one ritual murder case in the past, one of these cases being the ritual murder of Kofi Kyinto by his uncle, Benjamin Affi, in the 1980s. The small boy was murdered by contract kiilers who had been instructed by Nana Akwasi Agyei of Akaasu.

I will soon provide more details about this notorious ritual murder case as well as others in the region.
(webmaster FVDK)

Screenshot. To listen to this article (13:34 minutes), please click here
Krontihene and Acting President of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Council, Chief of Sefwi Humjibre,
Nana Kwadwo Twum II

Published: August 9, 2022
By: Solomon Ofori – Myjoyonline – Ghana

Chiefs at Sefwi Bekwai have condemned a recent rise in murder cases in the entire traditional area.

According to Nananom, the recent murder cases have brought shame to the people and rekindled the unfortunate and undesirable stigma of a ‘Ritual Murder’ community.

The chiefs’ worry comes on the heels of some recent incidents including the killing of a 27-year-old woman, Martha Tetteh, a Linguist who was shot dead at Sefwi Proso among other bizarre killings.

The Sefwi area unfortunately had infamously gained notoriety in the 1980s for consistently recording mysterious deaths led by the popular Kofi Kyinto ritual murder.

Krontihene and Acting President of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Council, Chief of Sefwi Humjibre, Nana Kwadwo Twum II, in a statement said the traditional leaders do not want such tags to continue.

Below is the full statement:

Below is the full statement:

Traditional leaders condemn rise in murder cases in Sefwi Bekwai area
Traditional leaders condemn rise in murder cases in Sefwi Bekwai area
Traditional leaders condemn rise in murder cases in Sefwi Bekwai area

(RESEC ) under the leadership of then Honourable Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu as Regional Minister and Member of Parliament for our constituency, Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai and the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) under the authority of Honourable Alfred Amoah (late) immediate past Municipal Chief Executive, and therefore they could make a BENKUMHENE in an Akan society such as ours install no mean a chief than OMANHENE, and still, we have people supporting this? We found nothing wrong with that abominable act, we sang their praises to the high places, and they did that with sheer bravado, we were told. Have we bothered to find out how they could formulate a litany of charges against me as the Acting president and without giving me any opportunity to defend myself, they came out with a captioned, ‘VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE’, which was subsequently endorsed by all the bodies mentioned above as supporting them? They even said, by that, they had removed me from office as KRONTIHENE of the traditional area, these were not child’s play. All of these have gone on and one expects our just God and the spirits of the land to be happy? Only time and real-time will tell.

 “The further a society drifts from the truth; the more it will hate those that speak it” George Orwell would put it. Of course, if people get blinded and are influenced by their personal interests as against a group interest, they end up seeing things the way they would otherwise want them to be, and not as they are supposed to be, the case of the chieftaincy dispute at Sefwi Bekwai. However, no one bribes nature not to let them face the repercussions of their wrongful acts.

One may look at it this way, assuming the installation on 18th November 2018, was faulty as they claimed, the best option available to Nananom if they cared for the peace and good of our land and people, was to have challenged it at the appropriate forum; and it was never the calling for National Security to come and impose a certain individual on us as Omanhene, I stand to be corrected, they might have stood on one of our numerous laws to do that untoward act, and since I’m not a lawyer, I may not know.

Worst of all, in order to get a majority of four (4) out of the seven (7) kingmakers as our custom requires, the Regional House of Chiefs without listening to our side would authorize Benkumhene to install both Adontenhene (though I had already done that in my capacity as Krontihene) and Akwamuhene within a month and would go behind the existing Kyidomhene to appoint a brother of his who is maimed in the hand (having some fingers chopped off) and therefore, not qualified to come to the palace in the first place as per custom, let alone stand in as Kyidomhene. To all those who care for the truth, this is how far those Nananom and their supporters who claim to love Sefwi Bekwai more than anybody else, could throw our Omanhene stool to the lowest ebb ever and to the swine in their unflinching burning desire and uncustomary quest to also install someone as Omanhene. If you could wickedly do this unacceptable thing to your stool, could the people trust you for anything good, should what we are hearing and experiencing be strange? Could the Almighty God and the Spirits be blamed?

Is it not strange if after all of these, they turn round to point accusing fingers at some of us, albeit, we do not love Sefwi Bekwai?

Today, the truth is gradually getting out of the bag, and in due course, all would know who loves Sefwi Bekwai the more!

When we came out to challenge their illegal and abortive installation, almost the individuals who were madly involved in that sacrilegious installation including bodies we suspected to have had their hand tainted in the matter, came out with the speed of thunder to deny their involvement, rather vehemently. Thank God, that the truth could not be covered forever. In recent circulating audio, an individual who claims to be a member of Nana Ahene Mmra’s (late) family indicates and confirms our position that the Regional House of Chiefs ordered MUSEC, to collaborate with the other side to select a candidate of their choice and get him installed with the backing of the RESEC and National Security – A Regional House mandating MUSEC to select a candidate as Omanhene. And people who claim to know everything are proud to be assigned with such installation? Only at SEFWI BEKWAI!

The names of the individuals and bodies and roles they played are loud and clear in the said audio. Yet they had denied only to be exposed in the audio. They treat us this bad way and would want to take and swallow that bitterness down our throats?

Another alarming side to this whole episode is the mention of a pastor and the instrumental role he played in getting the assistance of the National Security on board the illegal installation. If it was true, then, we are not safe! Dangerous precedence it is.

If pastors who claim they have been called by God to do His work could not see the need to meet with us and know our side of the story for peace’s sake, would work their way to get the authorities so easily swayed to let National Security do what they did, then, of course, we are not safe! As Christians, we are told in the Good book, the Holy Bible to make peace with all, especially, pastors, yet a pastor worth his sort could get the rules bent in his favour in support of a relative or a dear one, thinking less of the dire consequences that could lead to, then, where was that God who’s voice directs him? Did he hear the voice of God to do that? l hardly could find words enough to describe that.

We may not have to complain about getting a raw deal from the state apparatus. One may be quick to say that, the authorities only acted on the sieved information they received from the very sources whose information is what they are to act on but what was true was the fact that those sources had an interest in the matter,  and therefore they could be said (authorities) to have been tricked or misinformed. The question however is, should we always listen to a side on a disputed matter like ours?

What about the numerous petitions we wrote in respect of the earlier installation to various places of authority?

What came of the secular from the Chieftaincy Ministry to let a three-member Committee look into our case before it and; that the second installation should not be allowed by both RESEC AND MUSEC?  – With the orders being flouted with impunity and disdain by the two bodies because there had been some compromises up the hill? Honorable SAMUEL KOFI AHIAVE DZAMESI, former Minister for Chieftaincy and Cultural Affairs, may the Lord bless you wherever you are.

And what about we appearing before the National Security Minister, Honourable Albert Kan Dapaah, to tell him our side of the story some two or three days to the second installation, only for him to tell us in the face that the ORDERS had already been given and his office could do nothing about it. His only advice was, “Nananom, Onyame na osi ohene, se eye mo dea a, mo nsa beka”, to wit if God says it is our candidate who is to be on the stool, their subsequent installation could not stop that.

In the face of these abuses, provocations, and injustices, we have never resorted to any foul means to get justice, as the system keeps delaying us justice by not getting the Judicial Committee of the Western North Regional House of Chiefs ready to consider our cases filed before it against the second installation since July 2019 (the four kingmakers and the principal elders of Ekona Royal Family of Sukusuku).

One may be hated for speaking the truth, as Plato would say. It is the hard truth as this which needs to be told at all times. The Bible tells us in John 8: 32, that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.

How beautiful it would be if together we protect our cultural heritage given to us by Nananom. Sefwi Bekwai has a unique culture and tradition to which our energies ought to be channeled to their development and promotion rather than allowing others who might not be well able to appreciate our culture, do as they presume, with all due respect.

Nananom, is it not our duty to ensure that the tenets of our culture are well organized so that we do not lose touch with it as trustees as we hand them over to the youth and generations yet unborn in due course and in their pure and natural states, not as adulterated as would undermine our integrity as traditional leaders as has been so done with the so-called second installation.

Was it not beautiful when in the process of the second installation, our Queen-mother, Nana Abena Aninwaah II sent drinks to me through a delegation, inviting me as Krontihene to undertake the said installation as our tradition provides?

I gave them a simple response that since I had already installed the Omanhene with the help of the other kingmakers, the second one could not be possible. But they would not accept nor respect that, because they had the support of National Security. They, therefore, went ahead to do the unimaginable, the effect of it we are facing today. This gives credence to the age-long saying that “You cannot eat your cake and have it”. If we decide to throw our tradition and culture to the dogs, we cannot turn around to get the support of the spirits for anything good. Nana Kwame Ampadu I of blessed memory would sum it up in one of his songs: “Ammanere yentoto n’ase, na yeso mu yie”.  If we believe that our forebears gave what we have to us through various generations what they received from the creator, then of course we cannot disregard what God and the spirits have put down and has been sustained over the years by others for our good and that of those who come after us; and still expect their blessings and guidance in times such as these.

” Nea ese se yede to no, se yeamfa anto ho a, efiri to” It is time we got all the wrongs righted.

Again, irrespective of our current differences, we could still work in diverse ways in collaboration with the security agencies in ensuring that all those who played various roles in the ritual murder are made to face the full rigours of the law in a manner that will deter any such distasteful, preposterous and inhuman acts in the future. This is not beyond us.

It is also my humble prayer to the good people of Sefwi Bekwai to support authorities in this fight to get to the bottom of the matter by giving out any information whatsoever we may have in respect of the case to ensure that a lasting solution is found so that our security could be guaranteed. It may also go a long way in restoring our dented image as a people.

Finally, I will seize the opportunity to make a passionate appeal to His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo – Addo to use his good offices to ensure that the chieftaincy dispute at Sefwi Bekwai is resolved by directing the appropriate bodies to get lawyers to the newly created Regional Houses of Chiefs, such as the Western North Region.

In 2017, the President gave assurance to Ghanaians that his government would not meddle in issues bothering chieftaincy. The President said this when the Bawku Baana Asigri Abugrago Azarka II and his chiefs called on him at the Jubilee House.

Again, somewhere in April this year, the President was on record to have expressed his unhappiness on the numerous chieftaincy disputes across the country. This he said exacts a heavy toll on the public purse and therefore must be avoided where necessary.

The President, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo – Addo is noted for finding lasting solutions to protracted chieftaincy disputes – Yendi where he was conferred with the title, ” Naa Abudani I” and Ga states come to mind.

If those were possible, the case of Sefwi Bekwai is also possible, most especially, having promised the people of creating a District in honor of our late Omanhene, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio at his funeral at the Sefwi Bekwai Palace, back in 2016.

It is the humble prayer of Nananom that the President would not leave office without fulfilling that promise and also ensuring justice or reconciliation as far as our chieftaincy dispute is concerned. Counting on you, Mr. President.

Signed

Nana Kwadwo Twum II,

Krontihene and Acting President, Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Council; Chief of Sefwi HumjibreTel: 024- 7573571

Source: Traditional leaders condemn rise in murder cases in Sefwi Bekwai area

Ghana: case of businessman in alleged ritual murder sent to Attorney General for advice

First of all, the suspect, Oppong Kyekyeku, is facing a charge of preparation to commit a crime. Allegedly, the accused when facing financial difficulties consulted a spiritualist and agreed to offer his 11- year old daughter for a ritual. What struck me beyond the assumed superstition and the gruesome murder inevitably linked to the ritual is the fact that the suspect has been living in the Netherlands for many years before he relocated to Ghana a year ago.

Seemingly ‘normal people’ are capable of committing gruesome murders. It’s a known fact, but when again confronted with this reality, I find it quite shocking.
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Case of businessman in alleged ritual murder sent to Attorney General for advice

Published: July 19, 2022
By: Modern Ghana

The case of Evans Oppong Kyekyeku who is accused of attempting to use his daughter for ritual purposes has been sent to the Attorney General ‘s Office for advice.

When the matter was called today, Monday July 18, 2022, before Ms Ama Adomako Kwakye, Chief Inspector Lawrence Kofi Anane, who held a brief of Chief Inspector Richard Amoah, prayed for a date as a duplicate docket had been sent to the Attorney General.  

Defence Counsel said he had followed up at the AG Office adding that the State was finding it difficult to advise on his client’s case as there was no evidence against him (Oppong Kyekyeku). 

The Court, therefore, adjourned the matter to August 1 and remanded Oppong Kyekyeku into Police custody. 

Oppong Kyekyeku is facing a charge of preparation to commit crime to wit, murder. 

The accused’s plea has been preserved by the Court. 

The fact of the prosecution is that Kyekyeku is the father of the victim aged 11 years and he has been living in Holland for many years but relocated to Ghana a year ago. 

In the month of May this year, Oppong Kyekyeku allegedly told a friend known as Kwame that he was facing financial difficulty and consulted a spiritualist. 

The accused allegedly agreed to present his daughter for the ritual. 

He was, however, picked up after he had allegedly managed to send the daughter for the ritual at Oyibi Kom in Accra. 

GNA

Source: Case of businessman in alleged ritual murder sent to Attorney General for advice

Uganda: Sheema businessman arrested in child ritual sacrifice

The article speaks for itself. Fortunately, the cruel crime was followed by an arrest. Let’s hope that a fair trial will take place.
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Sheema businessman arrested in child ritual sacrifice

Published: July 27, 2022
By: Chimp Reports – Uganda

Source: Sheema businessman arrested in child ritual sacrifice

Nigeria: Addressing the escalating ritual killings challenge

Everyday I see new reports of ritual killings in Nigeria – locally called ‘money rituals’ – and although I haven’t stopped presenting these articles here, on this site, I have been forced to limit reporting on these barbaric and cruel crimes due to their overwhelming number. Unfortunately, there are many more African countries where ambitious, unscrupulous and criminal people commit the same repulsive crimes and governments fail to act effectively, as is the case in Nigeria.

Nevertheless the foregoing, I wish to draw the readers’ attention to the article below, a Nigerian plea to address the escalating wave of ritual killings terrorizing Africa’s most populated country, divided in 36 states.

Let the article speak for itself. The reader may find useful background reading in my February 13 2022 posting whereas I also wish to remind the reader that on February 9 of this year, the House of Representatives asked the Federal Government to declare state of emergency on ritual killings, signaling the urgency and spread of the problem.
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Addressing the escalating ritual killings challenge

Published: July 25, 2022
By: Business hallmark – Hallmark News

From all available indications, the killing of humans in Nigeria for ritual purposes is escalating. And it has to be severely addressed.

In some of the more confounding instances, the alleged perpetrators are most shockingly, young people.

An obvious trigger for the disreputable behaviour from many accounts is the parlous economic state of the nation. With inflation, unemployment and the exchange rate posting very dismal statistics, millions of Nigerians are at their wits end as to how to make ends meet. And some are being lulled into the false trap of ritual killings.

Compounding the extant challenges that the average Nigerian is faced with today are the atrocious governance failings countrywide, the unbridled rate of urbanisation and the collapse of both the traditional community structure and family values.

Some others would add factors like the parlous state of public education and very importantly, the untoward practices of several disreputable traditional and religious leaders who hardly inspire a better orientation for the embattled and impressionable in the society at a moment like this.

Indeed, given the reported close synergy between ritual killing practices and traditional and spiritual related observances and leaders, this is one critical area where the searchlight must be beamed as we seek a resolution of the menace. Traditional and spiritual leaders must be put on the spot.

This is more so when the entire ritual industry complex is predicated on traditional and religious factors. Within this framework, the thinking is that when the traditional ‘medicine man’ administers an appropriate mix of fitting incantations and sacrifices, the end result is that a mystical power transfer of sorts can then be effected in which the human sacrifice is then accepted by the superintending spiritual forces who then sign off on the efficacy and acceptability of the sacrifice and thereafter dispense the requested security, material or other similarly incredulous favours to the beneficiaries.

Alarmed by the rising incidence of the nefarious practice, the Federal House of Representatives had in February this year tasked the executive ‘to declare a state of emergency on the rising incidence.’ This was via a motion that was sponsored by its Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu.

In the same breath, the lawmakers requested Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to “take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehending and prosecuting all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.” 

And establishing a cultural nexus to the challenge, the lawmakers equally urged that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) “initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.”

Five months after these resolutions were seemingly passed and carried, there is no let in the rate of incidence as regards the killing for rituals challenge.

Underscoring the depth of the challenge is the fact that pontificating political actors are not innocent of the practice. Indeed, some are minded to believe that they are indeed the prime enablers of the gory ring of shame.

Now and again, the airwaves are littered with news reports and revelations linking political players with acts of ritual. Whether in the Okija shrine incidents earlier in the current democratic disposition where a then serving governor openly confessed to having been taken to a shrine to swear an oath of allegiance to a godfather; or in the Otokoto saga that wracked the Imo State capital, Owerri; or even the Baddoo incidents in Ikorodu, Lagos State, political players have been implicated now and again.

Beyond the immediate precincts of politics is the fact that many of our supposed elite role models also get to be fingered from time to time as being somewhat involved in the ring. At the moment for example, a very notable and high profile tertiary education complex proprietor is being tried on account of the mysterious death of a lodger in his hotel premises.

With clearly both the high and mighty being implicated in the challenge and with many members of the public increasingly being led to believe that you really cannot make good progress in today’s Nigeria without getting involved with shady and nefarious underground groups that are associated with ritual killings and related vices, it is really a herculean task addressing the cankerworm.

An expanded part of the challenge is even more deeply historical. We refer to a time in the distant past when different communities were engaged in acts of war and where, it is believed that the prevalent spiritual environment back then tended to accommodate human ritual killings under certain communally defined conditions. While in the modern social environment this has since been formally outlawed, very clearly some rogue practitioners continue to find ways around its outlawing.

This situation has also not been helped by the continued prevalence of traditional and modernist cult groups that many a time have been widely believed to be associated with ritual killings. While one or more of such groups now and again comes out to the public domain to swear their non-involvement with ritual killings, the deeper fact remains that the tar on the entire sub-set remains. And then you have the yahoo yahoo plus segment of the irascible internet fraud ring.

In the view of the newspaper, what is needed is a firm will to act, to enforce the laws and vigorously drive a campaign to wean our people off the accursed path of ritual killing. And while we are at it, can our leaders all commit to simply going back to the basics and doing very simple things to raise the governance bar? Half of the crisis would be addressed in that way.

Teens arrested in Abeokuta, Ogun State over murder of a teenager girl
Click here for more postings on ritual murders in Ogun State

Source: Addressing the escalating ritual killings challenge

Malawi priest jailed for killing man with albinism dies

For completeness sake I am posting the following news about the death in detention of the Malawian priest who had been sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing a man with albinism – see my July 1 posting on the subject.

Attacks on people with albinism are not rare in Malawi: reportedly, in 2021 there were at least 170 such attacks since 2014, with 20 of them being murders.
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Malawi priest jailed for killing man with albinism dies

Screenshot – to watch the video click here: PWA Malawi – YouTube

Published: July 21, 2022
By: Frederick Nzwili, Catholic News Service

Father Thomas Muhosha, a Malawian priest serving a 30-year prison sentence for the murder of a man with albinism, died July 19 while undergoing treatment in a local hospital.

The 50-year-old priest was sentenced June 27 alongside five other suspects, who received life sentences, for the 2018 murder of Mcdonald Masambuka.

The Malawi bishops’ conference said it regretted announcing the death of the priest of the Diocese of Zomba while undergoing treatment at Zomba Central Hospital.

“Rev. Dr. Muhosha was not in full communion with the church. He was serving a prison sentence after being convicted in a case of albino killing. The Catholic Church in Malawi deeply regrets his death,” Father Henry Saindi, general secretary of the bishops’ conference, said in a statement.

The priest had been admitted to the hospital to undergo mental health treatment, according to local news reports.

Days after the priest’s sentencing, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala of Lilongwe, bishops’ conference president, told Catholic News Service that the church will let justice take its course.

“We as a church always preach about justice. We have always stood by the people who are victims. We will let justice take its course. We stand by the rule of the law,” he said June 29.

In the sentencing, the judge said Father Muhosha had planned to traffic and sell the body parts of Masambuka, who the killers had lured to death after lying to him that they had found him a wife.

The victim had gone missing from his home in a village in southern Malawi in February 2018. Nearly a month later, his burned limbless body was found buried in a shallow grave in the home of one of his killers.

Malawi has a recent history of violent attacks on people with albinism. In 2021, Amnesty International reported the occurrence of at least 170 such attacks since 2014, with 20 of them being murders.

Source: Malawi priest jailed for killing man with albinism dies

Two arrested with human head at Kasoa (Ghana)

Okay, the possession of a human head is no proof that a ritual murder has been committed or that the carrier of the head was somehow involved in a ritual murder. Even with blood oozing from the head… well, in that case, it certainly becomes more complicated to deny that an ugly crime has been committed.

Be that as it may, having a human head in its possession clearly indicates that the owner or carrier of the head has something to do with ‘juju’, superstition, and the blief that body parts can help in increasing one’s wealth, health or prestige.

The name Kasao brings to mind one of Ghana’s most notorious ritual killing cases. I’ve stopped reporting on it even though at present the trial of the suspected perpetrators – teenagers – is ongoing.

What’s going on in Kasoa, formerly known as Odupongkpehe, a peri-urban town in the Awutu Senya East Municipal District of the Central region of Ghana? I’d like to know more about it.
(webmaster FVDK).

Two arrested with human head at Kasoa

Published: July 11, 2022
By: Ghana Web

Source: Two arrested with human head at Kasoa

Bulawayo residents live in fear of ritual murders (Zimbabwe) 

There is no doubt. Ritual murders are rampant in Zimbabwe. Significantly, still in May last year President Mnangagwa appealed to the general public, to traditional healers and to witch doctors to stop killing people for ritualistic purposes. See my posting Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa: ‘Stop ritual killings!’

I’ve posted earlier reports on ritualistic activities and murders in Zimbabwe including Matabeleland. The article below focuses on Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city and the largest city in Matabeleland. Its population is estimated at about 1 million.

One may think that traditional beliefs including the superstitious belief in the supra-natural powers of ‘muti’ persist mainly in the rural areas. The article below indicates that migrants from rural regions who settle in urban centers bring with them their cultural values and religious beliefs including, unfortunately, traditional repulsive activities which violate the law.
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Bulawayo Residents Live In Fear Of Ritual Murders

Published: June 30, 2022
By: Zimeye – Zimbabwe

Panic has gripped Bulawayo residents following a spike in suspected ritual murders in the city.

A number of mutilated bodies have been discovered in the city over the past few months, while some residents have been reportedly kidnapped and their blood drained by unknown culprits still at large.

Over the weekend, a yet to be identified woman was found dead with missing body parts at the 21km peg along the Bulawayo-Plumtree road.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson, Ambrose Sibindi told Southern Eye that there were several reports of such incidents happening in Bulawayo and other parts of Matabeleland.

He appealed to law enforcement agencies to devise ways to curb such cases.

“Inexplicable stories are now common, lawlessness has become the norm. People are now behaving like animals,” Sibindi said.

“I would like to urge residents to shun boarding private cars. If possible the law enforcement teams in plain clothes must be on alert at transport pick up points to effectively deal with these shady activities.”

Bulawayo United Residents Association chairperson, Winos Dube said: “We are disheartened and disappointed as residents to learn that these activities are taking place among our people. Ritualism is becoming a menace and people have to be very vigilant. They shouldn’t board unknown vehicles belonging to people they do not know.”

Dube advised the commuting public to use public transport to avoid such dangers.

Recently, the owner of a shop at Kelvin was kidnapped after boarding a Honda Fit vehicle with unidentified women. They took the victim to a secluded bushy area where she was injected with an unknown substance which made her unconscious.

The suspects, who are still at large, allegedly drained blood from her body for suspected ritual purposes. They then dumped her some 15km from Kensington.

National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said all the incidents would be investigated.

“I cannot say it’s ritualism; we are conducting an investigation to find out what really transpired so that the truth comes out,” Nyathi said.

Source: Byo Residents Live In Fear Of Ritual Murders

Uganda sees spike in human sacrifices

Below follows a shocking account from Uganda. It is not the first time on this site that human sacrifices, ritual murders and ritualistic activities are being reported from this East African country.

The reported steep increase in the number of (reported and/or discovered!) human sacrifices is indeed extremely worrisome, the more so that we may assume that the discovered or reported cases of ritual killing are only the tip of an iceberg.

It’s a horrifying reality that mainly children are victim of these crimes which are above all based on superstition and (partly) caused by poverty. Partly caused, because according to reports not only poor people resort to human sacrifices to increase their well-being. Also (rich) businessmen do, as the 2014 case of the business tycoon Kato Kajubi demonstrates (see my posting dated May 7, 2021).

Whereas in 2019 22 ritualistic murders were recorded, this number rose to 45 in 2020, and to 65 last year (2021), resulting in the sad total figure of 132 human sacrifices which have been recorded.

Ritual killings must stop!
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‘A big problem’: Uganda sees spike in human sacrifice incidents

Most victims of the sacrifices are children, apparently because they are easier to abduct and seen as “pure” and so of “higher ritual value”. (AA Archive)

Published: July 3, 2022
By: TRT News

Authorities say human sacrifices take place at advice of ‘witch doctors’ in superstition-hit rural areas to bring good luck.

Human sacrifices continue unabated in the remote and rural areas of the landlocked East African country of Uganda despite authorities enacting tough laws and threatening death sentences.

According to officials, 132 incidents of human sacrifices have been recorded in the last three years. The numbers have spiked from 22 sacrifices in 2019, 45 in 2020 and 65 in 2021.

Most victims of such “ritual sacrifices” are children, apparently because they are easier to abduct and seen as “pure” and so of “higher ritual value”.

Anadolu Agency quoted authorities as saying on Sunday that the sacrifices are being carried out by witch doctors or local traditional healers, dotting rural areas.

Admitting that human sacrifice is a big problem, Lucas Oweyesigire, the police spokesman for the Kampala region, said most such practices take place in rural areas.

The so-called leader of traditional healing and witch doctors, Mama Fina, has also condemned human sacrifice and described those recommending the sacrifice of human beings as “fake”.

Taking advice from witch doctors

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said only last month they “arrested a man identified as Musilimu Mbwire on suspicion of killing his two sons in human sacrifice.”

According to preliminary investigations, a rich man had paid Mbwire money and convinced him to sacrifice his two sons at the instructions of a witch doctor.

Superstitions lead people in rural areas to seek help from witch doctors, who in turn offer weird prescriptions, including human sacrifices to turn around their luck.

A more worrisome part of the superstition is to undertake human sacrifice to put the body at the foundation of a building to bring good luck.

Timothy Mukasa, a local leader in Kampala’s suburb of Kireka, said many multi-storey buildings in the town have been built on a human body.

“The witch doctors tell owners to put a human body at the foundation of the construction of the buildings,” he said.

In 2014, authorities apprehended and later sentenced a tycoon Kato Kajubi for sacrificing a child and then putting his body in the foundation of a building that he was about to construct.

David Musenze, a journalist who studied psychology, said there are not many qualified counsellors to attend to psychological and mental issues of people, which makes them take advice from witch doctors.

“People go to witch doctors to help them get jobs, be promoted at jobs, or kill their enemies, along with many other problems,” he said.

Source: ‘A big problem’: Uganda sees spike in human sacrifice incidents

Malawi priest sentenced to 30 years for murder of man with albinism

Today’s posting and included article are a follow-up to a previous posting earlier this year, reporting the conviction of a Catholic priest and 11 others who had been on trial accused of murdering a man with albinism, MacDonald Masambuka, in 2018 (see my posting of May 4, 2022). Malawi is one of the unsafest places in Sub-Sahara Africa for people with albinism. Amnesty International has reported that at least 170 crimes targeted people living with albinism in Malawi since 2014. An estimated 20 of them were murders.

Though we welcome the rule of law leading to the prosecution, conviction and sentencing of the murderers of 22-year old MacDonald Masambuka, there is still a long way to go before all perpetrators of heinous crimes targeting people with albinism in Malawi face the full weight of justice.
(webmaster FVDK)

Malawi priest sentenced to 30 years for murder of man with albinism

The killing of people with albinism is linked to rituals associated with witchcraft

Published: June 30, 2022
By: Fredrick Nzwili – Catholic News service

Senegalese albinos attend an International Albinism Awareness Day event on June 13, 2017, in Dakar.
(Photo: AFP)

The Church will let justice take its course after the High Court in Malawi sentenced a priest to 30 years in prison for the murder of a man with albinism, said Archbishop George Desmond Tambala, president of the Malawian bishops’ conference.

Five other suspects were handed life sentences. One of them was the victim’s brother.

“We were shocked and we stand by the victims of that very terrible crime,” Archbishop Tambala told Catholic News Service June 29. “We have offered all the cooperation to see justice is done. We are shocked and we are at pains.”

“We as a church always preach about justice,” he added. “We have always stood by the people who are victims. We will let justice take its course. We stand by the rule of the law.”

The court handed down the sentence June 27. A judge sitting in the city of Blantyre said Father Thomas Muhosha had planned to sell the body parts of MacDonald Masambuka, 22, violently killed in 2018. Masambuka was lured into a death trap after his killers lied that they had found him a wife.

The victim went missing from his village in southern Malawi in February 2018. Nearly a month later, his burned, limbless body was found buried in a garden at the home of one of his killers.

“There is an issue with our African culture, and I think the whole church in sub-Saharan Africa needs to confront some beliefs, which I think are very dangerous”

Recently, Malawi has experienced violent attacks on people with albinism. Last year, Amnesty International reported the occurrence of at least 170 crimes targeting people living with albinism in Malawi since 2014; 20 of them were murders.

“It’s very unusual and not part of us. The whole issue of killing albinos is very strange in Malawi. We do not know how we ended up in this kind of issue,” said Archbishop Tambala.

The attacks are driven by superstitious beliefs that body parts and bones from albinos bring wealth or good luck to those who possess them. Such cases also have been reported in Tanzania.

Although many hoped the sentencing in Malawi would deter any other future attacks and killings, Archbishop Tambala thinks otherwise.

“I think we need to go beyond that,” he said. “There is an issue with our African culture, and I think the whole church in sub-Saharan Africa needs to confront some beliefs, which I think are very dangerous.”

Source: Malawi priest sentenced to 30 years for murder of man with albinism

Liberia: Traditional devils arrest six men for allegedly killing two children for rituals 

The arrest of six men in Nimba County, Liberia, for allegedly killing two children on June 9 warrants three comments.

Handsome-boy Mahn, 9 years old, and 4-year old Zayzay David mysteriously went missing in Boe Bonlay Town, Boe-Quillah Administrative District, which is also part of District #6, Nimba County. Later the kids were found dead, murdered, although the police ruled out any foul play. Subsequently, the villagers asked traditional devils for help, to search for the perpetrators. This led to a ‘citizen arrest’ when six men were arrested on July 16 and turned over to police in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for interrogation. Among the suspects was an uncle of the two children.

Reportedly, the arrested men confessed and admitted to killing the two kids. The suspects accused a former Deputy Defense Minister of involvement ands ordering the ritualistic murder. Allegedly, the named former deputy minister wanted to contest for a representative seat in 2023 in Nimba District #6.

The reader is warned that the article below contains graphic details.

The incident leads me to three comments, based on the facts as reported by the source, the Liberian newspaper Daily Observer, one of Liberia’s leading newspapers, known and respected for its trusted news and interesting analyses.

First, the ‘election season’ is approaching in Liberia with planned presidential and general elections in 2023. It is not uncommon in Liberia that during election campaigns people disappear mysteriously, to be found later dead, mutilated, with ‘parts missing’, a local expression indicating the removal of organs or body parts for ritualistic purposes. Already Liberia has experienced several cases of unexplained disappearances, suspected deaths, and obvious ritual murders in the past few years.

Secondly, if true that initially the police had reported that it had found no foul play whereas the bodies of the victims were found to be not intact, this raises questions about police competence and the rule of law in Liberia. The latter has been subject to increasing criticism during the current administration of President George Weah who faces elections in 2023, the outcome of which will decide whether he will be a ‘one-term-President’ or will seize a second presidential term. It is interesting to note that apparently the people of Boe Bonlay Town showed more confidence in their traditional devils than in the local police.

Lastly, the Daily Observer article presented below contains the full name of the former Deputy Minister of Defense who is allegedly involved in this crime. Although this may be in conformity with Liberian rules and practice, I personally disapprove of such public naming and shaming. Moreover, we should always bear in mind that a suspect or accused person is not guilty unless found guilty by a competent, independent judge in a public, non-partisan trial.

In view of the in my opinion hectic period which Liberia will be facing the next two years it is important to realize this.
(webmaster FVDFK)

Liberia: ‘Traditional devils’ arrest six men suspected of two ritual killings

Published: June 24, 2022
By: Ishmael G. Menkor – The Daily Observer

Traditional devils in the Nimba County District #6, specifically Boe Bonlay Town, have arrested six men for allegedly killing two children on June 9. The two children, identified as Handsome-boy Mahn, 9, and Zayzay David, 4, mysteriously went missing in the Boe Bonlay Town, Boe-Quillah Administrative District, which is also part of District #6, Nimba County.

The kids had returned from the farm before the unfortunate accident.  According to the kids’ parents, Mahn and David went missing while playing.  The community then launched a search immediately but unfortunately, the kids were found dead with their bodies dumped in two separate wells about 20 minutes apart. The death of the two children then raised concern and fears among the citizens and the district at large, especially when the police or the 15-person coroner jury explained that there was no foul play found.

Despite the jury or the police ruling out any foul-play, the citizens this time brought out traditional devils to search for the perpetrators. During this exercise, several men were arrested on July 16 and turned over to police in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for interrogation.

Following their arrest, the six suspects reportedly admitted to killing the children, with one of the accused suspects, Prince Karney, age 41, explaining that they were given the amount of US$1,200 for the operation.

According to information, the main suspect, Zayee Winpea, 43, was hired by Karney to kill the two children for the amount of US$300, while Nenkerwon Mahn, 18, was given US$150 to serve as a watchman while the killing was ongoing. Nenkerwon Mahn is said to be the uncle of the two kids and he also confessed to serving as gate man, while the killing was going on.

The oldest among the suspects, Morris Gonwon, age 45, was also promised US$150 for his part, but his role in the killing was not spelled out.  Two of the suspects, George Sumah, 42, and Lawrence Freeman, 45, were accused of transporting the blood to Monrovia, while Harrison Sumah, 29, grabbed the two children by luring them with lollipops and took them to the house where they were killed, according to Radio Nimba.

Karney was said to be the ‘youth leader’ of Boe Bonlay in Nimba County, and the district coordinator for the Friends of former Deputy Defense Minister Jackson Paye, who had expressed his desire to contest for a representative seat in 2023 in Nimba District #6.

Former Minister Paye was accused by the suspects of facilitating the killing by giving them US$1,200. But Paye on Truth FM on June 23 denied any link to the killing, describing the killing as barbaric, inhumane, and uncivilized.

He explained that the Friends of Paye want the law to take its course, ensuring the alleged perpetrators face the full weight of the law.

Source: Liberia: Traditional Devils Arrest Six

Nimba County, Liberia