Uganda: human sacrifice culprits face death penalty

The death penalty as a deterrent – or as a revenge. Will this legal sanction provide a solution to the curse of ritual murders and the end of superstition in Uganda? 

Whereas all actions of the government to end ritual killing in the country must be applauded, I personally believe more in education as a tool to end these heinous crimes than in the capital punishment – which is considered a violation of the basic, human rights of the perpetrator(s) and for this reason rejected by the international community

Having said this, the following article contains a chilling mention of the state of affairs in Uganda with respect to the occurrence of ritual murders (‘human sacrifice is a widespread phenomenon‘). 
(webmaster FVDK)

Human sacrifice culprits face death penalty

Businessman Godfrey Kato Kajubi (right) appears at the Supreme Court early last year during hearing of his appeal against his conviction for murdering 12-year-old Joseph Kasirye in 2012. Persons found guilty of committing acts of mutilating and or causing death of another person for purposes of performing a ritual, and those found in possession of human body parts, will suffer death upon conviction. PHOTO /JULIET KIGONGO.

Published: May 6, 2021
By: Daily Monitor, Uganda – Esther Oluka, Arthur Arnold Wadero 

Whoever will be found guilty of sacrificing a person for ritual purposes faces a maximum punishment of death following the passing of a law on human sacrifice.

The Human Sacrifice Bill (2020), once assented to by the President, will also see those who finance acts of human sacrifice facing death.
Clause 1 of the Bill defines human sacrifice as killing, mutilation, removal of organs or body parts of a person for sale or for purpose of witchcraft, rituals or any harmful human practices. 

While presenting the Private Member’s Bill yesterday, which was overwhelmingly supported, Ayivu MP Benard Atiku argued that the current law does not provide for the offence of human sacrifice and that the human sacrifice related cases are prosecuted as murder or related offences under the Penal Code Act.

Human sacrifice is a widespread phenomenon involving people who seek quick means of amassing wealth or power. 
A renowned case is that of 2008 involving Joseph Kasirye, a boy (then aged 12 years) whose torso was found in a swamp, headless and with no genitals.

Businessman Kato Kajubi was found guilty of murder and was handed life imprisonment on conviction.
A section of MPs welcomed the passing of the Bill. 

“In fact, it is long overdue. Human sacrifice is not only inhumane but it is evil,” Mbale Woman MP Connie Galiwango said. 
Ms Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP) and Gulu Woman MP, said she did not understand why people were sacrificing children. 

“You go to a witchdoctor expecting to give you riches, yet that witchdoctor stays in a grass-thatched hut?” Ms Ocan wondered.
Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary commended the passing of the Bill after reasoning that adults are victims too. 

Previously, the perpetrators of human sacrifice have targeted people with specific features, including albinos, those without body piercings, big umbilical cords, a gap in their front teeth, among other features. 

Authorities, including police and religious leaders, have repeatedly highlighted that there is no connection between human sacrifice and riches. 
Meanwhile, Mr Emmanuel Jor Ongiertho, the Jonam County MP, had earlier recommended a harsher punishment for human sacrifice culprits. 

“I suggest that the people involved in the practice should be tried by the military and if found guilty, be put on firing squad because we really want to deter people from this practice.” 

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga stated that Parliament had now provided an opportunity for justice to all the victims of human sacrifice. 

“On a number of occasions, when children delegations come to visit me at Parliament, they ask me: ‘where is justice for Kasirye’. I think today (yesterday), we can answer that question and say that Parliament has now provided an avenue for justice for Kasirye and other victims like him,” Ms Kadaga said. 
Children often the most victims of human sacrifice.  

More on the Bill
●  Clause 5 says whoever encourages or advises any person to use human body parts in any ritual or their use in any treatment or other forms of healing would be liable to life imprisonment.
●  Under Clause 6, whoever is found in possession of human body parts and instruments of human sacrifice is liable to life imprisonment.
●  Clause 9 provides for psychosocial support to survivors of human sacrifice. 
●  Clause 10 provides for compensation, rehabilitation or restitution to be made by court in certain cases.

Source: Human sacrifice culprits face death penalty

Malawi: Police ask witchdoctors for help against attacks on albinos

It is unprecedented what recently happened in northern Malawi, in the Chitipa district, which is the country’s most northern district, near the Malawian-Zambian border. The police have asked witchdoctors and traditional herbalists to help in the protection of people with albinism (PWA).

Malawi has a relatively large number of people with albinism, an estimated 10,000. Attacks on them are frequent, people with albinism fear for their lives every second of the day. Reportedly, more than 200 attacks, kidnappings, mutilations and murders of persons with albinism have occurred since 2014. However, it must be feared that the real number is higher since not all incidents have been reported. 

Witchdoctors are allowed to practice in Malawi though – of course – officially the Malawian law does not recognize witchcraft. Superstition, however, is widespread in the country, hence also the use of the services of witchdoctors, an unknown number of them being somehow associated – to say the least – to the attacks on persons with albinism.  

The cry for assistance from the Malawian police directed to witchdoctors and  traditional herbalists is therefore remarkable. Is it comparable to asking mafia leaders help fighting murderers, kidnappers and other bandits? I don’t know whether this comparison is justified or whether it holds. In any case, the police asking witchdoctors to help against attacks on persons with albinism is a sign of incapacity, read: disqualification. If the police is unable to uphold the rule of law, Malawians have a serious problem and it is high time to have a serious debate on the organization and funding of the police force.

Recently, Amnesty International concluded that the trial of suspects of ritual murders is slow in Malawi. The question seems warranted: Is there a lack of political will? After all, it is common knowledge that in the past political forces and people have been implicated in the attacks on persons with albinism for ritual purposes. I have reported on these links on more than one occasion (e.g. see a recent posting dated April 30, 2021, and my postings of February 26, May 12, and August 28, 2019).
If this lack of political will is indeed the case, turning to witchdoctors for help is close to hypocrisy and useless, ineffective, and the problem will not be solved, the human rights of persons with albinism will continue to be under threat. 
(webmaster FVDFK)

Malawi: Police Ask ‘Witch-Doctors’ for Help Against Attacks On ‘Albinos’

Persons with albinism attending a meeting at State House

Published: May 4, 2021
By: Nyasa Times – Gladys Chingaipe 

“This would help to provide more protection to people with albinism.”

In an unprecedented manner, police in the northern tip of Malawi have gone on their bended knees and asked traditional herbalists and witchdoctors to help them in the fight against the incessant attacks on people with albinism.

Chitipa Police Station Officer, Dan Sowden in a desperate attempt to end the ongoing ritual killings and egregious human rights violations of the worst kind instigated specifically against people with albinism in the district and the country as a whole has asked traditional healers to work hand in hand with the police.

Snowden made the call last week during a meeting with herbalists and witchdoctors at Chitipa Boma where he expressed a growing concern and explained that there is a general outcry that herbalists and witchdoctors are suspected to be involved in attacks on people with albinism, hence the need to include them in efforts to end the vice.

He said: “We have established that it could be that those who are involved in the vice are not perhaps the real herbalists or genuine witchdoctors but may be some unscrupulous people with evil motives just posing and impersonating as herbalists and witchdoctors.”

“We know for a fact that both herbalists and witchdoctors exists to help people in a traditional way to solve traditional related problems and not to harm anyone and for that reason, we have therefore resolved that the herbalists and witchdoctors should be ambassadors and in the forefront to provide protection to people with albinism by reporting anyone who approaches them on issues to do with people with albinism.”

The police officer in-charge who is responsible for all security in the district called upon herbalists (and witchdoctors) in the district to be more organised and get licenses so that people could easily identify and report anyone falsely pretending to be a traditional healer.

President for Northern Region Traditional Healers, Edward Kayange said: “As herbalists, we are ready to work with the police in order to completely eradicate violence and discrimination against people with albinism.

“We will make sure that all traditional healers have certificates from one body to avoid confusion amongst ourselves. We will form committees which will be working hand in hand with the police and chiefs to report anyone involved in the malpractice,” he pointed out.

Chairperson for Chitipa District Association of People with Albinism, Mabvuto Lwinga said it was a step in the right direction for herbalists and witchdoctors alike to be working with the police.

“This is a good development. I am very optimistic that this would help to provide more protection to people with albinism,” said Lwinga.

The law in Malawi, however, does not recognise witchcraft although traditional healers and witchdoctors are allowed to practice their trade

‘Extra gear’

People with albinism are born with lighter than normal skin, hair and eye colour, making them sensitive to the sun and bright light and in some communities, especially among the African people they are attacked or even killed for their body parts which is erroneously believed to posses magical powers.

Since 2014 more than 200 cases of killings, attacks and other human rights violations against persons with albinism have been reported in the Southern African landlocked nation.

According to United Nations (UN) human rights experts despite various moves to support people with albinism, the continued attacks demonstrate that the Government needs to redouble its efforts to end the ongoing atrocities.

UN’s Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ikponwosa Ero said: “We call on the Government of Malawi to urgently address the root causes of these attacks and to strengthen nationwide campaigns to raise awareness, conduct robust investigations and prosecutions in all cases, increase protection for victims, and finance and implement all necessary measures.”

Ero is on record having said that some witchcraft practices result in “serious human violations” such as torture, murder, discrimination and exclusion, including banishment from communities.

Maria Jose Torres, UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi says that the UN remains concerned about continued attacks against persons with albinism.

“We call on the government of Malawi to engage an extra gear in the fight against attacks on persons with albinism. We need to do more to ensure that this comes to a complete end.

Habiba Osman, Executive Secretary for Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) said in an interview with Nyasa Times that the ongoing attacks on persons with albinism is a chilling reminder that Malawi as a country needs to do more to protect people with albinism because they are not safe.

“These attacks on persons with albinism is largely fuelled by a culture of impunity. The government must tighten the noose on anyone suspected to have committed this heinous crime. Persons with albinism like anyone else are protected by the law,” said Osman.

Before being elected president, Malawi leader, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera rode on a wave that if elected, he would make sure that attacks on people with albinism will be put to an end.

“When I become president, anyone found killing, abducting or discriminating against any person with albinism will be dealt severely and face the long arm of the law.”

A recent Amnesty International (AI) report observes that the rate at which cases are concluded in Malawi is slow compared to other crime investigations.

There are approximately about 10,000 persons with albinism in Malawi.

Source: Malawi: Police Ask ‘Witch-Doctors’ for Help Against Attacks On ‘Albinos’

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) asks government to speed upon ‘albino’ cases, criticises cover-ups and the protection of high-placed politicians

Unfortunately, the below article contains a too familiar story. Attacks on persons with albinism, mutilation, murder, involvement of high-placed politicians, cover up practices. The President of the Associations of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), Ian Simbota, again turned his attention to the country’s rulers and requested the government of President Lazarus Chakwera to speed up all abduction and murder cases which targeted people with albinism (PWA) for ritualistic purposes, often involving high-profile politicians.

It is shocking to read the following article. I won’t repeat here what follows. Once more, however, I want to draw attention to these heinous crimes which threaten people with albinisme on a daily basis. Ritual murders must end. Politicians and other culprits who are involved must be apprehended, put on trial and sentenced. Simultaneously, a national awareness campaign must start, emphasizing the sanctity of life, the need to protect innocent people, the promotion of human rights notably to right to live and the right to live without fear. The government must take its responsibility and act accordingly – or resign.
(webmaster FVDK).

APAM asks Tonse Alliance Govt. to speed upon ‘albino’ cases

Published: April 29, 2021
By: Nyasa Times – Tiwonge Kumwenda

Source: APAM asks Tonse Alliance Govt. to speed upon ‘albino’ cases

Ghana, Central Region: palm wine tapper’s lifeless body found without the head

When the dead body of a man believed to be in his fifties was found with his head missing, everyone thought of a ritual crime. Although nobody knows exact how many ritual murders are being committed and the official number of victims of ritualistic acts being (relatively speaking) low, dead bodies with missing body parts immediately lead to the conclusion that a ritual murder has been committed. 

Let’s hope the police investigations into the crime are fruitful and the exact circumstances of the man’s death are soon known. If indeed a heinous crime was committed, the perpetrator(s) must be apprehended soon and brought to justice. The rule of law must apply and superstition must be banned from society as quick as possible. Living without fear for his / her life is a human right (webmaster FVDK).

Palm wine tapper’s lifeless body found without the head

Palm wine tapper’s lifeless body found without the head

Published: April 21, 2021
By: Pulse, Ghana – Andreas Kamasah

The lifeless body of a palm wine tapper believed to be in his 50’s has reportedly been discovered but his head could not be found.

The deceased identified as Agya Manu is believed to have been killed on a farm at Dunkwa Asoboa in the Upper Denkyira East District of the Central Region, according to a report by Starrfm.com.gh.

Kasapa FM’s Yaw Boagyan reported that he was alleged to have been killed and dumped in the bush with his head severed for alleged money rituals.

Agya Manu left home on Sunday 18 April around 5:30 am for his farm to tap some palm wine before returning to join the family for the Sunday service, but unusual of him, as at 4:PM in the evening he had still not returned.

His worried children were sent to trace his footsteps but they only returned with the bottle he had left home with at the exact end he was to fetch the palm wine.

Residents and family of the deceased became even more alarmed and organised a search for him but that did not yield any result.

Then, on Tuesday 20th April, a lady named Maame Otu found the body which was suspected to be that of Agya Manu lying at the entrance to her farm.

She hurried home to break the sad news to the community, members of which converged on the scene and confirmed through physical examination that the corpse was indeed that of Agya Manu.

Police in Dunkwa have taken custody of the body and samples of his blood have been taken to Dunkwa On-Offin government hospital for examination while an investigation is expected to commence into the incident.

Source: Palm wine tapper’s lifeless body found without the head

Districts of the Central Region, Ghana

Ritual murders in Liberia, a remarkable plea: ‘Dire need to respect the sanctity of human life in Liberia’

I reported on the murder of Mordecial Nyemah, a commercial motor cyclist and a twelfth-grade student of Pleebo High School, Pleebo, Maryland County, earlier this month. See my postings of April 3,  ‘Liberia: protests in Maryland County over alleged ritual killing of young people‘, and of April 5, ‘Liberia: Maryland County student leader condemns alleged ritualistic murder, recalling similar cases‘.

One of Liberia’s leading newspapers, the Daily Observer, today pays attention to the gruesome murder of Mordecial Nyemah and subsequent events: the protests of women in Pleebo, the vandalization of the Harper Prison Compound by protesters, the attack on the property of Bhopal Chambers, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the curfew imposed to quell the unrest. Most remarkable however is the elaborated overview of ritualistic murders in the country (without going into details of specific cases), in the aftermath of a visit of the Peace Advocates of the Maryland/Gbenelue Chapter of Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI). The delegation visited the family of the late Mordecial Nyema on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Pleebo City, Maryland County.

Both the DATI peace advocates and the Daily Observer newspaper editors are to be commended for their frankness and their plea for the rule of law and to end the medieval practices which are human sacrifices. The following article gives a rare insight in the occurrence and background  of ritualistic murders and human sacrifices in Liberia. It is highly recommended reading! 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a footnote seems warranted. In the Daily Observer article it is explicitly mentioned that in Liberia ritual killings are mostly if not only occurring in Maryland and Montserrado counties. This, however, is not in line with what has been reported elsewhere. Honesty commands me to say that this has been based on my own research and experience in Liberia. 

Nonetheless I agree with the main conclusion and plea of the article which is presented below. Respect for human life is an essential human right. The rule of law is basic to a 21st country. A civilized nation and people respect human life (webmaster FVDK).
 
RIP Mordecial Nyemah!

The late Mordecial Nyemah, 22, a commercial motorcyclist, was gruesomely murdered in Pleebo, Maryland County.

Dire Need to Respect the Sanctity of Human Life in Liberia:

Peace Advocates Visit Family of Mordecial Nyemah in Pleebo

Women in Pleebo take to the streets of Pleebo, protesting the murder of Mordecial Nyemah.

Published: April 22, 2021
By: Daily Observer, Liberia  

Peace Advocates of the Maryland/Gbenelue Chapter of Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI) visited the family of Mordecial Nyema on Monday, April 19th, 2021 in Pleebo City, Maryland County. The high-powered DATI delegation was led by its Maryland County Director Meshach Sieh Elliott. During the solemn ceremony, the youths of Dehkontee Artists Theatre’s Maryland Chapter expressed their deepest condolences to Ms. Mary Nyemah, the surrogate mother of slain youth and commercial motor cyclist Mordecial Neyma and his family, for their irreparable loss. Mordecial Nyemah was a twelfth-grade student of Pleebo High School.

DATI also presented a humble consolation package to Ms. Nyema and her family to help defray some of the funeral expenses for their son. During the ceremony, libation was poured to acknowledge the presence of the spirits of our forefathers so they would bless the gathering. Mr. Thomas Kuwait Nyemah expressed gratitude on behalf of the family. He stated that what DATI did to reach out to his family was heartwarming. He thanked Dr. Gbaba and the DATI team for a job well done. Ms. Mary Nemah, aunt of the deceased also thanked DATI for their general support.

What Really Happened in Maryland?

Recently, Mordecial Nyema was gruesomely murdered in Pleebo, Maryland County by twenty-eight-year-old suspect named Roland Appleton and three other individuals identified as Moses Malmah, Francis Clarke, and Daniel Wesseh—all youths. According to the April 9, 2021 edition of  “The Bush Chicken” online magazine, Mordecial Nyemah was murdered along the Maryland-Grand Kru Highway in Gbolobo-Bessiken, Pleebo Sodoken Statutory District. As a result, concerned citizens, including mothers, youths, and students organized a peaceful protest and marched from Pleebo to Harper City to seek  timely justice and redress from County authorities regarding the death of their slain son and colleague.

Harper Prison Compound vandalized by protesters seeking transparent justice for Mordecial Nyemah.

However, observers reported that the crowd turned angry when the Acting Superintendent informed peaceful protesters Mordecial Nyemah’s murder would be addressed during the August court term while the protesters had hoped their grievances would be addressed by carrying out a speedy investigation and trial.  Consequently, angry protestors burned down and vandalized several private and public properties including but not limited to the home of Borfur Chambers, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia, the Harper Central Prison Compound, and vehicles, while expressing their frustrations for the continual ritualistic killings that occur in Maryland with impunity.

In response, the government of Liberia imposed a dusk to dawn curfew and arrested several individuals and youths, including students from Tubman University. They were incarcerated at the Zwedru Palace of Corrections. Those arrested have not been arraigned and/or no fixed court dates have been set for their trial. In addition, the Liberia National Police confirmed that the

The Sanctity of Human Life

Human life is very sacred. It cannot be manufactured in a scientific laboratory, neither does man have the power to create a human being, except Almighty God. Though man plays a role through sexual intercourse during the procreation process, yet, that process of itself is a divine plan which can only occur when a male sperm mates with a female egg. Therefore, to emphasize the essence of human life God included “Thou shall not kill” as part of his Ten Commandments he gave to the Children of Israel. 

Furthermore, to make himself very clear regarding the issue about the sanctity of human life, God rescued Isaac’s when God tested Abraham and asked him to sacrifice his only child. When Abraham raised the dagger to sacrifice Isaac, God miraculously intervened and changed what would have been a human sacrifice to one with an unblemished lamb. God performed this miracle because he wanted to teach mankind that we do not need human sacrifice to please him and/or to get or retain big government jobs.  Ever since then, it became customary and the acceptable norm of every civilized society to slaughter an animal if one desires to make a sacrifice, whether to appease the dead, or to seek greater fortune in life.

Grebo culture is very rich. In the photo above, the young man is passing out kola nuts and pepper to traditionally greet the DATI Peace Advocates to the Nyemah home before any other business can be conducted. This is followed by the presentation of water or anything in the form of a liquid, such as gin, rum, etc., as a sacred drink. In which t-shirt is Thomas Kuwait Nyemah, cousin of the deceased.

The slaughtering of human beings is a barbaric act. It dates to barbaric eras when there was no rule of law. During those dark eras, man naively believed that offering another human being as an ultimate sacrifice would bring them fame, wealth, and success in life. However, when man became civilized and began to conglomerate there was a need to put an end to ritualistic killing because there is no scientific proof that killing another man makes you to become successful in life. In most instances success in life derives from hard work, steadfastness, and a firm determination to make ends meet. Therefore, ritualist killing and/or snatching another man’s life away in the darkness of the night is wrong and should be discouraged at all levels of society.

Compound of Bhofal W. Chambers, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Liberia, set ablaze during the protest. It is not clear why Speaker Chambers property was signaled out.

Ritualistic Killing Is Not Kwa or Grebo Culture and Not Liberian Culture Either!

Ritualistic killing is not Kwa or Grebo culture or Liberian culture either. It is mainly prevalently carried out in two specific regions of Liberia—Maryland and Montserrado Counties. This does not mean that ritualistic killings do not occur in other parts of Liberia. Nevertheless, when it comes to the frequency with which ritualistic killings occur in Liberia, these two regions rank top on the list. Hence, in my view and observation ritualistic killing as a foreign cult or custom was imposed on the Liberian people through the introduction of foreign cults or secret ‘societies’ in Liberia. Below, I submit some reasons for my assertion and observation as a cultural researcher.

Throughout the narratives that were told by our Kwa ancestors I have not heard any mention made of people being brutally killed outside of tribal wars like the way ritualistic killings have taken place in Maryland and Montserrado Counties over the past century. Centuries back, the Krahns were referred to by their Grebo, Kru, Bassa brothers and sisters as “Pineyoun” (Rich People). As descendants of biological brothers, members of these Kwa ethnic groups travelled to one another’s countries (territories) frequently. The Krus, Grebos, Bassas came on pilgrimage to Mount Gedeh to see the Oracle at Putu and the Krahns or Pineyoun travelled by foot to go to Gbenelue (Cape Palmas) or Zinonqlee (Krus call it Siloklee) in Sinoe County, just to see the Atlantic Ocean or to purchase salt, tobacco and other foreign goods that were not produced in the hinterland of Liberia.

Due to their fraternal relationships, those days a Krahn man traveling to Maryland or Sinoe or Grand Kru or Bassa could stop for days or weeks in any family house along his journey trail without any questions asked. They would accommodate themselves when the hosts were on the farm and when the hosts arrived, they would warmly greet their guests and accommodate them until it was time for them to leave. Not once did I hear the old folks say anyone got ‘mysteriously missing’ or was ritualistically murdered while traveling through Grebo, Bassa, or Kru land. In addition, it is also safe to say that even in the Mel and Mande territories of Liberia (western, northern, central Liberia) people roamed about freely without any incidents of ritualistic killings in Nimba, Bong, Lofa, Bomi, Barpolu, Grand Cape Mount, except for Montserrado where such diabolical act is also rampant!

Therefore, individuals who are members of the “Gboyo Cult” in Maryland must stop tarnishing the reputation of the Grebo people. Ritualistic killings are not an inherent attribute of Grebo or Kwa culture. It is a custom derived from the imposition of a foreign cult that is mainly prevalent in Maryland and Montserrado Counties.

Conclusion of DATI Peace Advocates Visit with the Nyemah Family in Pleebo

Members of Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI) dressed in yellow t-shirts pose with the Neyemah Family at their residence in Pleebo, Maryland County. DATI Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia was established in 2019 to promote peace and reconciliation and rule of law. The organization is comprised of college students and graduates of Tubman University in Harper, Maryland County.

During DATI Peace Advocates’ visit with Mordecial Nyemah’s family, Ms. Mary Neymah, aunt and surrogate mother of the deceased, bitterly wept for the loss of her son and nephew. She said Mordicial’s biological parents passed when he was a child and she reared him. She lamented that he would not be graduating from high school when his colleagues successfully complete their secondary education.

DATI Peace Advocates pose with mothers of the deceased during the condolence visit in Pleebo.

However, despite the pain she and her family are going through, the Nyemah family is appealing to the Liberian government to please release those that are imprisoned as a result of their involvement in the peaceful protest that turned violent.  Ms. Nyeman was speaking on behalf of her family on whose behalf thousands of citizens (mothers, fathers, students) took to the streets to protest and to march many miles from Pleebo to Harper City to present their grievances to the authorities. She says the Nyemah family regrets that what was intended to be a peaceful march turned into vandalism. However, she is also appealing to His Excellency George Manning Weah, to please release Tubman University students who are incarcerated so they can return to school. Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. also condemns the violent act perpetrated by individuals to derail the good intent of the peaceful march by the women of Pleebo and pray that our farsighted leader will ensure justice is served and that those who paid teenagers to perpetrate such violent ritualistic act will have their day in court.

Published by Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. Public Relations Section

April 21, 2021

Source: Dire Need to Respect the Sanctity of Human Life in Liberia:

The Kasoa ritual murder case – press overview, April 3 – 17, 2021 (Ghana)

On April 4 and April 5 I reported on a shocking ritual murder case in Kasoa, Ghana. Allegedly, two teenagers had murdered a 10-year old boy for ritualistic purposes in a so-called ‘money ritual’. The crime led to a nationwide shock, condemnations, outrage and other reactions. People also questioned the role of the media in promoting a ‘get-rich-quick’ mentality and in protecting the privacy of juvenile suspects and delinquents. In the two weeks following the murder, about 120 articles appeared in mainly Ghanaian newspapers. More details of the crime emerged, notably the role of the traditional priestess who was involved.

Below the reader will discover an overview of the press coverage for the April 4-17 period. Given the abundance of articles, it is not possible to present all articles in full. Instead of presenting the original text, I have added links to the original articles. Unfortunately, it is quite possible that some links may cease to function properly after some time. For the same reason – the large number of newspaper articles – I will not attempt to summarize the information included in the reports. Please read and make your own judgement.

After this overview I will cease reporting on this particular ritual murder case except for specific and exceptional newspaper articles and opinions. The purpose of this site is not to cover each ritual murder case extensively. The interested reader wanting to know more about subsequent events and developments may use search machines like Google for more, up-to-date news. 

For convenience sake I have included some newspaper reports dated April 4 and 5 (webmaster FVDK).

APRIL 17, 2021:

Ghana: Reaping the whirlwind

Published: April 17, 2021
By: Modern Ghana – Femi Akomolafe 

The shocking news that two teenage boys, 16 and 18 years old, lured a 10-year-old boy into an uncompleted building and killed him for money rituals sent Ghanaians reeling. 

The incident happened at the Kasoa suburb of Lamptey Mills on Saturday, April 3, 2021. 

The accused were said to be neighbours to the victim, and are frequent visitors to the victim’s mother’s house where they occasionally share meals. 

The boys, who were said to have got the ideas of get-rich-quick-or-die-trying from one of the numerous get-instant money commercials that saturate television stations in Ghana, were said to have contacted one of the fetish priests who ply his trade on TV, for rituals to become instant billionaires. The priest was said to have demanded human parts and 5,000 cedis 

The suspects, Felix Nyarko, 16, and Nicholas Kiki, 18, were apprehended and have been arranged before the Awutu Ofankor District Court which remanded two boys into police custody. 

They have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They are scheduled to reappear before the court on April 20, 2021 . 

The police have also apprehended the spiritualist who turned out to be a priestess. She was said to be nursing a two months old baby. 

Shocked Ghanaians took to the airwaves to voice their revulsions at the sad news. Many lamented that their country has become a place where the only worthwhile endeavor is to get rich by any means necessary. 

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor was among the leading people who condemned the act. The former president attributed the gruesome murder of the 10-year-old boy to the fraudulent commercials that have become the staple of television stations in the country.” He lamented: “How could young people do this? What do they know? Unfortunately, you media people are giving so much exposure to tricksters and fraudulent people, promising everything. When you look at them you should know that these are people who are themselves just bad and ignorant. That is not the way for our society to go.” 

The ex-president’s sentiments were echoed by many shocked Ghanaians who find it difficult to come to terms that young children do not only harbour burning desires to become instant billionaires, but are now willing to kill for it. 

For years, many Ghanaians have expressed concerns about the erosions of traditional ethos that used to guide citizens’ conduct and helped to create harmonious and peaceful societies. The concerns were largely dismissed by those who considered themselves educated, modern and civilised. For them, the traditional ways that were informed and guided by age-long customs were primitive and are too archaic for modern living. 

Alas, instead of copying the Chinese who refused to throw away their traditional ways of life in their quest for modernity, Ghanaians, like most Africans, continue to confuse modernity/civilization with westernization. 

According to the agency charged with granting broadcasting licenses in the country, the National Communication Agency (NCA), 128 stations have been granted a license to operate tv stations, out of which 53 stations are currently operating in the country. 

This might be seen as a good development for a country that until the late 1980s operated only one government-owned TV station. 

But that will be missing the important point that most of the stations shamelessly broadcast materials that are not only indecent, unimaginative, and uneducative but sometimes downright criminal. 

Many of the stations run only commercials produced by scammers in priestly garbs and they specialise in heavy commercialization of the Christian religion. They have staples like an instant cure for every ailment. Many of the garishly dressed Pentecostal pastors used their commercials to showcase instant miracles, with cripples, at the touch of the pastor’s magic finger, throwing their clutches away and racing away in sprints that will lower Olympic records. Many pastors openly treat their church members in manners that should be considered violations of basic human rights. 

Of late, some Mallams have launched their own commercials. They are mostly corpulent folks with flowing gowns complete with heavy turbans. Their main hustle is money doubling and other instant-wealth conjuring gimmicks. 

Not to be outdone, so-called traditional spirituals have also chimed in. Dressed in animal skins, with feathers and whatnots, these charlatans also promote how-to-get-rich-without-breaking-a-sweat trickeries. 

A visitor to Ghana who happens to switch between the TV channels will be left wondering if there are deliberate and conscious attempts to dumb the people down with vapid and mindless drivels. 

Apart from a few quiz programmes here and there, almost everything shown on the TV stations in Ghana is hedonistic, narcissistic, and mind-bending materialistic commercials designed to dumbed people down and turn people into uncritical consuming junkies. 

Ghana’s attempt at creating a local film industry, dubbed Ghallywood, continues to disappoint. Producers churn out only pathetic productions with film editors doing their best to cover shoddy storylines, pitiful acting, and crazy camera angles with an oversaturation of video effects. 

And for a country that once reigned supreme in West Africa with Highlife and Palongo kinds of music, today the country music industry is a pale shadow of its old self. The scene is dominated by studio-created beats with few musicians able to play a single musical instrument. 

The result, predictably, has been the abasement of creativity and the promotion of mediocrity to the level of praxis. Unfortunately, no one appears to be bothered or concerned enough to attempt to stem the rot. 

Why did people pretend to be shocked that children turned themselves into killing monsters when all that they watch on televisions are every manner of ritualists telling people how to get instant wealth through dubious means? 

It is not only on the radios and the television stations that people peddle crazy money-making scams; all the country’s highways are littered with posters and billboards filled with advertisements that should never be allowed in a sane society! 

Many of the commercials the TV stations carry are clear vices that border on sheer criminality, yet the Ghana Police Service watch unconcerned as people, very brazenly, break the laws. 

There is also a National Media Commission, which is supposed to regulate the media. 

Per the NATIONAL MEDIA COMMISSION ACT, 1993, the National Media Commission (NMC) was established to “promote and ensure the freedom and independence of the media for mass communication and information per Chapter Twelve of the Constitution and to provide for related matters.” 

Section 2 of the Act states the functions of the Commission as: 

1. (a) to promote and ensure the freedom and independence of the media for mass communication or information; 

(b) to take all appropriate measures to ensure the establishment and maintenance of the highest journalistic standards in the mass media, including the investigation, mediation, and settlement of complaints made against or by the press or other mass media, 

(c) to insulate the state-owned media from governmental control; 

Section 2 (b) is simply laughable because there is no standard whatever in Ghanaian journalism – in both the print and the broadcast media. 

The accusations that the teenagers were influenced by the proliferation of spiritualists on national television drew the ire of the Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafo. Defending his commission against the widespread accusation of dereliction of duty, the NMC boss fumed: “To put it on a charge sheet that this is the reason why they did that, I think that this is a very lazy investigation.” 

Although the NMC’s Chairman admitted the importance of the Commission’s role in safeguarding content in the broadcasting space, he was adamant that: “the NMC will remain a paper tiger as long as the Broadcasting Bill remains unpassed.” 

The question Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafo failed to answer is why he and his 15 or so “paper tigers” in the NMC continue to receive allowances and other perks from the state whilst they nothing to regulate the abysmal content Ghanaians are forced to consume on their airwaves. 

An African adage says that the way we laid our beds is exactly the way we will sleep on them. 

Many religions affirmed that we shall reap exactly what we sow. 

From whichever angle it is considered, the Kasoa ritual killing is a tragedy of epic, even staggering, proportions! 

A classical example of societal FAILURE! At all levels!!! 

Children should be in schools or at vocational centers to learn a trade, not plotting to kill and get money quickly. 

Society is in serious trouble when eighteen years old children have nothing on their minds except instant, unearned wealth. 

Rather than throwing up hands in lamentations, the question should be asked: What exactly was expected when licenses were granted to people to set up television stations with absolutely no clear guidance on content? 

Fẹmi Akọmọlafẹ is a writer and author

Source: Ghana: Reaping the whirlwind

More articles – click on title to access the article (if still available on internet):

I would have killed all my family members if I was into sakawa – Guru
Published by: Ghana Web – April 17, 2021

APRIL 16, 2021:

Kasoa murder is a warning for us to be vigilant at all levels – Chief Imam
Published by: Ghana Web – April 16, 2021

Gyan-Apenteng wants Broadcasting Bill passed
Published by: Graphic Online, Rebecca Quaicoe Duho – April 16, 2021

Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng noted that the recent Kasoa ritual murder had thrown the spotlight on the NMC in the media space and called for a national discourse on the way forward. He said something good must come out of the Kasoa incident, with regard to how to regulate the media space.

APRIL 15, 2021:

Source: Chief Imam condemns Kasoa ritual murder
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 15, 2021

National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu

Ritual Murders: Public officials must also be responsible
Published by: Ghana News – A GNA Feature by Eric K. Amoh

Kasoa murder is a warning for us to be vigilant at all levels – Chief Imam
Published by: My Joy Online, GNA – April 15, 2021

#SayItLoud: How to curb fast money craze among the youth? – Kasoa residents speak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 15, 2021

APRIL 14, 2021:.

Kasoa ritual murder: Mahama consoles victim’s mother
Published by: Ghana Web – April 14, 2021

ASEPA writes: The Kasoa ritual murder, Kasoa has been a ticking time bomb for years!!!
Published by: Modern Ghana, King Amoha – April 14, 2021

Ritual Killings; media, regulatory agencies blameable!
Modern Ghana, Tahiri Lukman – April 14, 2021

Kasoa murder victim, Ishmael Abdallah

Kasoa Ritual Killing: Mallams Are Not Spiritualist, Don’t Confuse The Two- Baba Jamal Charges Media
Published by: Peace fm online,Ghana – April 14, 2021

The blood of 10-year-old ritual killing victim will speak – Seer warns
Published by: Ghana Web – April 14, 2021

OneGod, Ghanaian spiritualist

Government is being lazy with its tax approach – Minority leader
Published by: Modern Ghana, Richard Abayeta Abugre – April 14, 2021

Kasoa boy’s murder demands national soul-searching – Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang
Published by: My Joy Online, Ghana – April 14, 2021

APRIL 13, 2021:

Kasoa Murder – The media sector reform that is long overdue
Published by: My Joy Online, Kwaku Krobea Asante – April 13, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder would’ve happened under NDC; don’t blame Akufo-Addo – S N Mensah to Asiedu Nketia
Published by: Ghana Web – April 13, 2021

Source: Kasoa ritual murder would’ve happened under NDC; don’t blame Akufo-Addo – Bishop S N Mensah to Asiedu Nketia
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 13, 2021

APRIL 12, 2021:

Africa/Ghana – “Ritual killings are a threat to national security” denounce the Bishops
Published by: Agenzia Fidez – April 12, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: Duty bearers must act to change the image, narrative of Kasoa – Deceased family spokesperson
Published by: Modern Ghana, Kwame Kwakye – April 12, 2021

Krachi Youth Association Demands Justice For Murdered 10-Year-Old Boy At Kasoa 
Published by: Peace fm Online, Ghana – April 12, 2021

You can’t be idle and expect money to flow in your life – Gyakie advises the youth
Ghana Web – April 12, 2021

Ghanaians always glorify ill-gotten wealth – Peter Toobu
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 12, 2021

APRIL 11, 2021:

Nepotism and unbridled greed are the root causes of the recent rampant killings and suicides in the country
Published by: Modern Ghana, Daniel Yiadom Boakye – April 11, 2021 

‘We Can’t Do Anything About Juju and Money Doubling On TV’ – NMC says
Published by: GH Base, Kpakpo – April 11, 2021  

Lucifer advises youth against ritual money
Published by: Ghana Web – April 11, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: Nobody wants to be poor, time to redefine our values – Oppong Nkrumah
Published by: Ghana Web – April 11, 2021

Rev Obofour advises the youth after Kasoa ritual murder 
Published by: GH Page – April 11, 2021

Social media users attack Akufo-Addo for mourning Prince Philip while silent on Kasoa boy’s murder
Published by: Ghana Web – April 11, 2021

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

APRIL 10, 2021:

“You didn’t speak on the Kasoa Ritual Killing but you are quick to send tribute to Prince Philip” – Ghanaians harshly criticize Akufo-Addo
Published by: GH Base, Journalist Albert – April 10, 2021

Ghanaians Descend On President Nana Addo Over His Silence On the Kasoa Murder But Sent A Tribute To Prince Philip
Published by: GH Gossip, Charles Kofi Amoaku – April 10, 2021

Ritual Killing: ‘Juju’ Woman Reveals What Teenagers Wanted From Her…
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 10, 2021

Charity Mensah, the traditional priestess (Juju) who was arrested in connection with the murder of 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah has revealed that the two teenagers currently in police grips for their alleged involvement in the ritual killing contacted her on phone to be perpetually rich. She said the two boys, who were only in touch with her via phone, requested for the “pocket no dry” charm.

Charity Mensah, made this known during police interrogation after her arrest earlier this week. She was arrested alongside her errand boy, Desmond Nii Adjei, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

Citi News’ Anass Seidu said during interrogation, she did not say whether she demanded a human body for the alleged rituals.

“What they [teenagers] wanted was “pocket no dry” charm so that they will never lack money in their lives. According to information we picked up from the interrogations, she [priestess] told the boys that she could do it for them. There have been several phone interactions between one of the boys and the traditional priestess and the police have in their possession phone records of their conversations.”

“She is yet to confirm to the police that she directed them to bring human parts or a human being for the ritual,” Anass Seidu said.

The two teenagers still in police custody over the killing–Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini –have also alleged that the priestess was aware of the killing and went ahead to instruct them to bury the body of the deceased.

During interrogations, they said the priestess assured them that she will visit the place later at night with some aides to collect the body of the deceased for the ritual.

Charity Mensah is yet to confirm or deny that allegation.

Meanwhile, the priestess said to be a Beninois and a 2-week-old nursing mother has been granted bail.

Her Ghanaian husband and herbalist is reported to have fled with their baby.

But for the timely intervention of the Police in Suhum, residents of Amanase would have burnt down a shrine believed to be for Charity Mensah. 

Angry residents led by the regent of Amanase gathered at the shrine on Friday morning in protest ready to damage the shrine.

This was their way of expressing their anger at the priestesses who they say has tarnished the image of the community after she was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the suspected ritual killing last week.

The regent of Amanase, Osabarima Obengfo Addo Agyekum, issued a three-day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police and the police service to furnish them with updates of the arrest made.

“It is only now that we’ve understood the gravity of their activities to the extent of taking a life in the name of giving money to the youth for that matter.”

The 11-year-old boy, Ishmael Mensah, was buried yesterday, April 8, 2021, after he was allegedly killed by his two teenage friends at Atia Coca Cola in the Ga South Municipality.

The two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini, were earlier arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command following the killing.

Earlier reports suggested that the incident occurred at Kasoa, but local authorities clarified that the area is located within Bortionor Ngleshie Amanfro in the Ga South municipality.

More articles:

Source: Kasoa murder: Fetish priestess, another arrested
Published by: Ghana Business – April 10, 2021

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has arrested two more persons including a fetish priestess for their alleged involvement in the murder of an eleven year old boy for ritual purposes.

Charity Mensah, the fetish priestess and Desmond Nii Adjei, were arrested on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

Felix Nyarko, 16, and Nicholas Kini, 18, were earlier arrested in the murder of the boy for ritual money.

Nyarko and Kini upon their arrest told police that a spiritualist they saw on television directed them to get a virgin’s dead body in addition to GHC5,000.00 for the money rituals.

The police said the teenagers, who lived in the same community with the deceased, lured him from his home to a nearby uncompleted building where Kini, allegedly hit the back of his neck with a wooden handle of pickaxe.

The police said Nyarko also allegedly hit the victim with a cement block, killing him instantly.

The two were arrested and remanded by the Ofankor District Court to come back to court on April 20, 2021.

DSP Juliana Obeng, PRO of the CID confirmed to the media.

More articles:

Prof. Gyampo On Why The Teen Killers Should Not Be Blamed…
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 10, 2021

Source: “There’s nothing like spiritual money-doubling, anybody who promises that is fraudster” – Kwaku Bonsam exposes fake spiritualists
Published by: GH Base, Journalist Albert – April 10, 2021

APRIL 9, 2021:

Kasoa ritual killing: Teenagers contacted me for ‘pocket no dry’ charm – Priestess reveals
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Charity Mensah, the traditional priestess who was arrested in connection with the murder of 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah has revealed that the two teenagers currently in police custody for their alleged involvement in ritual killing contacted her on phone to be perpetually rich.

She said the two boys, who were only in touch with her via phone, requested for “pocket no dry” charm. 

Charity Mensah, made this known during police interrogation after her arrest earlier this week. 

She was arrested alongside her errand boy, Desmond Nii Adjei, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region. 

Citi News’ Anass Seidu said during interrogation, she did not say whether she demanded a human body for the alleged rituals. 

“What they [teenagers] wanted was “pocket no dry” charm so that they will never lack money in their lives. According to information we [Citi News] picked up from the interrogations, she [priestess] told the boys that she could do it for them. There have been several phone interactions between one of the boys and the traditional priestess and the police have in their possession phone records of their conversations.” 

“She is yet to confirm to the police that she directed them to bring human parts or a human being for the ritual,” Anass Seidu said. 

The two teenagers still in police custody over the killing –Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini –have also alleged that the priestess was aware of the killing and went ahead to instruct them to bury the body of the deceased. 

During interrogations, they said the priestess assured them that she will visit the place later at night with some aides to collect the body of the deceased for the ritual. 

Charity Mensah is yet to confirm or deny that allegation. 

Meanwhile, the priestess said to be a Beninois and a 2-week-old nursing mother has been granted bail. 

Her Ghanaian husband and herbalist is reported to have fled with their baby. 

Priestess’ shrine nearly razed

But for the timely intervention of the Police in Suhum, residents of Amanase would have burnt down a shrine believed to be for Charity Mensah. 

Angry residents led by the regent of Amanase gathered at the shrine on Friday morning in protest ready to damage the shrine. 

This was their way of expressing their anger at the priestesses who they say has tarnished the image of the community after she was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the suspected ritual killing last week. 

The regent of Amanase, Osabarima Obengfo Addo Agyekum, issued a three-day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police and the police service to furnish them with updates of the arrest made. 

“It is only now that we’ve understood the gravity of their activities to the extent of taking a life in the name of giving money to the youth for that matter.” 

The 11-year-old boy, Ishmael Mensah, was buried yesterday, April 8, 2021, after he was allegedly killed by his two teenage friends at Atia Coca Cola in the Ga South Municipality. 

The two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini, were earlier arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command following the killing. 

Earlier reports suggested that the incident occurred at Kasoa, but local authorities clarified that the area is located within Bortionor Ngleshie Amanfro in the Ga South municipality.

More articles:

Kasoa ritual murder: Juju woman to face court today
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Amanase residents attempt burning juju woman’s shrine
Published by: Ghana Web – April 9, 2021

The angry residents stormed the shrine on Friday morning

Kasoa ritual killing: Police stop Amanase residents form burning shrine of arrested priestess
Published. by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: This is a moment of national reflection on our value system – Oppong-Nkrumah
Published by: Ghana Web – April 9, 2021

Be circumspect in your reportage on crime in Kasoa – Media urged
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: Blame parents first – Ras Mubarak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 9, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: traditional priestess granted bail
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Ms Charity Mensah, a traditional priestess who was arrested in connection with a recent alleged ritual killing that has received widespread condemnation has been granted bail.

The suspect was arrested alongside her errand boy, Desmond Nii Adjei, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region on April 7, 2021. 

Charity Mensah was granted bail due to her condition as a nursing mother. 

She is expected to regularly present herself to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to assist in investigations. 

During interrogations, it emerged that she was in touch with one of the two teenagers arrested by the Kasoa Police last Saturday. 

Citi News’ Anass Seidu said although the priestess and the teenagers had never physically met, she recalls that they had contacted her to get a charm that will make them perpetually rich. 

It is unclear whether she gave the directive for someone to be killed as a ritual to make the charm possible but the teenage suspects alleged that she gave them the express instruction and even assured them that she would come with her aides to exhume the body of the deceased later that night after they had killed him for the ritual. 

Police are still investigating the matter and say the traditional priestess will soon be arraigned. ‘Ritual killing’

Two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini were earlier arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command for allegedly killing 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah at Atia Coca Cola in the Ga South municipality. 

Some eyewitnesses said the suspects allegedly lured the deceased, known as Ishmael Mensah by his peers, into an uncompleted building and smashed his head with a club and cement blocks killing him instantly. 

They subsequently buried him in the building.

Police say the suspects planned to recover the body at midnight for the supposed rituals. 

The two suspects were remanded to police custody on their first appearance in court on April 6, 2021. 

They are to reappear in court on April 20, 2021.

More articles:

Government must treat ‘quick money’ ritual as a national security threat – Ghana Catholic Bishops 
Published by: My Joy Online, Arna Cromwell – April 9, 2021

The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) has raised concern about the steady increase of some persons killing for ‘quick money’ rituals in the country.

The GCBC in a statement on Thursday called on government to treat the matter as a national security threat.

This comes after two teenage boys were remanded into police custody for allegedly killing a 10-year-old.

The suspects, Felix Nyarko, 16, and Nicholas Kini, 18, are alleged to have gruesomely murdered Ishmael Mensah Abdallah with the intention of using his body parts for rituals.

Thus, speaking on Joy FM’s Newsnite Thursday, GCBC’s Vice President Archbishop Philip Naameh who was of the view that the media played a role in influencing the teenagers said content of the media must be censored.

According to the Most Reverend Father Naameh, the adolescents must not be exposed to certain information at their age since it only heightens their curiosity.

“We need to protect our youth from certain things. So some of what the media carries out there should be censored for the youth. Because if things like ‘how people can come by quick money’ is put out there they would want to experiment it.

“And this means we have not taken enough precaution to evaluate what we are feeding to the minds of our young people [to a level that] they think about the possibility of killing someone in order to come by wealth is wrong,” he said.

Indicating what could be done to resolve this ‘national security threat’, the Archbishop called for the evaluation of religious leaders in the country.

He stated certain information by the ministers whether; Christain, Islamic or traditionalists can influence the youth into committing crimes.

“Religious ministers, whether they are Islamic, Christian or any other religion especially these days when people are declaring themselves to have a certain rank within the line of the religious Association.

“All that should be looked into, we cannot just throw anything out in the air and expert that our youth will not want to follow up on that,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) says the Kasoa murder incident involving two teenagers goes beyond being a national security threat.

In his view, Ghana as a country needs to redefine its values, principles and ethics to prevent a reoccurrence of the act.

APRIL 8, 2021:

Boy killed in Kasoa ritual murder buried
Published by: My Joy Online, Kenneth Awotwe Darko – April 8, 2021

Screenshot. To watch the video ‘What really happened at the burial of the 10-year boy at Kasoa will shock you’ click here

Stop exposing faces of teenage murder suspects – Child Rights International to media
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Child Rights International has issued a caution against the exposure of details and images of the teenagers alleged to have killed and buried a 10-year-old at Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa in the Central Region.

The organization in a reminder said such actions are against the sections of the Juvenile Justice Act that protects the rights of juvenile offenders. 

While expressing regret over the incident, Child Rights International said publications that expose the image and identity of the deceased and the suspects are unethical and does not protect their privacy and dignity. 

“Teenagers and victims are being displayed on various media platforms and this is against the Juvenile Justice Act. It is the duty of the media to treat this issue with all seriousness, considering the teenagers involved. Although some people may not see anything wrong, it is not lawful to publicly parade and expose the identity and pictures of the two teenagers,” it said in a statement.

Child Rights International thus urged the public to be circumspect in dealing with the issue and allow the law to take its course without further exposing the teenage suspects to potential danger. 

Read the full statement below:

Child Rights International has expressed dismay in the murder of a 10-year-old boy by two teenagers in Kasoa, a suburb of Central Region. The organisation, which is committed to the inherent dignity of every child, condemns the act and expresses its condolence to the family of the murdered boy. 

However, as a child-centred organisation, the reportage from the media is unethical and does not protect their privacy and dignity, the victim and the two suspects are teenagers and therefore must be protected and handled lawfully. 

Section 3 (2) & (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act states that: (2) A person shall not in the course of arrest, investigation or trial of an offence connected with a juvenile, or at any other stage of the cause or matter, release any information for publication that may lead to the identification of the juvenile. 

In (3); Any person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both. 

In view of the above, the teenagers and victims are being displayed on various media platforms and this is against the Juvenile Justice Act. It is the duty of the media to treat this issue with all seriousness, considering the teenagers involved. Although some people may not see anything wrong, it is not lawful to publicly parade and expose the identity and pictures of the two teenagers. 

We understand the public is upset, judging how the two teenagers planned and carried out the act. Notwithstanding, we should try and protect their identity, bearing in mind that any public exposure of the teenagers could also put them in danger. 

We are, hereby, appealing to the media and relevant stakeholders to stop displaying the identity and pictures of the suspects. We entreat them to allow the law to take its course to avoid any potential danger to the two suspected teenagers. 

‘Ritual murder’

Citi News reported on Saturday that two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini had been arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command for allegedly killing an 11-year-old boy supposedly for money rituals at Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa. 

Some eyewitnesses said the suspects allegedly lured the deceased, known as Ishmael Mensah by his peers, into an uncompleted building and smashed his head with a club and cement blocks killing him instantly. 

They subsequently buried him in the building.

Police said the suspects planned to recover the body at midnight for the supposed rituals. 

The two suspects were remanded in police custody on their first appearance in court on April 6, 2021. They are to reappear in court on April 20, 2021.

Media reportage on Kasoa ritual murder unethical – Child Rights International
Published by:

Another article focusing on the protection of the rights of children: 

Media reportage on Kasoa ritual murder unethical – Child Rights International
Published by: Modern Ghana, Richard Abayeta Abugre – April 8, 2021

Child Rights International (CRI) has lashed out at the media over what it describes as “unethical” reportage on the teenagers that allegedly killed and buried a 10-year-old at Lamptey Mills in Kasoa of the Central Region.

According to CRI, the media exposure of the details and images of the teenagers is a violation of the Juvenile Justice Act which protects the rights of juvenile offenders. 

The organisation insists that “as a child-centred organisation, the reportage from the media is unethical and does not protect their privacy and dignity, the victim and the two suspects are teenagers and therefore must be protected and handled lawfully.” 

Backing its position on the law, the organisation cites Section 3 (2) and (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act which states that; 

(2) A person shall not in the course of arrest, investigation or trial of an offence connected with a juvenile, or at any other stage of the cause or matter, release any information for publication that may lead to the identification of the juvenile. 

(3) Any person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both. 

Though the organisation acknowledges the public is upset over the matter but displaying their identity on the media is against their privacy and dignity. They are therefore calling on the media to exercise discretion on the matter that has the potential to put the teenagers in danger. 

“In view of the above, the teenagers and victims are being displayed on various media platforms and this is against the Juvenile Justice Act. It is the duty of the media to treat this issue with all seriousness, considering the teenagers involved. Although some people may not see anything wrong, it is not lawful to publicly parade and expose the identity and pictures of the two teenagers. 

“We understand the public is upset, judging how the two teenagers planned and carried out the act. Notwithstanding, we should try and protect their identity, bearing in mind that any public exposure of the teenagers could also put them in danger”, the organisation adds.

More articles:

Kasoa ‘Money Ritual’ Murder: Monitor The Behaviour Of Your Children. – Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah Advises Parents
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ‘ritual’ murder: Poor parenting, negligence major cause – Adib Saani
Published by: Pulse, Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: We must teach our children that hard work pays – Adwoa Safo
Published by: GH Base, Nana Yaw – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Gender Ministry to absorb accused into Juvenile Correctional Centres
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Money Ritual Murder: BoG Has A Responsibility To Stop Money Doublers – Sam Pyne
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual Murder: Police Counselling Unit interacts with deceased family
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Female spiritualist arrested
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Investigations must be swift – Kabila on Kasoa ‘money ritual’ murder
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: ‘A so-called Christian nation!’ – Apaak blames NMC, NCA
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: Citi FM/Citi TV boss calls for stiffer regulation of media space
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing smacks of poor economic condition in Ghana – Ashaiman MP to Akufo-Addo
Published by: GH Gossip, Juno Jonson – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing smacks of poor economic condition in Ghana – Ashaiman MP to Akufo-Addo
Includes his full statement: Campaign against money ritual adverts on our TV station
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: My Grandson Is A Thief, He Once Stole $10,000 From His Employer And Got Arrested – Grandfather Reveals
Published by: GH Gossip, Juno Jonson – April 8, 2021

Don’t let money make you accept money ritual ads – GPCC to media
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), in a statement issued on behalf of the National Executive Council by General Secretary Rev. Emmanuel Teimah Barrigah, has said it learnt with “great shock, the gruesome murder” of a ten-year-old boy by two teenagers for ritual purposes at Kasoa.
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa killing: What Kufuor forgot on ‘giving too much exposure to fraudulent people?
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: ‘Very poor dilapidated mallams’ advertise riches on TV – Ransford Gyampo jabs
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Murdered boy in Kasoa ritual killing to be buried on Thursday
Published by: My Joy Online – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Murder: Ghana police arrest witch doctor wey direct two teenagers to kill virgin for ritual money
Published by: BBC – April 8, 2021

APRIL 7, 2021:

Liberal Party of Ghana petitions IGP against ‘money ritualists’
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Fetish priestess arrested in connection with Kasoa boy killing
Published by: Graphic Online, Shirley Asiedu-Addo – April 7, 2021

Poverty is The Reason’- Lydia Forson On Ritual Killing
Published by: GH Gossip, GABS – April 7, 2021

It’s a lazy investigation to blame Kasoa ritual murder on TV spiritualists – NMC Chairman
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

GJA vows to sanction ‘bad’ media houses flouting ethics of journalism
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: NMC calls for stricter regulation of media
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual killings: Politicians accessories to such crimes – Clement Apaak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: The NMC & NCA should take the blame – Clement Apaak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Ritual Murder: Media must stop giving platforms to fraudulent people – Kufuor
Published by: Pulse, Ghana, Emmanuel Ayamga – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Stop giving exposure to fraudsters – Kufuor tells media houses
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: NMC calls for stricter regulation of media
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 7, 2021

It’s a lazy investigation to blame Kasoa ritual murder on TV spiritualists – NMC Chairman
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Blaming spiritualists on TV for Kasoa ritual murder is lazy approach – NMC Chairman
Published by: Pulse, Ghana, Emmanuel Ayamga – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: ‘We need a cultural revolution’ – Prof Kofi Agyekum asserts
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, ffrey Mensah2021

Kasoa Ritual Murder: Photo Of 10-Year-Old Killed By Sakawa Boys Pops Up; Massive Tears Flow
Published by: Yen, Jeffrey Mensah – April 7, 2021

We must teach our children that hardwork pays – Adwoa Safo on murder of 10-year-old for money … 
Published by: My Joy Online –  April 7, 2021

Kasoa murder: My brother was also killed for money rituals – Comedian Waris
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Kasoa murder: My brother was also killed for money rituals – Comedian Waris
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

My brother was a victim of ‘sakawa’ killing – Waris cries in video as he speaks about Kasoa case
Published by: Yen, Edwin Lampley – April 7, 2021

Myjoyonline.com
Teenagers who allegedly killed 10-year-old for rituals remanded into police custody · I was haunted by my wife’s ghost to confess killing her – Suspect … April 7 2021

Myjoyonline.com
It is with deep sadness that I learnt of the death of a 10-year-old boy at Kasoa who was allegedly brutally murdered for ritual purposes. My heartfelt … April 7, 2021

APRIL 6, 2021:

Kasoa: I will take the law into my hands if justice is delayed – Father of murdered 10-year-old boy
Published by: Yen, Ghana – April 6, 2021

We Must Question How Under-40 Politicians Got Cantonments, Airport, E. Legon Mansions…
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 6, 2021

Alleged ritual murder of teenager: GPA urges introduction of mental health education in pre-tertiary institutions
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Kasoa Killing: Court To Determine Fate Of Kasoa Teenage Killers Today
Publisged by: GH Gossip, Ghana, Kello – April 6, 2021

Expedite probes into alleged ritual killing – Adwoa Safo to police
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 6, 2021

Stop Blaming ‘Religion’; This Is ‘Bare-Faced Crime’ – Kwesi Pratt On 10-Year Old Pupil’s Murder At Kasoa
Published by: Peace fm Online, Ghana _ April 6, 2021

Age is a determinant factor in the alleged Kasoa ‘ritual murder’ – Bright Appiah
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Court remands Kasoa teenage ‘ritual money’ murder suspects
Published by: Graphic Online, Ghana, Emmanuel Bonney – April 6, 2021 

Kasoa murder: Ghana police charge teenagers wey kill 11 year-old boy after dem see ‘mallam’ advert on TV to court
Published by: BBC – April 6, 2021

Kasoa teen ‘killers’ got idea from TV ritualists; first planned kidnapping boy for GH¢5K ransom – Police
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Bright Appiah proposes better regulation in media to prevent ritual murder
Published by; Modern Ghana – April 6, 2021

Teenage Killers Saga: The NMC & NCA Should Take The Blame – Apaak
Published by: Peace fm Online, Ghana – April 6, 2021

TV content responsible for Kasoa ritual killing – Socrate Safo
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Stop Money Rituals On TV Now – Ghanaians campaign
Published by: GH Base, Ghana, Journalist Albert – April 6, 2021

‘Our society is sick’ – Kwesi Pratt fumes over Kasoa killing
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Teenagers were self-motivated by watching spiritualist on TV – Police
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 6, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: Teenagers were lured and deceived by ritualist on TV – Police provide exclusive information in court
Published by: GH Base, Ghana, Journalist Albert – April 5, 2021

The police prosecutor in the Kasoa ritual killing case says the two suspects who allegedly killed 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah were lured and deceived after watching a spiritualist on TV.

According to the facts of the case presented by the prosecutor, Inspector Japhet Agyeman, one of the suspects, Felix Nyarko, was moved by the claims of a spiritualist he watched on television on how he could make people instant millionaires.

He discussed it with his friend, Nicholas Kini, the second suspect, who said he also knows another spiritualist in the Volta Region who could help them.

After contacting the spiritualist, they were instructed to provide a human being and an amount of GH¢ 5,000 for rituals to be performed to make them rich.

APRIL 5, 2021:

Kasoa ritual killing: Poverty is the root cause – Bishop Salifu Amoako
Published by: Ghana Web – April 5, 2021

Manasseh Azure names ‘accomplices’ of Kasoa teenage murderers
Published by: Ghana Web – April 5, 2021

“Protect us, we are living in fear” – Kasoa residents cry to police
Published by: Pulse Ghana, Andreas Kamasah – April 5, 2021 

‘Blame Pastors Too’- Da Hammer On Ritual Killings
Published by: GH Gossip, Gabs – April 5, 2021

Blame social media influence for Kasoa teenagers’ gruesome murder of 10-year-old for money rituals – Da Hammer
Published by: GH Base, Ghana, Nana Yaw – April 5, 2021

Kasoa Sakawa Murder: Father of one of the arrested boys speaks (video)
Published by: GH Page, Ghana, Nazir Hamzah – April 5, 2021

April 4, 2021:

Ritual killing by Kasoa teenagers reflects Ghanaians’ glorification of unexplained wealth – Kwaku Azar
Published by: Ghana Web – April 4, 2021

Source: Police arrest 2 teenagers over an alleged ritual killing at Kasoa
Published by: Pulse Ghana – April 4, 2021

Two Kasoa teenagers arrested for murdering a 10-year-old, severing ear for rituals
Published by: Ghana Web – April 4, 2021

Kasoa: Two teenagers arrested over alleged ritual murder of 10-year-old
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 4, 2021

Kasoa Murder: How Ghana teenagers allegedly kill 11 year old boy wit cement block, bury am for evening rituals
Published by: BBC – April 4, 2021




Liberia: School expels K-1 pupil for alleged witchcraft

The following is a heartbreaking story. The administration of the TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, which runs a school in Paynesville, in Greater Monrovia,  asked the parents of a six-year-old kindergarten pupil to stop sending her to the school. The reason? The child’s alleged involvement in witchcraft activities. My initial reaction was, and to a certain extent still is one of disbelief. Knowing Liberia, I am aware that among members of certain communities the belief in witchcraft still exists, even today, in 2021, in the 21st century. Many Liberians use a mobile telephone. Also, the use of internet is widespread in Liberia. Yet the belief in magical powers, superstition, witchcraft hasn’t disappeared. Superstition can only be eliminated from society through education and awareness, yet in this case those who are engaged in these institutions show that they too believe in witchcraft.

I was struck and outraged for three reasons. First, parents entrust their children to teachers in schools and kindergartens because they expect that their children are thus protected by people who are well educated and trained, and qualified for their job. And yet these teachers and administrators disappoint us by believing in witchcraft, humiliating an innocent six-year old child by expelling her from school and making her an outcast in society!

Secondly, in any well functioning society there exists a system of checks and balances, institutions that watch and check on the respect of rules which we have agreed on as a society. In Liberia, the Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing the activities of schools. Moreover, there is a Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with a clear mandate. I woud have expected an immediate reaction of these two governmental institutions. Besides, the school is located near the residence of President Weah. Where are the authorities in Liberia when a six-year old child and her parents need them??

Last but not least, it is mind-boggling that responsible, adult people decide to insult, hurt, – I even call it torture – an innocent, small child that needs love, protection and guidance, and who should not be rejected, stigmatized, expelled from school, rejected by her friends and the society. Those who are responsible for this reprehensible, repulsive behavior should be brought before justice since what they have done is nothing less than a crime. I mention here the school’s principal and notably the proprietor of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, Napoleon Chattah.
On a national level, President Weah and/or the Legislature should immediately summon the Minister of Education, Prof Ansu D. Sonii, and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, William-Etta Piso Saydee-Tarr, question them how this can happen, ask them whether this is an unique act and situation or if it happens more frequently in the country,  and instruct them to take all measures needed to avoid a repeat of this situation.     
(webmaster FVDK)

School Expels K-1 Pupil for Alleged Witchcraft

Students at play at the TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation

Published: March 18, 2021
By: Daily Observer – William Q. Harmon

— Parents plead for gov’t, CSOs intervention; say no money to send child to another school

By Aryee Davis

A school in Paynesville has expelled one of its students for the child’s alleged involvement in witchcraft activities. Though without any form of proof, TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, located in the Rehab Community, recently asked the parents of the six-year-old kindergarten student to stop sending her to the school.

According to the parents of the child, who we shall refer to as Miemie to protect her identity, the school expelled her in a bid to prevent the child from potentially harming other students through the alleged witchcraft activities.

Located just a few minutes from President George Weah’s residence, the administration of TYNECEPLOH has been in existence for just over a year. Little Miemie was among the first batch of students who started attending the school when it was established last academic year. The school’s administrators admitted to the Daily Observer that the child was expelled, but refused to disclose the reason for the expulsion.

The child’s parents are pleading with the government and human rights advocates to probe the case to enable her to be reinstated.

When asked whether the allegation against her is true, Miemie burst into tears. She denied ever being a witch, insisting that the school administration’s action against her was based on rumors spread by her classmates.

Her expulsion from the newly established primary school comes in the wake of the harsh economic constraints that Liberians are being faced with as parents struggle to fend for their kids and at the same time send them to school.

“My friends lied on me to my teacher so they say I should not go to school again. Every day, when I see my friends going to school I can be crying. I want to go back to school. I miss my friends and my teacher,” Miemie explained.

To make matters worse, Miemie is now being stigmatized by her neighbors because of the same ‘witchcraft’ allegations. Some families in the neighborhood have banned their children from associating with her.

“My friends in my yard can’t play with me again; they are afraid of me, and only my small brother and I can play,” she added.

“I was on my way to the school on Tuesday morning, I received a message from my daughter’s teacher, only known as Ruth, that I should go on the campus as they wanted to see me. So I went there to find out what happened and, shockingly to me, I was told to take my daughter home,” Miemie’s mother explained.

“When I got on the campus, I met my daughter’s class sponsor, the principal, and the proprietor, who told me that my daughter’s classmates told their teacher that Miemie said she will kill the teacher, the principal, and suck the children’s blood. For this reason, she will not attend school again. The next day, my aunty and I went on the campus to appeal for Miemie to end the school year but they told me that their decision is final,” Miemie’s mother continued.

Miemie’s grandmother, who sells boiled cassava and coconut to pay the child’s tuition, could not hold back her tears at the allegation. “How can this six-year-old child kill her teacher, principal and suck her classmates’ blood? I took care of this child from birth because her father is not working I have never seen anything relating to witchcraft about my grandchild,” she said.

The proprietor of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, Napoleon Chattah, confirmed to this reporter that the child has been expelled from the school but declined to state the actual reason for or details concerning the expulsion.

When asked to see the Principal of the school, the proprietor, who was now visibly irritated, said that the principal was not available to speak because he had gone out to run some errands for the school.

“I’m the best person to provide answers to all the inquiries,” Mr. Chattah sharply replied.

But a source from the school that asked not to be named hinted that the administration of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation told Miemie’s parents to take her to pastors for what they termed as ‘deliverance prayers’, after which the parents will provide a note from the church or pastor confirming that the child is free from witchcraft practices before being accepted back in school.

According to the source, Miemie’s expulsion is on the basis that she’s a witch and that her presence at the school would be dangerous for other kids sharing a class with her.

With this argument, the source continued, the school is insinuating that little Miemie has the power of the ‘dark world’ and could potentially initiate other students.

Sources who are well experienced in the deliverance of suspected or known witches told the Daily Observer that those who practice witchcraft activities have the ability to initiate others. “It is often held that parents, close relatives or friends who are witches often find it easy to initiate other children into the practice. It is also believed that children who are members of the dark world are frequently sent on missions by their superiors to recruit or sometimes harm their peers,” one deliverance minister, who requested not to be named, explained.

Miemie’s parents are however calling on the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Child Rights advocacy groups to probe what they consider to be an unjust decision by the school.

Asked why Miemie cannot be taken to another school, the mother said she cannot afford it because there is no money.

“The little money we had at the beginning of the school year is what we used to register our daughter. We do not have any money to take her to another school,” she said, adding, “If even we could raise a little money, we will not be able to also send her to a faraway school because schools within the community might not accept her because of the allegation. This is why we are calling on relevant authorities to probe into the situation to clear our daughter’s name.

Source: School Expels K-1 Pupil for Alleged Witchcraft

Catholic officials decry resurgence of death penalty in southern Africa

The focus of today’s posting is not on ritualistic murders or comparable and related crimes, such as kidnapping, torture a.s.o. However, the topic is related: in more than one African country, the public and also the authorities want the introduction and the carrying out of the death penalty for convicted perpetrators of ritual killings both as a deterrent to prevent future crimes and as a justified revenge of the community for the senseless loss of life of one of its members.

It is a controversial topic, as will be clear from the article below. Whereas many African countries have abolished the capital punishment, there seems to be a resurgence of the death penalty in various parts of Africa, notably in southern Africa (Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe), but also in West Africa (Nigeria e.g.). Recently, Catholic officials across the continent have rejected the increasing calls for the introduction of the death penalty, saying “The death sentence cannot be a solution, especially considering how poor our justice system still is across most of Africa.”

The latter argument makes sense. There are more reasons to defend the abolishment of the death penalty. However, supporters hold the opposite view for reasons cited above.

Whatever the position is, in favor of or against the death penalty, the article reproduced below shows one more time the ugly practice of ritualistic murders in Southern Africa.  

More on the killing of people with albinism in Malawi in a few days time (webmaster FVDK).

Catholic officials decry resurgence of death penalty in southern Africa

Boniface Chibwana, coordinator for the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of Malawi’s bishop’s conference (Provided photo)

Published: March 15, 2021
By: National Catholic Reporter – Tawande Karombo

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Catholic officials and human rights campaigners across Africa are reiterating their opposition to capital punishment after Botswana carried out two executions for murder convictions in February.

Botswana, located north of South Africa, confirmed the executions of 33-year-old Wedu Mosalagae and 29-year-old Kutlo Setima on Feb. 8. Both had been found guilty in separate cases of killing a woman.

Oluwatosin Popoola, a legal advisor for Amnesty International on death penalty issues, told NCR that the organization is “very concerned” about the executions, especially as they are the fifth and sixth since President Mokgweetsi Masisi came into office in 2019.

This as “a high number for Botswana within a 16-month period and an indication that the country is not relenting in its adherence” to the use of the death penalty, said Popoola.

“The recent executions are regressive and they slow down Africa’s push against the death penalty,” said Popoola. “There is no unique imperative for any country to use the death penalty.”

Although many African nations have abolished use of the death penalty in the past decade — including Guinea, Benin, the Republic of the Congo and Madagascar — Botswana’s government claims it can be a good deterrent to prevent violent crimes.

In nearby Malawi, proponents say it prevents the murdering of people with albinism for ritual purposes. Amnesty international said earlier in February that more than 20 murders of people with albinism have been committed in Malawi since 2014.

In 2019, three Malawians were sentenced to death for the killing of a person with albinism. (See tomorrow’s posting – FVDK). But the country has not carried out any death sentence since 1994, joining other countries such as Zimbabwe that have been imposing death sentences but not carrying out executions.

Boniface Chibwana, coordinator for the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of Malawi’s bishop’s conference, told NCR he thinks African Catholic officials can be doing more to drum up support for the dropping of the death penalty across the continent.

“To deter crimes such as murder, the church needs to progressively and actively socialize the young using the human rights approach, so that many of its followers should grow in Christ while respecting the human rights culture to build societies where such rights as the protection of life are a norm,” he said.

In 2019, there was a 53% jump in death sentence convictions across sub-Saharan Africa compared to 212 convictions a year earlier. These death sentences resulted from murder convictions in Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Popoola said Chad, which borders Libya, Niger and Sudan, was the latest country in Africa to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.

In South Africa, there have been calls for the restoration of the death penalty from some sections of society, especially as gender-based violence and killings of women increase. South Africa abolished capital punishment in 1995.

Fr. Dumisani Vilakati, director of the regional conference of Catholic bishops across southern Africa, told NCR that the church is often blamed for not being vocal enough against the death penalty. But he said the church “is part of the solution” for the promotion of the right to life, from conception to natural death.

“Here in Africa, we have to put the death penalty in the pro-life scheme that has been espoused by Pope Francis,” said Vilakati.

“We are a church that preaches conversion of human beings, and we believe that people can change for the better,” said the priest. “The death sentence cannot be a solution, especially considering how poor our justice system still is across most of Africa.”

Vilakati explained that there have been numerous wrongful convictions across the continent, and inmates are increasingly having to wait longer and longer for their trials to be conducted.

“What we need to do as a society is to educate people, and the church should play its role in espousing the sanctity of life [rather] than having society eliminating people through death penalty,” said Vilakati. “We should be pro-life and give people a second chance.”

Source: Catholic officials decry resurgence of death penalty in southern Africa

Map of Southern Africa

It’s time for Africa to protect its children from the web of ritual killings (2016 article)

The following plea to end ritual killings focuses on children who are targeted in numerous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Vulnerable, innocent children are mutilated and murdered by ruthless and criminal people who want to increase their wealth, health, power or reputation – by all means. The Nigerian author of this article, which dates from 2016 but could have been written yesterday, OmoTola Omolaya, specifically mentions a number of countries notably Botswana, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

I don’t know the author’s reasons to limit himself to aforementioned countries. In each and every African country where ritual murders are committed, also children die at the hands of unscrupulous murderers who very often get away with their ugly crimes.

However, I fully agree with his conclusion: African governments need to act!

Warning: the following article contains graphic details which may shock the reader (webmaster FVDK).

It’s time for Africa to protect its children from the web of ritual killings

Published: February 29, 2016
By: Ventures Africa – Omotola OmoLaya

In 2011, BBC did a documentary on witch craft and ritual killings in Uganda and one of the gory stories was about a three-year old boy found in the outskirts of Uganda lying in a pool of blood. His penis had been cut off by ritualists and he was rushed to the hospital to save his life. While speaking with a BBC correspondent, even though the parents are advocating for the ban of witchcraft in the country, the mother is more concerned about her son’s future. She said, “every time I look at him, I ask myself how his future is going to be as a man without a penis. Also I wonder what the rest of the community is going to look at him with a private part that looks like that of a female.”

Like the little boy, a lot of children have fallen victim to kidnappers and ritual killers. Due to their vulnerability, they are easily abducted on their way to school or heading to fetch water. These children, considered pure, are sacrificed by witch doctors to appease ‘the gods’ and bring a myriad of solutions which include wealth, good health, and fertility among others. Hearts, ears, livers and genitals are considered as key ingredients of the rituals.

Although the BBC documentary was released in 2011, not much has changed in Uganda. Very recently, six cases of mutilation and murder of children were reported by a charity organization during the recent Ugandan elections. The Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), a charity that cares for survivors of attempted child sacrifice, reported that children were used as good luck sacrifices during this period in order to bring wealth and power.  Though Moses Binoga, coordinator of the anti-trafficking task force at the interior ministry, did not confirm KCM’s report, he agreed that children had been reported missing in the election period.

This shocking revelations show that it is now unsafe to be a child in Africa. Ritual killings is not peculiar to Uganda, it takes place in other African countries such as Liberia, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. The repeated occurrences of these killings without a penalty is a blatant violation for the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. According to this charter, an individual is entitled to respect for his life and integrity of his person. However, disrespect for a person (children) life thrives in several African country.

Why ritual killings are still prevalent in Africa:

Ritualists are often patronized by the rich and wealthy

In Tanzania, children with albinism are targeted for sacrifices by witch doctors who gets paid by politicians to be successful in their election bids. Also, the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law reports that in Swaziland and Liberia, politicians allegedly commission ritual killings to improve their odds in elections. The same pattern obtains in Uganda as well, where the wealthy pay witch doctors in a bid to expand their fortunes. In Ivory Coast, (where the rate of child abduction is so high that the UNICEF had to intervene) there are speculations that ritual killings by corrupt businessmen and politicians used body parts in ceremonies to confer supernatural powers.

Superstitions, culture and religion.

Africa is still entrenched in dogmas, myth and belief in magic. There is still a prevalence of confidence in charms and witch craft which has been handed down since time immemorial. Ritual killings are culturally acceptable in some parts of South Africa, therefore, the practice is not usually reported by community members. Occultism and other forms of religion permit ritual acts to appease the gods, abate misfortune and seek supernatural help. Many also perform these rituals out of fear of unpleasant spiritual consequences if they falter.

The web of culture, religion and superstition often results in an ethical conflict between protection of human rights and respect for the beliefs and practices of other cultures.

Secrecy

Not many have been convicted of crimes associated with ritual killings in Africa. Due to the coat of secrecy surrounding ritual killings, it makes it difficult to hold the responsible parties accountable and liable for their unlawful actions.

Tag SDGs

A part of the Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations says that the countries should:

  • Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children

Children are the most vulnerable in any society and it is the duty of leaders all around the world to provide a safe haven for its young. Africa needs to stop neglecting the safety of these innocent children. Its leaders should enact laws that protect them from gruesome murders that cut their lives short even before their prime.

It is time to enforce the African Charter, because although it permits religious practices, it does not favor jeopardizing a human life (under which ritual killings fall). African governments need to hold those responsible for taking human lives accountable. It is time for Africa to protect its children.

Source: Tag SDGs: Its time for Africa to protect its children from the web of ritual killings

Political map of Africa

Ghana: family of young lady murdered at Doryumu believes she was murdered for ritual purposes

First of all I should state that it has not been established with certainty that the murder described below was a ritual murder.

Having said this, the reason why I nevertheless decided to include the report covering the murder here is to illustrate that the phenomenon of ritualistic murder is an accepted reality for many people in Ghana and an instinctive reaction to explain someone’s sudden death. 

As soon as someone gets missing – a child, an adolescent, or a grown-up person – and as soon as the mutilated and lifeless body of a murdered person has been found, people start whispering and gossiping, fearing that again a notorious ritualistic act has been committed. And Ghana is not the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa where this is the case. 

This is precisely one of the reasons why the present website on ritual killing in Africa has been created: by exposing this fear of people – an anxiety which violates one of their human rights: the right to live without fear for life, honor or property – (i) showing the need to fight a cruel, outdated practice based on superstition and ignorance and (ii) contributing to its eradication. 

Details of the murder at Doryumu have not been disclosed. However, the family of the 19-year old Juliette represented by the head of the Obu family publicly said they believe the victim was killed for ritual purposes.

Its a sad reality that ritualistic murders are on people’s mind as soon as they are confronted with a senseless or an unexplained murder (webmaster FVDK).

Shai-Osudoku MP commiserates with Family of 19-year-old lady murdered at Doryumu

Audio – To listen to the article, click here 

Published: January 26, 2021
By: Modern Ghana 

The Member of Parliament for Shai-Osudoku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Linda Akweley Ocloo has paid a visit to the bereaved family of the 19-year old lady who was murdered in cold blood by unknown assailants at Doryumu weeks ago.

The MP’s visit which took place yesterday, January 25, was to commiserate with the family and assure them of her support following the lose of their daughter. 

Hon. Akweley used the opportunity to call on the youths of the community where the murder took place to assist the police to investigate the incident and bring all perpetrators to book. 

Juliette who was a twin and a bar attendant was spotted by residents walking in the company of a certain young man believed to be her boyfriend few hours before her bloodied and lifeless body with multiple deep machete wounds was spotted at 10pm on Monday, January 11. 

Head of the Obu family while speaking during the MP’s visit said he believes their daughter was murdered for ritual purposes. 

He further pleaded with the MP and her entourage to work with the police in the area to chase out alleged kidnappers who he claims have been hiding in the Dodowa forest to perpetrate evil. 

Juliette mortal remains has since been deposited at an undisclosed morgue. 

Investigators at the Greater Accra Regional police headquarters are handling the case.

Source: Shai-Osudoku MP commiserates with Family of 19-year-old lady murdered at Doryumu

Map of Shai Osudoku of the Greater Accra Region, Ghana