Leo Igwe does not need any introduction. Multiple times I have posted articles on this indefatigable human rights champion. See e.g. my October 25, 2021 posting.
The belief in witchcraft and the weak rule of law in many African countries contribute to mob justice (or ‘jungle justice’ as this popular act is also called) and lynchings of perceived witches. In Kenya e.g., as in many other African countries, mob justice is criminal. Nevertheless, up to five incidents are reported (!) weekly in this East African country. The reader may guess what happens in other African countries… (FVDK).
Witchcraft Persecution and Advocacy without Borders in Africa
Published: March 3, 2023 By: This Day – Nigeria
The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges Africans to campaign against abuses linked to witchcraft beliefs everywhere. This call follows the rescue of Nigerian nationals, who were accused of witchcraft in Kenya. As reported, the police rescued these Nigerians in Thika Town in Kiambu County. It was stated that an angry mob beat and almost lynched them while they were performing some rituals. These Nigerians claimed that they were conducting some prayers. It was not stated the kind of prayers that they were conducting. The police intervened, resisted the mob, and took these nationals, who sustained some injuries, to a nearby hospital.
The Advocacy for Alleged Witches commends the Kenya police for intervening and rescuing these foreign nationals. As in many parts of Africa, witchcraft accusation is a killer phenomenon, and a death sentence. These foreign nationals were fortunate. Police rescued them. In many instances, the police arrive late, after the damage has been done.
Recently, Kenya recorded incidents of witch persecution and killing. Last week, two elderly women, accused of witchcraft, were lynched in Murang’a County. There is still no information regarding the arrest and prosecution of suspected perpetrators of this heinous crime. In other African countries, such as Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, accusations of witchcraft and witch persecution take place. Alleged witches have been attacked, killed, or banished. However, in most cases, locals are the target.
People often accuse members of their neighbors, members of their family or community. This incident draws attention to the fact that foreigners are also at risk of being accused. Africans should look beyond their borders in advocating against witchcraft-linked violations. People often demonize strange and unfamiliar prayer and ritual forms. They regard them as evil, as invocations of occult harm. African Christians and Muslims have been indoctrinated to demonize, occultize and witchcraftize religious others, especially traditional religions or any ritual forms that deviate from religion, as they know it.
As this incident has illustrated, those who conduct prayers and rituals that depart from local norms are at risk of being accused of witchcraft and evil magic. Witchcraft accusation is a threat to the lives of Africans everywhere. Africans should not look the other way as alleged witches are attacked and killed in other countries. They should know that everyone is at risk of being accused or killed for witchcraft, whether you are a local or a foreigner. Africans should strive to advocate against witchcraft accusations and witch persecution without borders.
Another ritual murder case in Kenya. At least, all indications point to this cruel, senseless crime motivated by greed and based on superstition. Warning: the following stories contain graphic details of the murder of a young child (webmaster FVDK).
Murang’a: Girl, 8, found dumped with missing body parts hours after she disappeared
Shock has engulfed Kayu village in Kangema, Murang’a after a body of an eight-year-old girl was discovered badly mutilated and some body parts missing in what is believed to be a ritual killing.
According to the locals, the minor, Hannah Wambui went missing on Monday evening at around 7.30 pm. At the time, Wambui was at their shop located in their home compound and a search was immediately launched.
Kangema Subcounty Police Commander John Ogolla said they had arrested a 34-year-old neighbour of the deceased who is a casual labourer and was conducting investigations to establish whether he was involved in the murder.
Gideon Gitahi, the local Nyumba Kumi chairperson said after receiving a distress call from the deceased’s father, residents decided to move door to door in search of the little girl.
“Her mother had gone to look after a sick relative in Nairobi and so the deceased had been left under the care of her father. The girl went missing while the father was preparing supper in the main house,” said Gitahi.
He added that after conducting a search, the villagers found one of the deceased’s socks at the main suspect’s bedside and the police were promptly called.
Even after the police arrested the culprit, locals continued with their search mission for the whole night.
The long search came to an end after one of the neighbours who was involved in the search stepped on the body which had been dumped at a tea plantation.
Stephen Mwangi said the body had its private parts removed and skinned from the chest to the stomach.
“I could not look at the body twice, I made a distress call and when people came, they confirmed that it was the missing girl,” Mwangi said.
Mwangi joined his neighbours in alluding that the girl died of a cult activity but they also suspected that she could have been defiled before being killed.
“Her clothes were found in Kianguku shopping centre but her socks were found at the bed of the main suspect leads us to conclude that he could have defiled the minor,” locals claimed.
But it is the lack of bloodstains at the scene that baffled the locals who are yet to find any sign of bloodstains at any place in the village.
“Even if the girl was killed elsewhere and the body transferred to the scene, we could have seen bloodstains, and again the private parts were missing,” Gitahi said.
The deceased was a Standard One pupil at Rwathia Primary School and was the firstborn in a family of two.
Outrage over ritual-like murder of 8 year-old girl in Murang’a
Published: March 2, 2021 By: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation – Sylvia Ombuya/ Wambui Mwangi
Police in Murang’a County have launched investigations into the mysterious murder of an 8 year-old girl.
The badly mutilated body of Hannah Wambui was discovered shortly after she went missing on Monday evening
According to residents of Kayu village in Kangema Constituency , the minor went missing on Monday evening at around 7:30 pm at their shop located in their home compound when the search ensued.
According to area Nyumba Kumi Initiative chairperson Gideon Gitahi, residents decided to conduct a door to door search for the girl after receiving a distress call from the deceased father.
“Her mother had gone to look after a sick relative in Nairobi and so the deceased had been left under the care of her father. When the father was preparing supper, the girl was in their shop located in their homestead. After conducting a search from door to door, we found one sock at the bed of the main suspect and we called the police, it was around 10pm,” Gitahi said.
Even after the police arrested the culprit, locals continued with their search mission overnight.
“Her clothes were found in Kianguku shopping centre but her socks were found at the bed of the main suspect leading us to conclude that he could have defiled the minor,” locals claimed.
One of the neighbors who was on his way to answer the distress call stumbled on the body which had been dumped at a tea plantation bringing to an end the long search.
According to Stephen Mwangi, the body had its private parts removed and skinned from the chest to the stomach in what has triggered fears that the murder could have been a ritual killing.
“I could not look at the body twice, I also made a distress call and people came and confirmed that it was the missing girl,” Mwangi said.
The deceased was a Standard One pupil at Rwathia Primary School and was the first born in a family of two.
The body of an eight-year-old who went missing last night (Monday) was on Tuesday, March 2 found in Kayu Village, Murang’a county. The girl was brutally murdered and dumped at a tea plantation
Hannah Wambui was a grade one pupil at Rwathia Primary school went missing on March 1, 2021. According to residents, she had been left in the care of her father after her mother left for Nairobi to care for a sick relative.
She reportedly went missing at 7:30 pm at their shop in the homestead while her father was making supper. The father called the local Nyumba Kumi Chair, Gideon Gitahi who called for an immediate door-to-door search.
“Her mother had gone to look after a sick relative in Nairobi and so the deceased had been left under the care of her father. The girl went missing while the father was preparing supper in the main house,” stated Gitahi.
One of the members of the search party raised an alarm after finding one of the girls’ socks in a man’s house.
“Her clothes were found in Kianguku shopping center but her socks were found at the bed of the main suspect leading us to conclude that he could have defiled the minor,” the locals reported.
However, police are also pursuing the angle of a ritual killing as the girl’s private parts had been removed.
The man was arrested but the search went on until one neighbor stepped on the body of the girl in a tea plantation.
“I could not look at the body twice, I made a distress call and when people came, they confirmed that it was the missing girl,” said Mwangi who has found the body.
There were no bloodstains at the scene where she was found which led the locals to believe that the act must have been propagated elsewhere.
“Even if the girl was killed elsewhere and the body transferred to the scene, we could have seen bloodstains, and again the private parts were missing,” added Gitahi.
Kangema Subcounty Police Commander John Ogolla said they arrested the 34-year-old man in whose house a sock was found and investigations are underway to unravel the murder.