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

Ghanaian prophetess narrates how she lived with dwarfs for 7 years & killed many people

I cannot present the following article without adding some warnings and observations.

When hearing the prophetess narrate how she lived with dwarfs, I -personally –  take some distance from her confessions. However, not believing – rather, not being able to believe – what she’s saying, I do not want to discredit her, or accuse her of being led by her phantasies. The world ruled by imagination and superstition is a world different from mine. Hence, I do not qualify her allegations as true or untrue. I merely present her narrative to you, readers of this site, and it is up to you to draw your own conclusions.

The same holds for her confessions that she killed (many) people for money rituals. In legal terms, a confession alone is no proof of a crime. 

For the purpose of this site, however, the interview held by blogger Zion Felix is useful and warranted since it shows the existence if a firm belief in superstition, witchcraft and the power of money rituals. 
(webmaster FVDK)

Ghanaian prophetess narrates how she lived with dwarfs for 7 years & killed many people

Prophetess Blessing – Kumasi, Ghana

Published: March 18, 2021
By: Pulse, Ghana – Andreas Kamasah

A Ghanaian prophetess based in Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti region has narrated how she used to live with dwarfs and killed many people for money rituals.

Prophetess Blessing Amoaniwaa told blogger Zion Felix in an interview that her union with the dwarfs and the killings were beyond her control.

Screenshot from one-hour interview with the prophetess, in local Ghanaian  language (Ashanti) 
to watch video, click here

She explained that her grandparents who were barren and yearning for children entered into a pact with some evil spirits with a condition that from time to time, a member of their family would be sacrificed to the gods in compensation for the child they ‘blessed’ them with.

According to her, whoever is offered to the gods must become a prophet or prophetess of the gods.

She said she was kidnapped by the dwarfs while she was just a little child and initiated into the evil practice and when she returned, she could not recognise her mother.

“My family had their wish eventually. They had kids and successful people in our family but they forgot that they had a pact with the devil.

“A pact which stated that a member of our family at every point in time would be sacrificed to the shrine as a fetish priest or priestess as a form of thanksgiving to the gods for giving my grandparents the babies they had been yearning for,” she revealed.

After her return from the world of dwarfs, she said she became so powerful and engaged in evil spiritual practice for years, including money rituals.

Prophetess Blessing who said she has been able to break ties with the gods and now has her own church in Kumasi recounted that it was not an easy task parting ways with the evil spirits.

She disclosed that all her family members who declined to comply with the generational pact suffered terrible consequences.

“Members of my family who were to serve as priests or priestesses and refused were either hit with perennial sicknesses or went mad. My auntie and uncle all suffered from those calamities.”

Prophetess Blessing said she is now a devout Christian with the ability to discern between the voice of the devil and that of the almighty God.

Source: Ghanaian prophetess narrates how she lived with dwarfs for 7 years & killed many people 

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

Superstition and witchcraft, reasons to dissolve a marriage (Nigeria)

I have hesitated to present here the following reports since there’s no kidnapping, mutilation or murder involved, hence no violation of human rights. However, I decided to include these articles for three reasons.

First, to demonstrate the pervasive existence of the belief in superstition in society, not only among ‘ordinary’ (read: uneducated) people but also among highly educated people such as lawyers and even judges. Apparently, the latter consider the belief in witchcraft enough reason to disband many-year-old marriages if a couple accuses one another of witchcraft. It is important to emphasize that it’s in this context – belief in witchcraft – that ritualistic activities such as murders, kidnappings, mutilation of victims and grave robbing occur. Hence, the second reason to include these reports is that the belief in witchcraft, even if it does not culminate in murder or another heinous crime, lies at the basis of ritualistic killings (known as ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria), which terrorize the population and form a serious and intolerable infringement upon their basic human right to live without fear. And thirdly, last but not least, this site is not only focusing on ritual killings but also on witchcraft and superstition, after all closely related (webmaster FVDK).

My husband wants to use me for ritual – Woman tells court

Published: March 5, 2021
By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Nsikak Nseyen 

A Customary Court in Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State has dissolved a six-year-old marriage between a trader, Kaosara Okeowo and her husband, Lateef, over alleged threat to life.

The mother of two had told the court that she was in danger because her husband wants to use her for ritual.

Delivering judgment, Chief Ademola Odunade, the President of the court, dissolved the marriage in the interest of peace.

NAN reports that Odunade awarded custody of the two children to Okeowo.

The arbitrator ordered Lateef to pay N10,000 as child support.

Testifying, Okeowo said, “My Lord, things are not going on well. He requests for unusual and personal things from me.”

But Lateef denied the allegations.

”She can go if she wants to leave. I want the court to order her to return his cooking utensils, clothes and a big ram in her custody,” he said.

However, Lateef’s father argued that his son was not a ritualist and that his daughter-in-law was such an opportunist who had seen another man with more money.

Source: My husband wants to use me for ritual – Woman tells court

And:

My husband uses “charms” on me during sex – Woman tells court

Published: February 5, 2021
By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Don Silas

A businesswoman, Bukola Ejalonibu, on Friday, told a Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan to dissolve her 23-year-old marriage to her estranged husband, Kolawole because he uses charms on her during sex.

In her petition, Bukola prayed the court to grant her prayer for divorce because: ”my husband uses charms on me before sleeping with me.

“My lord, my life is in danger. Every time he uses the charms, I faint and have to be hospitalised. Kolawole is a reckless drunk and can kill me,”.

She alleged that Kolawole threw her things out of the house and destroyed her supermarket.

In his defence, Kolawale said that his wife was an ingrate.

”She wants me dead so that she can inherit my property.

“I opened a multi-million Naira supermarket for her. I give her money. My wife is promiscuous,” he alleged.

After listening to the testimonies, the president of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade dissolved the marriage.

Odunade granted custody of the first two children to Kolawole and the
last two to Ejalonibu.

He ordered the respondent to pay N10,000 as monthly feeding allowance to Ejalonibu.

Source: My husband uses “charms” on me during sex – Woman tells court

And:

Man narrates how wife asked witch doctor to tie him spiritually, milk him dry

Published: January 14, 2020,
By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Annie Nwosu

A Customary Court sitting in Mapo, Ibadan, on Thursday dissolved a 15-year-old marriage between a mother of two, Olubunmi Faseyitan, and her husband, Kolawole, over ”witchcraft” suspicion.

Kolawole, who prayed for the dissolution of his 15-year-old marriage on grounds that his wife was into black magic, said he did everything possible to please her. but it was not enough.

“I abandoned the home to her after she confessed to me,” he said.

He also presented the recorded conversation between his wife and the alleged witch doctor as exhibit before the court.

In her defense, Faseyitan told the court that she never wished death on her husband.

According to her, “all I wanted was to him in bondage and make him sick, until he serves his purpose.”

”I only told the witch doctor to do it in such a way that people would be convinced that his second wife was responsible for the calamity that befell him,” she said.

Delivering Judgement, President of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade, dissolved the marriage after Faseyitan admitted that she asked a witch doctor to ”tie her husband spiritually to milk him dry”.

He said that he dissolved the union in the interest of peace and granted custody of the two children to Faseyitan.

Odunade also ordered Kolawole to pay N6,000 monthly for the children’s upkeep, NAN reports.

Source: Man narrates how wife asked witch doctor to tie him spiritually, milk him dry

And:

Court dissolves 10-year-old marriage over alleged money ritual

Published: November 24, 2020
By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Annie Nwosu

A Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan, on Tuesday dissolved a 10-year-old marriage between one Basirat Adeyoyin and estranged husband, Adeyoyin Niyi over attempted money ritual.
Basirat told the court that she was calling it quit with her husband because, “he was making desperate effort to use her for money ritual.’’

She said that she first noticed this when her husband did not show any regret after she lost her last pregnancy due to much sexual activities with him.

“Suddenly in 2018, Niyi came home one night and told me that he received a message that he must have a seven-day marathon sex with me without a gap of any day.

“I read no meaning to it and I allowed him until there was a problem.

“I was already carrying a three month-old pregnancy before that time and on the second day of the marathon sex, I lost the pregnancy.

“I took care of myself in the hospital only for Niyi to come home to start requesting for the continuation of the seven-day marathon sex even when I was still bleeding.

“Then, I consulted my parents and relatives and from every indication, we discovered that he was trying to use me for money ritual, ”Basirat said.

Her husband, Niyi in his defense said his wife was too troublesome for him and was a careless housewife.

“Even if this court would dissolve my marriage, I pray to be given custody of the two children because Basirat cannot take care of them.

“One of the young boys in our neighbourhood raped our first child and she did not tell me about the incident.

“My Lord, it was because she often overstay in the market that such a thing could happen,” Niyi added.

Delivering judgment, the President of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade said that the court would not watch until there was anarchy before making the right decision.

Odunade, therefore, dissolved the union between Basirat and Niyi in the interest of peace and tranquility.

He awarded custody of the two children produced by the union to the plaintiff and ordered the respondent to pay N10, 000 as the children’s monthly feeding allowance, NAN reports.

Source: Court dissolves 10-year-old marriage over alleged money ritual

Kenya: Tharaka Nithi girl killed in bizarre ritual sacrifice buried

See my January 20 and January 25, 2021 postings for background information on this ritual murder. Warning: some readers may find the story disturbing (webmaster FVDK).

Tharaka Nithi girl killed in bizarre ritual sacrifice buried

The mother of nine-year-old Debra Kagendi, the girl who was beheaded in a suspected ritual sacrifice, holds her daughter’s portrait during burial on January 26, 2021 in Tharaka Nithi County. Photo: Alex Njeru | Nation Media Group

Published: January 27, 2021
By: The Nation, Kenya – Alex Njeru  

The nine-year-old girl from Tharaka Nithi who was beheaded last week in what was suspected to be a ritual sacrifice was on Tuesday buried in an emotional ceremony at her home in Mpingu village, Maara Sub-county.

Bitter relatives, local leaders, teachers and the villagers eulogised Debra Kagendi, who was a Grade Two pupil at Kiurani Primary School, as an obedient girl and demanded justice over her killing.

The Ameru Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders led by Maara Constituency chapter vice-secretary, Mr Gilbert Kathendu, also castigated the heinous act and urged the residents to remain calm as the matter goes on in court but vowed to conduct a traditional ritual to curse the act.

Cleansing prayers

The clergy also announced plans to conduct prayers in the region to cleanse the area of evil activities such as witchcraft.

Marimanti MCA Susan Ngugi and her Mwimbi counterpart Jonnes Kinegeni asked police to conduct thorough investigations and build a water-tight case against the suspected criminals.

Ms Ngugi decried the rise in child abuse and gender-based violence in Magutuni area and asked the local administration to weed out the criminals.

“We are urging those handling the murder case to make sure that the truth is known and justice is served,” said Ms Mwindu.

Mr Kinegeni urged parents to be keen on the whereabouts of their children, especially girls, because cases of child abuse are on the rise in the region.

Investigations ongoing

Mwimbi Deputy County Commissioner Elaine Kaale assured the residents that investigation officers are doing everything to unearth the truth that they will present in court against the suspects.

She called for calm and warned the villagers against taking the law into their hands by doing any vengeful act.

The body of the girl was found at the home of a suspected witch-doctor, Mr Suleiman Mati Mukiira, 94, on January 17, 2021.

Head found

Maara Sub-County Police Commander Mohammed Jarso said they found the head of the girl at a different place from where the torso was.

He added that they also found carcasses of a goat and chicken with missing hearts.

Following the incident, police arrested Mukiira and Mr Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, who were presented in court as suspects.

Police asked for seven days to continue holding them as they conclud investigations.

On Monday, the two were brought before Senior Resident Magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi but did not take a plea as police asked for more time to conduct a post-mortem on the girl’s body and also take the suspects for a mental tests.

Source: Tharaka Nithi girl killed in bizarre ritual sacrifice buried

South Africa: staggering number of children murdered each year

The story presented below is not about ritual killing, or muti murders, as these crimes based on superstition and witchcraft are called in Southern Africa. It’s about the violent death of children including muti murder, however. 

As stated in the article below, “According to official figures, around 1,000 children are murdered every year in South Africa, nearly three a day. But that statistic, horrific as it may be, may be an undercount.”.

The same applies for muti murders. The muti cases known are just the top of the iceberg.

For this reason I have decided to include the following article which was originally published by Associated Press (webmaster FVDK).

In South Africa, child homicides show violence ‘entrenched’

Mourners look at the body of 5-year-old Wandi Zitho at his funeral in Orange Farm, South Africa, on April 28, 2020. The boy was murdered in a suspected witchcraft ritual and his body was found in his neighbor’s tavern. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

Published: December 22, 2020
By: KSAT.com / Associated Press – Gerald Imray And Bram Janssen

CAPE TOWN – At night, Amanda Zitho worries her little boy is shivering and cold in his coffin and yearns to take him a blanket. She knows Wandi’s dead and gone and it’s senseless, but that doesn’t stop the ache. 

Wandi was 5 when he was killed in April, allegedly strangled with a rope by a Johannesburg neighbor — another dead child in a land where there are too many. 

According to official figures, around 1,000 children are murdered every year in South Africa, nearly three a day. But that statistic, horrific as it is, may be an undercount.

Shanaaz Mathews thinks many more children are victims of homicides that are not investigated properly, not prosecuted or completely missed by authorities. The official figures are “just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mathews, the director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town and probably the country’s leading expert on child homicides. 

In a country where more than 50 people are murdered every day, children are not special and are not spared.

“Violence has become entrenched” in the psyche of South Africa, Mathews said.

“How do we break that cycle?” she asked.

In 2014, she embarked on a research project to uncover the real extent of those child deaths. She did it by getting forensic pathologists to put the dead bodies of hundreds of newborn babies, infants, toddlers and teenagers on examination tables to determine exactly how they died.

Child death reviews are common in developed countries but had never been done in South Africa before Mathews’ project. As she feared, the findings were grim. 

Over a year, the pathologists examined the corpses of 711 children at two mortuaries in Cape Town and Durban and concluded that more than 15% of them died as a result of homicides. For context, Britain’s official child death review last year found 1% of its child deaths were homicides. Mathews’ research showed homicide was the second most common cause of death for children in those two precincts.

“And the numbers are not going down,” she said. “If anything, they are going up.”

There are two patterns in South Africa. Teenagers are being swallowed up in the country’s desperately high rate of violent street crime. But also, large numbers of young children aged 5 and under are victims of deadly violence meted out not by an offender with a gun or a knife on a street corner, but by mothers and fathers, relatives and friends, in kitchens and living rooms, around dinner tables and in front of TVs.

Fatal child abuse is where the justice system often fails and cases are “falling through the cracks,” Mathews said.

There was, she says, the case of a 9-month-old child who had seizures after being dropped off at day care. Though rushed to the hospital, the child died. 

Doctors found severe head injuries and told the mother to go to the police, but no one followed up. The mother never reported the death. When investigators tried to revive the case nearly two years later, the baby had long been buried and the evidence was cold.

Joan van Niekerk, a child protection expert, recounts numerous cases tainted by police ineptitude and corruption.

“I sometimes go through stages when I am more angry with the system than I am with the perpetrators and that’s not good,” she said. She said justice for children in South Africa is unacceptably “hard to achieve.”

And failures of justice sometimes lead to more deaths.

The neighbor originally charged with killing Wandi Zitho was released and the case provisionally dropped because the police didn’t deliver enough evidence, possibly because of a backlog in analyzing forensic evidence, according to one policeman working the case. Months later, the woman was arrested again and charged with murdering two other children.

Then there was the case of Tazne van Wyk.

Tazne was 8 when her body was found in February dumped in a drain near a highway nearly two weeks after she disappeared. She had been abducted, raped and murdered, police said.

Tazne’s parents blame the correctional system for paroling the man charged with their daughter’s murder despite a history of violent offenses against children. He’d already violated his parole once. They also fault police for failing to act on a tip that might have saved Tazne in the hours after her disappearance. 

The case was high profile. The Minister of Police spoke at Tazne’s funeral and admitted errors. “We have failed this child,” he conceded, pointing at Tazne’s small white coffin, trimmed in gold. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the van Wyk home and promised meaningful action. 

Nine months later, Tazne’s parents feel it was all lip service.

“How many children after Tazne have already passed away? Have been kidnapped? Have been murdered? Still nothing is happening,” said her mother, Carmen van Wyk.

She sheds no tears. Instead, anger bubbles inside her and her community. Houses connected with the suspect and members of his family were set on fire in the wake of Tazne’s killing.

It’s not just on the police to stop the abuse, said Marc Hardwick, who was a policeman for 15 years, 10 of them as a detective in a child protection unit.

He recalls one case, from 20 years ago. A 6-year-old girl was beaten to death by her father because she was watching cartoons and, distracted as any 6-year-old would be, wasn’t listening to him.

When they arrested the father and took him away — he was later sentenced to life in prison — the victim’s 9-year-old cousin approached Hardwick and said: “I think you stopped my bad dreams today.” 

Clearly, children in that household had been living a nightmare, and the other adults had remained silent, said Hardwick: “The reality is that child abuse is not a topic people want to talk about.” 

Source: In South Africa, child homicides show violence ‘entrenched’

Nigeria: suspected ritualist abduct, murder Kogi hunchback

Sad news. Of course, every murder or ritualistic murder is a sad event, both for the victim and for the families left behind. Senseless murders of people with physical disabilities hurt us even more. In Kogi State the recent murder of a 62-year old hunchback, Ahmed Suberu, is not an isolated crime. Recently, more people with humps have disappeared in Kogi State, to be found back dismembered, with vital organs missing.

Two persons have been arrested in connection with the abduction and murder of Ahmed Suberu. Whether they are guilty, it’s up to the judges to determine.

The swift move of police authorities does not mean that ritualistic murders of this type will no longer be committed. To realize this, we need a change of mindset. Superstitious people should be taught that witchcraft does not help to increase one’s wealth, health, reputation or success. Education is, next to the rule of law, are main weapon against these odious crimes.
(webmaster FVDK).  

Suspected ritualist abduct, murder Kogi hunchback

The victim, Ahmed Suberu

Published: December 14, 2020
By: Punch. Nigeria

Tension has gripped Obeiba Ihima community, in the Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State, following the abduction and murder of a 62-year-old hunchback, Ahmad Suberu, by suspected ritual killers.

Sources in the community told PUNCH Metro that persons with humps had been disappearing in Obeiba Ihima and Ihima Ba in recent times.

Before Suberu, another pregnant woman with a hump was said to have been abducted about two weeks earlier and murdered by suspected ritual killers.

Suberu, an indigene of Ihima Ba, was reportedly kidnapped on Monday, November 23, 2020, at Obeiba Ihima, while on his way to a mosque for prayers.

His dismembered corpse was said to have been found on December 8 in a bush at Ega community, in the Adavi LGA, with his heart, kidney and other sensitive organs missing.

The Executive Director of Disability Rights Action Group, Raphael Chikwado, and deceased’s daughter, Zuleihat Suberu, confirmed the incident in separate interviews with PUNCH Metro.

“His hump was taken away, as confirmed from his dead body, which made us to come to the conclusion that it was taken for some odious reasons. From the way we met the dead body, it revealed that he was dumped at Ega some days after being killed,” the 23-year-old only child of the victim said.

Chikwado said, “He was abducted by gunmen in a black SUV while waiting to cross the road leading to Oride Mosque, beside St. Paul’s Church, Obeiba Ihima. An eyewitness reported that the vehicle drove from Okene axis, picked him up and drove off through Ega Road.

“Unfortunately, the coordinator, Kogi State chapter of DRAG, Ahmed Onimisi, contacted the DRAG office headquarters in Lagos around 5pm on December 9 when he broke the news to us that Suberu was found dead in the early hours of Tuesday, December 8, at Ega in Adavi LGA of the state.

“Before his death, the late Suberu was an ardent member of DRAG. DRAG is going to explore every legal avenue within the organisation to pursue justice for the deceased’s family and for the entire community of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.”

He said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the crime, adding that they were being detained at the police command headquarters in Lokoja.

The Officer-in-Charge of the case at the Kogi State Police Command, Gabriel Obafemi, told PUNCH Metro that investigation was on to track the killers.

He said, “We are only trying to see if we can know the perpetrators. I heard that his corpse has been recovered and I sent my boys to go there and check because the information came to me yesterday (Saturday).”

Source: Suspected ritualist abduct, murder Kogi hunchback

Kenya: three men to serve 35 years in jail for killing village mate over witchcraft claim

The following is an interesting case. This time it’s not about a ritual murder, a killing for ritual purposes, to enhance one’s wealth, prestige or power. However, it does concern an unlawful killing (are there any killings that are lawful??): it was a killing based on superstition which the accused committed, according to the verdict of the judge.

The good thing about this case is that the rule of law was upheld, even though the crime dates from eight years ago. Three accused, Mr Chengo Kadenge, Safari Kombe Koi and his son Kahindi Safar Kombe, were found guilty of murdering Mr. Karisa Katoi Kani, on suspicion of bewitching a women, Mr. Koi’s wife. The judge found them guilty of the murder which happened in Matsongoni Village in Ganze, in Kilifi County, on December 8, 2012. The convicted men will spend the next 35 years in jail. 

It is interesting to note that judge Nyakundi explicitly stated that “(..) belief in witchcraft as a justification to kill another human being, is not excusable (…).” Justice Nyakundi added that a fundamental principle is that courts should intervene where culture and traditions are used as a defense or justification to commit murder. (webmaster FVDK).

Father, son to serve 35 years in jail for killing village mate over witchcraft claim

The entrance to Mombasa Courts 

Published: December 10, 2020
By: The Nation, Kenya – Philip Muyanga

Three villagers, among them a man and his son, will spend the next 35 years in jail after they were found guilty of murdering their villagemate on suspicion of bewitching a woman.

Mr Chengo Kadenge, Safari Kombe Koi and his son Kahindi Safari Kombe were found guilty of murdering Mr Karisa Katoi Kani, whom they had accused of committing deadly witchcraft.

The woman who died is said to have been Mr Koi’s wife.
In sentencing the accused, Justice Reuben Nyakundi said the murder was well planned and executed with a joint common enterprise and malice aforethought.

Justice Nyakundi further noted that a fundamental principle is that courts should intervene where culture and traditions are used as a defence or justification to commit murder.

“This court, being in the exalted position of a trial court in murder cases, has a right and obligation to speak firmly and expand jurisprudence touching on belief in witchcraft as a justification to kill another human being, is not excusable,” said Justice Nyakundi.

Cultural practices

Justice Nyakundi said it is evident that the social-cultural structures on witchcraft beliefs can result in the killing of vulnerable aged men and women of the community especially older people who are socially and economically disadvantaged and lack legal protection. 

The accused, jointly with others not in court, murdered Mr Kani on December 8, 2012, in Matsongoni Village in Ganze, in Kilifi County.

The court noted that prosecution witnesses supported a clear narrative that the accused engaged the deceased in a physical altercation following a witchcraft cleansing ritual at the home of Mr Koi.

The accused person gave the deceased a cup and water with a concoction which was to be used to heal or restore the life of the wife of the third accused (Mr Koi).

“From the evidence, the accused persisted in violent attacks against the deceased, as confirmed by prosecution witnesses one to four. The acts of violence involved the use of hard sticks and clubs to inflict harm on the head, and within a few minutes the victim died,” said Justice Nyakundi.

He further ruled that the measure of unlawfulness and omissions by the accused demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that the victim’s death was neither justified nor excusable.

Justice Nyakundi also rejected the alibi defence by the accused. 

“The nuances of the alibi defence generated by the accused persons are of such a character as incapable of credible rebuttal,” said Justice Nyakundi.

In their defence, the accused denied committing the offence, saying they were not near the scene of the crime and, therefore, would not be expected to have killed the man.

pmuyanga@ke.nationmedia.com

Source: Father, son to serve 35 years in jail for killing village mate over witchcraft claim

Geographical map, Kilifi County, Kenya