Unkind end for suspected witch

By Linah Benyawa

Mkapuni Village in Kilifi County became abuzz when a man’s privates were discovered lying at the open air market.

The severed organ caused shock and fear within the market as it was not known where it was from and to whom it belonged.

Business was brought to a standstill in the market as everyone from the neighbourhood scrambled to get a glimpse of the rare ‘commodity’.

It later emerged that the ‘thing’ belonged to a 70-year-old man from the neighbourhood who was lynched by unknown assailants on suspicion of practicing witchcraft.

His killers are thought to have dropped the bloodied organ at the market, a place where the old man frequented to play a game of draft with his friends.

The jigsaw puzzle of who the owner of the discarded family jewel was only got solved when mortuary attendants pointed out to police and members of the family that the old man’s body didn’t have that crucial member when it was received at the facility for preservation.

When family members checked the scene where his body was discovered, they found nothing. Only when news reached them that a man’s severed penis was the centre of attraction at the market place did they put two and two together.

According to Joseph Kenga, an eye witness, the severed penis was later linked to the old man by police officers.

“The market became full as everyone wanted to have a look at it now that it’s owner had been confirmed. It could have been mistaken for a prized jewel,” said Kenga.


He added that the police arrived at the scene later and took it to the mortuary.

Although officers confirmed the murder, they said they could not immediately establish the motive behind incident.

“The old man was lynched by unknown assailants who broke into his house late at night armed with clubs and beat him severely. By the time help came, he was dead. But we are yet to establish the motive behind the attack,” said Kaloleni OCPD Beatrice Gachago.

While confirming that investigations would be carried out, she warned area residents to desist from attacking old people suspected of witchcraft, saying mob justice was a punishable offence.

Cases of old people being lynched on suspicion of witchcraft in the Coast region are on the rise. Many elderly residents have been forced to flee from their homes for fear of being lynched — sometimes by their children.