Eldery exposed to witchcraft raids


Kilifi, Kenya: At least 20 elderly people are killed in a month in Kilifi County over witchcraft allegations, according to police and the provincial administration.

The officers expressed fear the population of elderly people aged 65 and above could drastically go down.

Massive killing of the elderly forced Ganze District cultural association under the leadership of Kenga Mangi to establish a rescue centre known as Kaya Godoma in Vitengeni Division.

According to Mr Mangi, there are currently nine aged people — five men and four women — who had fled to the centre after they were targeted for practising witchcraft at their respective homes.

Ganze District OCPD Jacob Kanake has admitted cases of elderly people killed in unclear circumstances are rampant.

While addressing the public at Rima Rapera health centre on Tuesday, the police boss said his officers would not tolerate this.

“It’s surprising to note that in Ganze District alone there can be about six elderly people killed on witchcraft allegations,” said Mr Kanake while issuing a warning to perpetrators.

Inheritance dispute

Speaking at the same meeting,  county deputy governor Kenneth Kamto cautioned members of the Mijikenda community against superstition.

Mr Kamto said low education standards, poverty and unemployment among the youth were the major contributing factors to the killings and said the solution would be to educate the youth.

“Sticking to traditions and cultures that have been overtaken by time is the major cause of the killings,” said Kamto.

Kilifi County Commissioner Erastus Ekidor echoed the sentiments.

“Killing of elderly people on claims they are practicing witchcraft is very common in Kilifi and it has raised a lot of concerns to the Government,” said Ekidor.

However, Bahari OCPD Clament Wangai claimed the killings were planned by close family members especially the youth who want to inherit their parents’ property.

“We have come to discover witchcraft accusations were just a cover to the real reason behind the killings,” said Mr Wangai.