Anti-witchcraft committees formed in Kilifi

By Joseph Masha

MOMBSA, KENYA: Residents of Kaloleni District in Kilifi County have formed committees to fight lynching of elderly persons suspected to be practicing witchcraft in the area.

Kilifi Deputy County Commissioner in charge of Kaloleni district Mr. Fredrick Ayeko said the government was forced to coordinate for the anti-witchcraft committees to sensitize the people to stop targeting elderly people for killing on claims which could not be justified.

Speaking to the Standard Aeko said since the formation of the committees which are headed by Kaya elders with the support of the area chiefs, the number of elderly people being killed has declined.

 ‘The government sat with the Kaya elders and the chiefs and resolved to form the anti-witchcraft committees in Kaloleni district to help fight the disease which has seen elderly people being targeted for murder on grounds that they are either witches or wizards’ said Mr Ayeko.

He said since the beginning of this year, about 10 people had been reported to have been murdered through such claims.

The administrator however said a number of suspects had been arrested over the killings and their cases are before Mariakani and Kaloleni law courts.

The administrator however denied that the people being killed were real involved in witchcraft and but were framed by close family members who want to inherit their properties like land.

‘Our investigations have come to reveal that youth plans for the killing of their grandparents and parents so that they can inherit their properties and not that they are witches as they claim’ said Mr Ayeko.

The commissioner said his office has been holding at least two public barazas in a month to discuss issues of witchcraft.