Hands off the elderly, aging is not a crime


It is the wish of everyone to age gracefully surrounded by loving family and friends. Everyone looks forward to a happy ending.

Not so in a village in Kilifi.

A list circulated in the village recently, bears the names of 35 elderly people earmarked for lynching on suspicion of practicing witchcraft.

If nothing is done to stop these deaths, the 35 will join the list of the aged who have died gruesome deaths across the country. This is worrying.

In Africa, tradition and folklore has been passed on to the younger generation by elders. Culture and tradition has been the glue holding African societies together. 

 This has kept our rich culture and ethos alive. There are those who would want to blame rapid modernisation for the erosion of morals in society.

In Western countries, the elderly travel freely on public transport, pay half the price for healthcare among other privileges and the young let them jump the queue.

So while other societies still take pride in their elders, we view them with anathema and have even abandoned them and would do anything to do away with them including killing them.

It is worrying that a community can condemn people and proceed to execute them as if nothing has happened.

Lynching people suspected of practicing the dark arts speaks of a deep, underlying societal problem. Some of the macabre killings have even been filmed and posted on social media.

Some of these can be attributed to the fight for resources through inheritance, but most of it is because of ignorance born of little or no education.

The State should not condone this.

But should the lynch mob kill the elders, the Kilifi County police boss should be held accountable.