It’s that season again when politicians employ all manner of tricks to win elective seats.
And as political temperatures rise, one man in Kitui County is bubbling with enthusiasm. He follows news and the direction the campaigns are taking keenly. ‘Doctor’ Quick Kinyamasyo is a renowned witch doctor in Mbitini town, Kitui County. He has practised the trade for about 20 years, and claims every election period brings with it a fair share of good fortune.
“The politicians have started coming, and the number will increase when the campaigns intensify,” he says.
On a good day, he can see 300 ‘patients,’ with some traveling from as far as Uganda and Tanzania. He charges Sh1,000 as consultation fee and after diagnosing what is ailing the ‘patient,’ be it evil spirits, bewitching, dark spells, and other malaise, he treats and makes the individual promise to pay more when they ‘recover.’ His political clients come with desire to subdue their competitors. Some seek immunity from evil that their enemies might be plotting.
“I cannot reveal names, but most of them need my protection when they are vying for political seats,” he tells Saturday Standard.
The protection from evil is in form of an oath dubbed ‘Ngata’. It is an elaborate ritual where the witch doctor serves clients a meal of arterial blood and intestines of a goat specially prepared to symbolise the beginning of a new life – where the client gets eternal protection from evil. ‘Dr Quick’ claims the Ngata is so potent that most of his political clients always triumph. “Ngata works and you only need to believe to see how much it can change your life,” he says.
The witch doctor starts a session with a client in an enclosed hut, where he/she reveals the problems. Dr Quick’ says in most cases, it is their political rivals, family and friends jealous of their progress and other forces they think might hinder them from clinching the seat.
Then they take the oath dubbed ngata, with a vow not to shower for three days, nor engage in any form of witchcraft. Clients must also vow to pay after succeeding.
“Some misfortunes that happen to politicians are due to bewitching and my role is to dilute it,” he says.
Interestingly, when he gets two clients vying for the same seat, he consults with the spirits to see who will win, and sends one away. “I tell the one I suspect will lose to seek other witch doctors, and it then becomes a battle of witch doctors, not between politicians,” he admits.
The 46-year-old claims he was born with the gift of a seer and witch doctor. He comes from a generation of traditional healers, and after finishing secondary school, joined the practise as “he could no longer ignore the forces working inside him.” “When you are gifted, the force moves you and you cannot escape it. I would get dreams, and hear voices telling me to start healing people,” he says.
Today, he boasts of a vast clientele, saying he gets invites and flight tickets to travel and ‘treat people.’ Nairobi has so far given him most clients. He wears a suit and carries a briefcase full of paraphernalia when called upon to exorcise evil spirits in an office, or help one get a promotion. “I have visited many offices in Nairobi to clean things up. People don’t recognise that I am a witch doctor when I wear my suit,” he says, letting out a hearty laugh.
Despite his popularity on social media, however, there are mixed feelings on whether his ‘powers’ work. “What nonsense is that? He tricks ignorant people who want to succeed quickly and don’t want to work hard,” says one trader.
He adds that ‘Dr Quick’ is a fraud who has mastered the art of manipulating vulnerable people and making them believe he is in control of their destiny.
‘Dr Quick’ dismisses the allegations, saying some people are jealous that through the trade he has acquired big cars and invested in real estate. “People appreciate us and give us big gifts that make others envious,” he adds.