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Elderly Taita-Taveta woman torched over sorcery claims

By Renson Mlegwa Mnyamwezi | Published Thu, July 12th 2018 at 13:54, Updated July 12th 2018 at 13:57 GMT +3

A 57-year-old woman is fighting for her life in hospital after she was attacked by an angry mob accusing her of practicing witchcraft and sorcery in Taita-Taveta County.

Police said angry villagers raided the home of the victim at Werugha village on Wednesday and senselessly attacked her before setting her body on fire.

Taita OCPD Onesmas Kombo confirmed yesterday that the woman was rescued by administration police officers who later took her to Wesu Sub County hospital where she is being treated with serious burns.

“The woman was subjected to a mob justice on suspicion that she has been practicing witchcraft. The APs near the Chiefs camp at Werugha location intervened and rescued her. The victim is still recuperating at Wesu hospital with serious burns,” said the police officer Thursday.

Mr Kombo said had it not been for the APs intervention the woman would have been lynched by irate villagers. “The victim is however out of danger and is responding well to treatment,” said Kombo.

Speaking to The Standard, the police officer said they have launched investigations into the incident.

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“We are asking the public against taking the law into their hands. They (public) should hand over suspected criminals to the law enforcement officers for action instead of attacking them,” Kombo cautioned.

The incident comes at a time when cases of the elderly being killed on suspicion of practicing witchcraft continue to rise in the region.

In the past two months, two elderly men aged about 70-years had been hacked to death on claims that they practice witchcraft and wizard in Nyangala division, Voi Sub County. 

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