Govt alert after trail of killings
| Dec 19th 2012 | 2 min read
By Joseph Masha and Christine Kuvuna
The Government has started investigations into 12 cases involving the lynching of elderly people suspected of practicing witchcraft in Ganze District, Kilifi County.
Vitengeni District Officer Vincent Kibara said the Government is concerned about the escalation of killings of elderly people in the area, adding that at least two elderly people are murdered in Ganze District every month.
Kibara noted that about 20 elders had been killed in the area this year.
“The Government has launched investigations into the killings of elderly people in Ganze District so that we can get the root cause of the beastly acts,” said Kibara.
He made the remarks yesterday at a rescue centre at Mrima wa Ndege in Vitengeni where he flagged off Kaya elders who were taking part in a walk to preach peace during the coming General Election.
Kibara said there is suspicion that close family members are involved in the killing of their elderly relatives for other sinister motives and were using witchcraft as a ploy.
He said family members often refuse to co-operate with police after these killings, which impede investigations.
“Close family members have been colluding with others to eliminate elderly family members and later branding them witches and that is the main reason they fail to give information to the police,” said Kibara.
The chairman of Ganze District Cultural Association Mr Kenga Mangi also condemned the killings.
Mangi, who is the co-ordinator of the rescue centre and a practicing witch doctor, said the youth have been involved in the killings and attributed these acts to the erosion of the Miji Kenda culture and the rise of gerontophibia.
“Anybody who gets old with grey hair and red eyes is branded a sorcerer and targeted for murder,” said Mangi.
He revealed that targeted and banished elders are first cleansed to neutralise any magical powers before being admitted to the rescue centre.
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