Several residents of Nairobi’s Njiru area have moved houses because of alleged incidences of witchcraft and majini which hate omena. Other residents claim their houses are visited by night-runners while some claim they suffered torturous slaps from ghosts.
Njiru is sandwiched between Kayole, Mwiki, Mihang’o and Ruai in Eastlands.
Paul Ogeto narrated to The Nairobian how night-runners repeatedly knocked on his door at night, forcing him to move to Umoja estate. He also claimed he was subjected to beatings by people he could not see on three different occasions.
“I was beaten like a mongrel by people I could not see. I will never forget Njiru,” says Ogeto who suspects a jirani near where he lived around Matopeni Primary School. The jirani was highly secretive, lived alone and rarely had visitors.
“The neighbour had more than 10 cats, all black,” says Ogeto. “We always wondered what he did with all those cats.” Ogeto had no option but move houses.
Another resident, Stella Anunda, did not experience the presence of majini, but rather, her landlady asked her to move after just two weeks. Stella who had moved to Njiru from Ruai was refunded her deposit and full rent. When she asked why she was being kicked out so soon, she was curtly told that she was “interfering with business.”
When she approached her neighbours for clarification, they told her that her love for omena was the reason she had to move. Apparently, the landlady had majini and they did not like the smell of omena.
“Majini hate omena. Majini haipendi omena hata kidogo. The smell makes them uncomfortable,” she was told. Stella moved houses.
But Jennifer Makau, another resident, was not as lucky. She was evicted from her one-bedroom rental house because of her loud prayers.
“The landlord only informed me that my prayers were disturbing others in the plot,” says Jennifer, who later learnt that her prayers were interfering with his majini.
Martin Magwaro, another resident says most of the businesses around Njiru are powered by dark forces, as some “people use majini to be wealthy,” including what Vincent Otieno, yet another resident, terms as building high-rise buildings using dark powers.”
Reverend Aloice Nyamai Maluni and Pastor Edwardo Legio, both of Pefa Church Njiru, believe witchcraft and other forms of dark powers are rampant in Njiru, an area that hardly grows, yet it’s nestled between the more prosperous Ruai and Kayole.
The area’s evident underdevelopment has been blamed on witchcraft, which Martin Magwaro, a resident, explained was brought by some communities from Eastern Kenya who migrated many years ago and are culturally known to practise witchcraft.
Reverend Nyamai told The Nairobian that “there are some people here who are keeping wild animals, including a leopard and a hyena. This is without doubt a form of high-level witchcraft. But people here can’t dare report such cases for fear of being bewitched.” The reverend adds that allegations of witchcraft are hard to prove due to lack of evidence or exhibits.
Area chief Debasso Wario observes that “allegations of witchcraft in the area are rife, but there is no concrete evidence to support it.” He says that no resident has ever reported to him any case with reliable evidence but “if anybody is found practising witchcraft, the law will take its course.”
Reverend Peter Mwangi of Maximum Miracle Centre, Njiru, says cases of witchcraft have reduced “due to the impact of the church” which has been “aggressive in preaching against witchcraft in crusades and a good number of those practicing it have either abandoned the vice or migrated to other areas”.