Five lynched over witchcraft claim in Kisii

By Robert Nyasato and Paul Gitau

Five elderly people accused of witchcraft were burnt to death in Kisii. The four women and one man were accused of abducting a child and making him dumb through black magic, on Thursday.

Residents of Bomatara village in Mosocho division, Kitutu Chache constituency gathered in the morning following word that witches had abducted the minor.

The child, who was abandoned by the roadside, pointed out those who abducted him. They allegedly owned up before being set ablaze.

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Area DC Ben Njoroge and the Deputy OCPD Manasseh Musyoka held a baraza and warned wananchi against lynching witchcraft suspects.

Those lynched were identified as Boyani Gichana, Yobensia Onguso, Sandimu Mageto, Mary Yusita and Ongubo Ichari. They were all aged over 80. The DC told residents to report suspects to authorities. Twelve suspected witches were killed in the same area last year. Musyoka said police would patrol the area on 24-hour basis to avert further lynching.

Malindi case

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Meanwhile, Malindi DC Arthur Mugira has accused politicians of frustrating the war against the killers of elderly people suspected of practising witchcraft.

He also warned chiefs against colluding with the suspects. Mugira said politicians were frustrating efforts by security agents to crack down on the murderers instead of backing them.

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The DC, who was launching the second phase of the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) for the district’s security team at the Malindi County Hall, said the Provincial Administration has been preaching against the vice in public barazas.

"We have done what we are supposed to do but our leaders are not supporting us. We shall continue with our work of ensuring peace and stability prevails in the district," he said.

In an apparent reference to a statement by a top politician that police and administrators were harassing innocent residents, Mugira urged politicians to let the security agents do their work.

The DC said every chief would be allocated five APs to assist them keep law and order. He said there was need for administrators to establish why locals, especially the youth, were obsessed with the killing of elderly suspects.

Malindi OCPD Peter Kattam told the chiefs to ensure that they get proper evidence before suspects are arrested to enable police successfully prosecute them.

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Kisii witches suspects killed burnt death witch