Witchdoctors making millions as anxious politicians seek election guarantees
By Pkemoi Ng'enoh | April 4th 2022 | 4 min read
Weeks ago, Deputy President William Ruto commented about politicians and witchcraft, eliciting a big debate among Kenyans.
While launching a Duruma Bible in Kinango, Kwale, the DP lightly remarked that some coastal leaders had marks on their bodies that had the whiff of a witchdoctor’s scalpel.
Further, Ruto stated that he had interacted with politicians from Coast who had crossed into Tanzania to get “covert powers” from witchdoctors.
“Most politicians’ bodies have been rubbed with ashes or concoctions from various things. Most of them have travelled to Tanzania and Unguja to get the help of witchdoctors,” said Ruto.
Fake news? Not quite! The Nairobian has established that kupiga ramli is deeply rooted within the political class, with revelations by some city witchdoctors that their time to eat is between now and after the August elections.
They claim some politicians have started seeking their services to help them trounce their rivals ahead of party nominations in preparation for the August 9 elections.
In an interview with The Nairobian, Sabil Abdul, a Tanzanian-born Mganga who operates in Nairobi and Mombasa, said hundreds of politicians have booked him for treatment.
“I arrived from Tanzania March 28. This campaign period is always busy for us. In my case, I have been receiving many calls from Kenyan politicians who want my services,” he claimed.
Abdul says he charges between Sh50,000 and Sh1 million depending on the seat a politician is eyeing and that he administers his medicine in the wee hours of the night.
“Some of those who have called me are those vying for parliamentary seats or gubernatorial seats. But the majority are those seeking to be MPs,” he said
He says, once the client pays for the ‘treatment fee’, he uses the cash to buy stuff for the rituals, adding that some herbs are “imported” from Tanzania.
“The treatment is my secret, but I give them some herbs which they put in their bath water to ensure that luck follows them to election day.
“Before the treatment begins, I explain everything to them because one’s faith and belief in the supernatural matters. Those who lose elections understand the rules,” Abdul said.
Two years ago, Abdul married a Kenyan virgin from the Coast, thus widening his operational base.
Mama Kipini, a witchdoctor based in Pangani, told The Nairobian that just like other election years, her in-tray is full.
“They (politicians) have reached out to me and some have visited my house. Unlike other waganga, I don’t force them to undergo strange rituals. I only provide them with charms that will give them a following,” Kipini said
Some of the juju paraphernalia she hands politicians are rings, chains and oils which she sells at between Sh5,000 and Sh50,000 depending on the political seat one is eyeing.
Not surprisingly, the men of God find this practice abhorrent. Bishop Samuel Njririri of Stewards Revival Pentecostal Church explains that the Bible is clear about the fate of those who dabble in the dark forces.
“How can a witchdoctor help you yet they cannot treat themselves? Leaders who come to church get divine favour because God is omnipresent,” he said
Bishop Njiriri added that even kings who used to worship idols and extraordinary powers were rejected by God.
“Satan has nothing for free, in fact in some instances people are forced to undergo shocking sacrifices but God’s favour is free. That is why I, for instance, don’t support those who buy anointing oil.
“There is no difference between those buying ‘anointing oils’ and those seeking to be treated by Waganga,” the Bishop scoffed.
Counseling psychologist James Mbugua explains that witchcraft and similar services fall under metaphysical forces, saying things that exist in the spiritual world are all about faith and beliefs.
He says if those seeking the services believe it works, they will go for it much as it is pretty hard for many to understand.
“Their reasoning is, if it works, why not visit the witchdoctor for “treatment” at a reasonable cost and wait to be elected without spending millions of shillings in campaigns?” said Mbugua
He says it also depends on where and how one was brought up, because it could be that they grew up believing in those powers and that in their worldview, they believe that such powers work.
“The witchdoctors are also good at playing with the minds of the people. They hype their services during this time. In fact, others clamming to be from Tanzania could be locals using different names to lure clueless people,” he said.
In 2007, a former member of Parliament was forced to fight claims he was using snakes to frighten rivals and voters.
Another MP was accused in court over claims that he had been some powers acquired from witchdoctors to win elections.
And who can forget the incident where juju material was recovered from the car of a newly elected MP who drowned while trying to cross a swollen river during flash floods?
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