Ongwae appoints a taskforce to investigate lynching of suspected witches

Ongwae appoints a taskforce to investigate lynching of suspected witches

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Ongwae appoints a taskforce to investigate lynching of suspected witches

Kisii County Governor James Ongwae has decried the lynching of elderly persons in Kisii on grounds of alleged witchcraft.

Speaking at the inauguration of a task force to establish the circumstances where poor and elderly persons are victimized and accused of witchcraft, the governor said it was unfortunate to kill innocent and helpless persons on ground of sorcery.

Citing the recent incident in Marani Sub County where four elderly women were brutally murdered by a mob after being branded to be witches, Ongwae lamented that it was unfair for members of the public to take the law into their hands.

In the last week incident, a group of villagers mostly youth descended on the four women in Bomokona village of Kitutu Chache North accusing them to be witches after a young man in the village claimed that he had been cast a spell by suspected witches.

But Ongwae took exception with the circumstances in which the women were killed and said the issue of witchcraft was being used as a scape goat victimize some members of the community especially the elderly and widows for ulterior motives.

“It is unfortunate that in the 21st century as a civilized society, we still steeped in the archaic and mythical beliefs on fabled witches in our midst without any evidence of existence of such practices,” observed the Governor.

He reiterated that it was unnecessary for the public to victimize fellow villagers who they have lived with for several years on flimsy grounds of witchcraft.

The Governor observed that the ill motivated desire by unscrupulous characters to disinherit the elderly who are mostly widows of their land and property could be the driving force behind the heinous lynching of the hapless senior citizens.

He called upon members of the public to always seek legal mechanisms in dealing with such cases where one has been accused of witchcraft instead of eliminating them.

Deputy Governor Joash Maangi also scoffed at the tendency to unilaterally eliminate people suspected to be witches even before proving their culpability.

He noted that if at all the act of witchcraft existed, then, according to the stories heard it is shrouded in secrecy making it difficult to prove one’s culpability.

“The lynching incident where the four elderly women were killed in Marani is quite unfortunate and ungodly begging the need for justice to be served on the perpetrators,” said Maangi.

On his part, Bomorenda Member of County Assembly (MCA) John Ombati condemned the tendency to use claims of inexistent to victimize and eliminate innocent lives.

Governor Ongwae while appealing to the government agencies to address the situation, called upon members of the public to volunteer information ton security officers so as to help apprehend the perpetrators if only, to establish the motive behind the killings.

Already, a number of suspects are in custody over the Marani killings and the Governor appealed to members of the public to remain calm as the law takes its cause.

The Governor said,he had set up the taskforce through the county department of culture to help establish and determine the underlying factors in the witchcraft suspicion resulting to mob lynching.

“Indeed, I have formed the taskforce with express terms of reference to establish the root cause of the heinous mob justice on senior citizens in the name of witchcraft to come up with mechanisms to forestall future occurrence,” said Ongwae.

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