In the most recent incident on Sunday in Nyagonyi village in Marani, Kisii, four elderly people – three women and one man – were killed after the kidnapping of a high school student who was later found unconscious.
The elderly People in Kisii live with the constant fear that they might be labeled as witches and lynched as soon as the sun sets over the horizon … every day.
The Criminal Investigation Directorate (DCI) has promised the Hold those responsible for the deaths accountable. Those killed were identified as Jemima Mironga, 60, Agnes Ototo, 57, Sigara Onkware, 62, and Sindege Mayaka, 85.
Several men known to have been over the years Have killed “suspected witches”, however, are free and waiting to pounce on their next victim. Assuming there are witches and real witch doctors, how are they identified? There are no universal criteria for what constitutes a witch doctor.
But what does the law say about witchcraft?
The Witchcraft Act in Kenya (Chapter 67) protects the public from acts by any person who practices witchcraft.
“Any person who poses as a witch doctor who is capable of causing fear, anger, or harm of any kind, to another ghost, person, or property, or who pretends to be a witchcraft doctor of any supernatural power, witchcraft, sorcery or entrenchment capable of causing such fear, anger or injury is guilty of a crime and can be punished with a prison sentence of up to five years. “
This means that the police arrest and bring anyone who practices witchcraft to justice, and like any other suspect, the alleged witches are entitled to a fair trial in the Court of Justice.
The Witchcraft Act, Section 6, in which is about people of the He Charging xerei provides punishment for anyone who harms and speaks to a suspect; “Anyone who accuses or threatens to accuse a person of being a witch or practicing witchcraft is guilty of a crime and is fined up to five hundred shillings or imprisonment for up to five years.” p>
Chiefs who promote or facilitate witchcraft, or acts which contravene the provisions of the Witchcraft Act, or who know of the practice but do not report them to a DC, will be fined a maximum of 500 Shillings. proven. 000 or a maximum of three years imprisonment.
If a chief files a complaint with his superiors about a person suspected of witchcraft, the DC can – after an investigation and is convinced that the Suspect likely to cause fear, anger, or injury to the mind, person, or property of another person through feigned witchcraft – ordering the suspect to name themselves in, and alternatively or in addition to, a location within their district designated by the DC , report to the DC office every seven days or at longer intervals until further orders, according to the law.
Lynching and killing suspects is a criminal offense.
Article 29 ( c) the Constitution provides that “every person” has the right to liberty and security, which includes the right not to be exposed to any form of violence from public or private sources. ”This right also becomes criminal suspicion Guaranteed.
Participation in the mob justice system is a criminal offense that will be prosecuted. If one is arrested for mob lynching or even homicide, one could be charged with assault and / or murder under the Criminal Code.