Shock as houses of locals suspected of practising witchcraft burnt down

Photo: Courtesy

Police officers had to swing into action in Suba South sub-county after locals went on the rampage, burning over 17 houses whose owners are suspected of practicing witchcraft.

By time of going to press, seven suspects had been arrested, with the authorities promising they will face dire consequences for their reckless and thoughtless actions.

The houses were torched on Wednesday in Mwikongo, Kisaku and Kitawa villages in Kisaku Sub-location of Homa Bay County.

Tension had engulfed several villages in the sub-county after locals burnt the houses, prompting police officers to move in and restore calm.

The affected families moved to other areas for fear of being attacked by the angry mobs, who were said to be their neighbours.

Homa Bay County Police Commander Marius Tum said one elderly person was injured in the incident and was receiving medical care at a nearby hospital.

“A 70-year old woman, identified as Nambi Oindi got injured when her granary was set ablaze. She was taken to St Camilus Mission Hospital in Migori County for treatment,” he said.

According to the police boss, over 200 angry villagers stormed the affected houses and accused their owners of engaging in sorcery before burning down their houses and two granaries which had cereals inside.

Area assistant chief, Nicholas Otieno, said the residents had earlier on accused some of the victims of killing two men about two years ago using sorcery.

The mob torched the houses, saying the owners had, for years, been committing the crime without any action being taken by law enforcers.

However, Tum affirmed that the sub county security team was in the affected villages to assess the matter.

The county police boss discouraged residents against taking security matters into their own hands but instead report them to the police.

The officer further appealed to the residents to help the police in investigations by coming forward with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects.