Third Eye

Cultism reports point to greed, desperation

Friday, November 1st, 2019 08:00 |
Kavivya Mwangangi when he appeared before Milimani Law Courts. Police say he confessed to killing Father Michael Kyengo in a cult ritual. PD/ CHARLES MATHAI

The probe on the killing of a Machakos priest has stumbled on a shocking practice— ritual killings driven by pervasive cultism in the society, including the Church where people run to for refuge in times of the tempests in life. 

And if true, it is distressing that such antithetical behaviour can be associated with men of the cloth. The police also say the demonic worship spirit is consuming top businesspeople, civil servants, teachers and youth, especially university students who fall prey to the allure of quick  material wealth.  In the past, police have  flagged some shadowy organisations that target youth in schools and universities. 

Sadly, it was just a warning, but no firm action was taken to root out the vice. This is partly because of its insidious and, to some extent, complicit nature of those supposed to fight it. 

According to Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti, detectives are already questioning 86 people suspected of involvement in the occult underworld. Alarmingly, they have established a pattern that points to cult hotspots—Nairobi, Embu, Kitui and Kericho. Tellingly, a number of mysterious deaths have been reported in these counties in the last two years.

But the loud message it speaks to the wider society is the moral emptiness and hopelessness  that pushes many to clutch at anything and at any cost to give meaning to their depraved existence. This vice easily thrives in a society that worships materialism but lacks role models for the culturally uprooted youth.

That the investigations have linked clerics to the cultism should be a wake up call to all Kenyans that its is time to act to safeguard the youth from the consuming vice.

As police probe rising cases of cultism, it is critical for them to carefully study the recommendations of the 1994 Archbishop Nicodemus Kirima Commission on Devil Worship, which  warned that the vice was widespread and that it was the single greatest threat to the Kenyan society. It recommended, among other things, that a special police unit be formed to tackle the problem.

It is now time for report, which has been embargoed since 1995 because of its sensitive information with legal implications, to be made public so that Kenyans can have have robust discussion on it and confront the cultism challenge.

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