Rituals conducted to ward off strange illness in Shinyalu
A group of witchdoctors at the weekend performed rituals aimed at cleansing a village in Shinyalu, Kakamega county, where nine people have died over alleged witchcraft.
But even as they were busy attempting to drive out the angel of death, another youth succumbed to the mysterious disease, raising the number to nine.
Led by a popular traditional circumciser Alexander Mutoni, they performed a series of ceremonies at Ishina village in Malimili sub-location on nights of Friday and Saturday.
The rituals were performed under the cover of darkness with only a few elders allowed to witness.
An elder who attended the ceremonies, said the sorcerers did not guarantee that they had wiped out the witchcraft meted on locals who allegedly imbibed chang’aa whose raw materials had been stolen.
“They did not assure us that the remaining victims would survive but only said they had tried their best,” said the elder who asked not to be named because he is a church leader.
He disclosed that the witchdoctors were paid Sh60,000 raised by families of the affected people and other well wishers to try to save their loved ones.
But Malimili Assistant Chief Kizito Anzimbu told the locals to stop hiring sorcerers, saying it a waste of time and resources.
“Engaging in witchcraft is backward and more harmful,” he told mourners on Saturday during the funeral of one of the victims.
Ishina village has not know peace for the past one month as locals, mainly youth, battle the strange illness. Victims have symptoms of swelling on their left hand before dying.
County Executive Committee member for Health Collins Matemba said medical examinations on the patients and bodies of the death had yielded no results.
“It is a strange disease but our experts are doing their best to get to the root of the matter,” said Matemba.