A shocking video of elderly women being burnt to death in Kisii County is trending on social media recently. The pensioners have been accused of witchcraft which means a death sentence in this South Nyanza region. Over the years, villagers routinely round up old people, who in most cases are grandmothers, and accuse them of bewitching a relative who had recently died under mysterious circumstances. (Watch the video which is embedded at the bottom of the page of this article).
In most cases, the accusers do not have any concrete evidence to support their accusations of witchcraft other than the accused’s age and peculiar lifestyles. In the trending video on Facebook, the women who have been accused of witchcraft, are made to kneel down and then interrogated by being asked to name the number of people they have bewitched and ultimately leading to such people’s’ deaths.
One of the women protests and says that she has not killed anyone and that the accusations are baseless. This leads to one young man punching the elderly lady in the face causing her to fall down backwards. A young woman, probably in her 30s warns the elderly lady that is she does not comply and name the number of victims she had bewitched, they will burn her to death.
Then in the second video, the accused women are covered in a heap of dry leaves and then an accelerant (probably petrol) is poured on the leaves. The crowd yells “light it!”, “light it” and then the dry leaves are set on fire to burn the women accused of witchcraft to death.
This practise of burning witchcraft suspects is very common not only in Kisii County but in many other developing countries in Africa, South America and South East Asia. One should note that even in developed regions like Europe, people who have been suspected of practising witchcraft were burnt to death there as well, albeit a couple of centuries ago.
In Nigeria, it is very common for children to be accused of witchcraft, especially when a relative dies or a newborn is born with certain deformities. Usually, even the church pastors join in in the abuse of children in order to request money from the villagers to exorcise these so called “evil children” in the community.
In neighboring Tanzania, at least 40,000 people are killed annually after being suspected of practising witchcraft. Such accusation are very common among the albino Tanzanians who are killed and their body parts consumed by villagers as they believe the body parts will bring good luck to those who cannibalize such individuals.
In the case of Kisii County, the suspected witches are normally rounded up from their houses by a mob and then set ablaze within their compounds. One will find that even close family members and in-laws participate in this cruel criminal activity against their own people.
The executioners act as police, judge and executors at the same time, while the victim is deprived of due process and a fair trial in the hands of a competent court of the law. The video of the recent burning of the women accused of witchcraft can be seen below. Watch…