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investigativeMarsabit Residents, Lobby group accuses police of Laxity in investigating witch craft...

Marsabit Residents, Lobby group accuses police of Laxity in investigating witch craft related deaths

Marsabit residents, lobbies and human rights activists have raised concern over the slow pace of investigations into the recent killing of a 60-year-old woman.

Margaret Esimonte is said to have been killed in the Kargi area on suspicion of practising witchcraft.
Exactly two weeks after the incident that has sent shockwaves in the area, no suspect has been arrested in connection with the killing.

The residents said the criminals were well-known within the community, decrying the police inaction.

However, Loyangalani police boss Nicholas Mutua said the criminals were being pursued while the investigation continued.

“We are following crucial leads and are confident we will bring those involved to book,” he told Eastleigh Voice on Sunday.

Night attack

The unfortunate incident started when a woman in the village sought to know the cause of her family’s misfortune from a ‘medicine man’ in Loyangalani.

She is said to have lost her husband in an accident several years ago before her son later sustained life-threatening injuries in another accident.

In the company of two men, she sought help from the man who directed them to the home of two women within her village.

The woman had also sought help in establishing why she lost her livestock during the recent drought and she was also told the two women were the cause of her misfortunes and that is why their lives were flourishing.

After returning to Kargi, the three are said to have tasked three Morans to unleash terror on the two women at night.

And on February 18, Esimonte, a Miraa trader, was attacked at around 1 am when her husband was at their son’s home in Marsabit town.

By the time neighbours who heard a commotion arrived at her home, the criminals had already left for the second woman’s home.

The deceased was found lying unconscious outside her house and immediately rushed to a local dispensary where she succumbed to the injuries.

Wahareua Sahado, the criminals’ second target, was found sleeping outside her house, a practice common in the area due to the high temperatures at night.

“They hit me on the head and legs and stabbed me on the thigh,” a traumatized Sahado said, adding that the criminals vanished after her sister responded to her distress calls.

It has since been established that the woman in question is a relative of the deceased and the two families had reportedly been involved in a longstanding dispute before the incident.

One of the Morans is said to be the woman’s son.

Calls for justice

The deceased husband, Abdi Hallo, who is yet to come to terms with his wife’s killing said lynching of women under the pretext of witchcraft should be condemned and those who take the law into their own hands be punished.

“She did nothing wrong to warrant her death. If those behind the killing were genuine, they would have had her arrested and taken through the judicial system,” the 74-year-old said.

The deceased house was demolished on Saturday in line with the Rendille culture with a smaller one set to be constructed at a different location within the homestead.

Thuo Kinyanjui, Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) coordinator in charge of Isiolo and Marsabit counties, said the agency will support the families’ quest for justice.

Defenders Coalition Executive Director Kamau Ngugi who visited the family on Saturday expressed fears that more women would fall victim if the government fails to expeditiously stop the killings.

“The security organs and the government should speak against the senseless killings, bring the culprits to book and ensure women are safe from violence,” he said.


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