A 70-year old man is reportedly killed by group of angry students outside Abubakar Integrated School’s mosque in Tsunguli Village in Matuga Sub-County, Kwale County on the claim that he practices witchcraft.
The old man whose name is Athman Bamama died after students descended on him just after performing his Friday prayers at the mosque, which is adjacent to his house.
A village elder Omar Mwamaisha, who confirmed this incident said the students raided on the man at about 1:30 pm hitting him with huge sticks and stones, before fleeing the school compound.
Mr. Mwamaisha explained that his attention was drawn to the scenario by the noise of students who were shouting at the top of their voices but when he got there, he met no one at the scene except the lifeless body of the old man which he said was lying down in a pool of blood behind the mosque.
“I saw him lying on his face with marks on his head as if he had been beaten with a blunt objects like a stick or stone, with blood all over him,” he said.
Matuga Police Chief (OCPD), Patrick Oduma confirmed the incident, saying the police officers have already launched investigation on circumstances which led to Mr. Bamama’s death.
Oduma however, ruled out the possibility of closing the school over the death, saying it was not the first time in the country that someone had been killed over witchcraft allegations.
“Mistakes do happen everywhere therefore we are only going to deal with the prime suspects and the decision to close the school will be made by the Ministry of Education,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to the victim’s relative who declined to mention his name for security reasons, said the old man used to work at the institution as a cleaner but the head teacher, Mohammed Mtulu, fired him after the school management accused him of practicing witchcraft as most of the students at the institution, especially female students, used to be disturbed by demons.
“I remember he once came to my house and told me that the head teacher and students do not want him at the institution. A few days later, he was sacked,” the relative said.
When the director of the institution, Masoud Mwandemba, arrived at the school hours later, the police detective arraigned before him questions about the whereabouts of the head teachers at the time of the incident.
In reply, Mwandemba said he only called to inform the head teacher about the issue while he was holding a meeting in another institution in Likoni area.
“There must be somebody who was around when the incident occurred. I know that on Fridays the students normally break from classes at around 11:30 am,” he said.
The is not the first time that the institution is having issues of radicalization of youths. The police has in fact added the institution on its watch-list as several raids have been conducted in the past.
The deceased’s body was carried by detectives to Msambweni Referral Hospital mortuary.