Jane Wambui Mwangi (85) and Mary Njoki Mwangi, neighbours in Kiamkoe village, in Gitiri, Kahuro sub-county, were killed by a mob on Wednesday.
Reports suggest that the two elderly women were set upon by about 100 young men who had broken into their houses armed with makeshift weapons. They were then forced up the road in front of a crowd, beaten unconscious and set on fire.
The motivation for the attack was that the two women were practicing witchcraft.
Witchcraft in Kenya: ‘A swoop on witches’
As reported in the Daily Nation newspaper, Mr Wangi Kibaara, the 72 year-old husband of one of the victims, Jane Wangi, sad that earlier that day his wife had told him of rumours in the village that ‘there would be a swoop on witches’.
“We laughed it off”, Mr Mwangi told The Nation “and said we would wait the swoop since we have never known of practiced it so we have nothing to fear”.
Victim undressed in public
“There was a Form One student from Kahuro Secondary School”, Mr Mwangi continued, “who claimed that she had overheard the two women discussing how they would bewitch the village”.
“I am 72 years old and I have never seen such a horrible scene; my wife getting lynched by the age mates of her grandchildren, who first undressed her in public.”
Long term Kenya Forum readers will know that we’ve been here before over the years. It’s sad and disturbing reading but lest we forget:
Witchcraft in Kenya – Government Action or Leave it to the Locals? (September 1st, 2012)
Still Killing Witches in Kenya, (May 20, 2018)
Lynching Witches in Kenya, (October 21, 2021)