Villagers de-bush cemetery to expose ritual perfomances

02 Apr 2015 10:50am
SIYANDEYA, 02 APR (NAMPA) – The area surrounding the cemetery at Siyandeya village on the western outskirts of Rundu is being de-bushed to expose unscrupulous traditional healers from performing their rituals there.
The cemetery is situated some five kilometres outside the regional capital and has been in existence since independence in 1990.
Traditional healing activities at the cemetery have set tongues wagging amongst residents after this agency broke a story in February this year on various rituals that were being performed at cemeteries.
The headman of the said village, Abraham Ndonga, told this agency on Wednesday that after he was informed of such activities at the cemetery, he immediately convened a community meeting where inhabitants volunteered to clean the area and remove thick bushes to prevent those who engage in such ritual performances from using the cemetery.
The Siyandeya village headman, who is also heading several other villages surrounding the area, said they also resolved in that meeting that every household contribute an amount of N.dollars 50 that will be used to purchase a fence that will be erected around the cemetery.
“We don’t want any rituals to be further performed at the cemetery because that is tantamount to criminal acts,” said the village headman.
Ndonga indicated that although no one has yet been apprehended, he cautioned that should anyone be found performing activities of traditional healers at the cemetery, he/she will be brought before the traditional court and punished accordingly.
He called on every inhabitant to respect the dead as it is a place where people’s loved ones get their everlasting rest adding, it is not a playground for ritual performances.
Some individuals were using the cemetery as a ground for healing and cleansing purposes through different traditional methods.
It is suspected that those engaged in it are treating themselves on top of the graves, while others carry out their rituals near the graves.
The healing rituals are performed for various reasons such as a means of attaining good luck.
This agency at the time investigated the traditional healing activities at the cemetery after community members at the village complained about observing unsightly plastic bowls placed on top of graves at the cemetery.
Most bowls, which were abandoned in the graveyard, contained different herbs and roots wrapped in worn-out clothing and soaked in water.
Buckets containing some unknown herbs and old clothes were also abandoned on top of the graves.
Some graves, which do not have tombstones, had human footprints, an indication that somebody must have walked over them.
Some concerned community members earlier questioned the motives behind such activities, as those practicing it are viewed as only raking in the hard earned money of villagers who are desperate to find solutions to their problems.
When this agency wrote the article, the developments raised the eyebrows of most community members, as villagers were scared to even visit the cemetery where their family members are buried because they were worried that they might contract some unknown sickness should they come into contact with those herbs and bowls.