Onamavo villagers allege witchcraft

22 Nov 2016 19:00pm
ONAMAVO, 22 NOV (NAMPA) – Some residents of Onamavo in the Oshana Region have accused three men of harvesting elderly women’s body parts for witchcraft.
Last month, a 76-year-old woman died in the village and her relatives claim that her nose, lips and genitals were cut off.
The police, however, say an autopsy showed that all of the woman’s body parts were intact.
Rauna Shikongo’s body was found in front of one of her kitchen huts at the village in the Ompundja Constituency on 02 November.
Shikongo’s daughter, Julia Erastus told Nampa on 09 November in the presence of other relatives that her mother’s body parts were cut off.
“We believe the missing parts have been removed for witchcraft,” she said.
The deceased’s mentally ill grandson lived with her. He told his relatives three men entered their homestead on 31 October.
He further alleged that the men attacked his grandmother.
“My mother was healthy so we are shocked by her death. We are even thinking of leaving this village as we fear for our lives,” Erastus said.
Shikongo’s relatives and other Onamavo villagers, as well as people living in Nguwantale, Etilahi and Uupeke insist that the three men are targeting elderly women, although there is little evidence of this.
Villagers have become so paranoid that children from the local school, Enguwantale Combined School, on their way home last Wednesday ran away when a car they were not familiar with drove towards them.
Police said they were not aware of elderly women being targeted for witchcraft.
Approached for comment last Tuesday, Sergeant Frieda Shikole of the police public relations unit in the Oshana Region said an autopsy was carried out and none of Shikongo's body parts were missing.
She however said an inquest had been opened in connection with Shikongo's death.
Also approached was Reinhold Iita, the spokesperson of the Uukwambi Traditional Authority, under which Onamavo village falls. He said the traditional authority does not deal with witchcraft allegations.
“We unfortunately have no ability to resolve such cases,” Iita said, adding that they advise communities to report such matters to the police.
He said this is mainly because such cases are difficult to prove. In cases where someone is accused of poisoning another person, Iita said, they also refer relatives to the police.
Shikongo was buried at the village on Tuesday.