Kenyans fear satanism charges mask a witch-hunt

Kenya is in the grip of satanism hysteria, with President Daniel arap Moi leading the field. Human sacrifice, cannibalism and the satanic abuse of children are widespread in Kenya, according to a report commissioned by the President.

So sensitive are its findings, says President Moi, that it is impossible for the government to publish the document. Some opposition politicians are suggesting the only reason the government is refusing to publish the report is because members of the Kanu ruling party are themselves involved.

The Presidential Inquiry into the Cult of Devil Worship was set up a year ago. Represented on it are many of Kenya's leading church figures.

"Owing to the sensitive nature of the information contained in the report and the legal implications of some of the findings, it is not appropriate for the government to make the findings public," said President Moi. However, many opposition members fear the satanism issue will become a pretext for a witch-hunt against them in the run-up to next year's general elections.

"He is getting ready to release selected parts of the report to discredit individual politicians," Paul Muite, a Kikuyu MP, told The Independent yesterday. "I have no doubt that I'm one of the people he's out to get. Satanism is a phantom, but in such a Christian country as ours this ploy could have a devastating impact on the opposition."

Mr Muite, along with activist Richard Leakey, is a founding member of the Safina movement which the government has refused to register as a political party. Mr Muite and other opposition politicians have called on the government to make the findings of the commission public. "The only reason the government doesn't want to publish the report must be because many of its leading members are involved," said Ford-Asili MP, Philip Gitonga. "I believe this could go right up to President Moi himself".

The Kenyan press frequently reports cases of witchcraft and demonic possession. In recent weeks letters have appeared in newspapers calling on the authorities to cleanse the country of "all devilish elements".

"There is a strong chance that all this might be misinterpreted and people take justice into their own hands," said Professor GAM Ogutu, head of religious studies at the University of Nairobi.

According to Kenya's East African Standard, the presidential commission has received information on satanic practices such as the kidnapping of children, rape, sexual abuse, murder and the ritual use of body parts in black masses.

"There's no doubt that devil worship is getting worse and the ones involved are the big shots," said Fr Ndikaru wa Teresia, a Catholic priest in the town of Thika. "People who come to me for counselling say they are being offered large sums of money to attend satanic ceremonies. They have human and blood sacrifices at these rituals. I have good evidence that high-ranking politicians are involved and that they do these things to achieve their political ends".

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'