Kenyans fear satanism charges mask a witch-hunt
Saturday 12 October 1996
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".
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Pizza Express protests: these restaurants charge staff for tips paid by card
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over 'illegal Iraq invasion'
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will s...
£14807 - £15470 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manufacturer and supplier ...
£45000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Security Consu...