Father & Son Jailed for 35 Years

Hands resting on jail bars at a police station.
  • A father and his son are among three people jailed for 35 years for beating a man to death over witchcraft claims.

    The three, Chengo Kadenge, Safari Kombe Koi and his son Kahindi Safari Kombe accused Karisa Katoi Kani of performing witchcraft acts on a woman said to be Koi’s wife.

    The three are said to have assaulted Katoi leaving him for dead after he offered the said woman a concoction that later killed her.

    Hands resting on jail bars at a police station.

    The three believed that the death was caused by witchcraft performed by Kani. The accused, jointly with others not in court, murdered Kani on December 8, 2012, in Matsongoni Village in Ganze, in Kilifi County.

    During the sentencing in court, Justice Reuben Nyakundi stated that the murder was well planned and executed.

    “This court, being in the exalted position of a trial court in murder cases, has a right and obligation to speak firmly and expand jurisprudence touching on belief in witchcraft as a justification to kill another human being, is not excusable.

    “From the evidence, the accused persisted in violent attacks against the deceased, as confirmed by prosecution witnesses one to four. The acts of violence involved the use of hard sticks and clubs to inflict harm on the head, and within a few minutes the victim died,” he noted.

    Nyakundi added that witchcraft beliefs can lead to the death of the elderly in the community who are socially and economically disadvantaged and lack legal protection. 

    The witnesses presented in court proved that the three engaged the deceased in a physical altercation following a witchcraft cleansing ritual at the home of Koi.

    In their defence, the three denied murdering Kani claiming that they were nowhere near the crime scene and would not have killed him.

    A court in Kenya.
    A court in Kenya.

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