THE Ohangwena police have arrested a 36-year-old Namibian national accused of swindling more than N$300 000 from unsuspecting residents of Eenhana and surrounding villages under the pretext of being a traditional healer. Kennedy Thiongo Kasume was arrested last week and has already appeared in the Eenhana magistrate’s court on charges of theft under false pretenses, as well as money laundering. It is alleged that Kasume presented himself as a traditional healer, able to see hidden secrets and with powers to free individuals, their houses and their belongings from evil spirits and generational curses. That is allegedly how a 53-year-old Eenhana-based businesswoman fell victim last year. She was allegedly having nightmares and went to consult the “traditional healer”, who promptly diagnosed her as having many more problems, including a curse that was hindering her bricks-making business. She needed to be cleansed together with her house and business, he claimed. Even the money in her bank accounts must be withdrawn to be cleansed. For six months she allegedly kept giving money to the healer.
By the time she realised that she was being robbed in broad daylight, she had already lost N$177 000. The businesswoman approached the police and immediately thereafter, two more victims came forward. A 62-year-old resident of the Edimba village near Eenhana claimed that he too was a victim of the same traditional healer. According to the police, it all started when he took an ailing relative to the “seer”, who informed him that the illness of his relative was nothing in comparison to the evil spirit infesting his house. The house needed urgent cleansing, he was informed. A total amount of N$135 000 was gone by the time the months-long cleansing process what completed. The third victim is a 61-year-old villager who allegedly lost N$15 000. “There might be many more victims,” said Ohangwena police spokesperson, Abner Kaume Itumba. Kasume was remanded in custody and the case postponed to 25 April to allow the accused to apply for legal aid. The accused person was informed that it is his right to bring a formal bail application before his next court appearance.