Alleged assassins were the cause of mass hysteria in Kuisebmond
BELIEF in witchcraft was behind the shocking incident where hundreds of residents of the Kuisebmond neighbourhood of Walvis Bay chased after a man suspected of setting several shacks on fire.
During a meeting with the community of Kuisebmond, the Namibian Police’s Commander in the Erongo Region, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbo, told the assembled people to refrain from taking the law into their own hands after one of the men suspected of setting fire to shacks had to seek the protection of the police on two occasions.
“I asked the residents to give me solid proof of the alleged arson so that the police can investigate and arrest the men responsible,” Commissioner Nelumbo said.
He said some of the community members got up and walked out of the meeting when they found out that the law of Namibia works differently from their sense of mob justice where just an accusation isn’t enough to convict and hurt or kill another person.
“After some more discussion with the community, some of the people told me that they heard that witchcraft is behind the entire drama. They told me that a certain man allegedly hired seven men to each kill ten people in order for his business venture to succeed. They said a witch told the man to hire seven assassins and that 70 people has to die for the business venture to succeed,” he said.
Commissioner Nelumbo said this kind of scenario can turn into chaos very quickly if not controlled properly and that he had his hands full with convincing the people that witchcraft had nothing to do with their mass hysteria.
“After asking the people how they get electricity most of them said that the owner of the house normally provides them with extension leads and multiple plugs to power their household appliances. Some of the people even use small two plate electrical hotplates to heat their homes when the temperature drops,” he added.
The commissioner said overloaded electrical wires and careless use of appliances like stoves is more often than not the cause of shack fires especially when the structures are built in the backyards of existing houses.
Commissioner Nelumbo warned that people making themselves guilty of meting out mob justice will be locked up and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.