KABALE – Police in Kabale district have arrested four people following a gruesome incident in which a man and his wife were killed by mob action on allegations that they caused someone’s death through acts of witchcraft.
The deceased include a 65-year-old man identified as Karegyesa Tom, a resident of Buhinga village, Karujanga parish, Rubaya sub-county in Kabale district.
Police say Karegyesa was critically beaten and unconsciously burnt with petrol together with his wife, Jesica Mbirirwe, 66, and their 22-year-old daughter identified as Natamba Miracle.
It is alleged that a week ago, on the night of March 7, a 66-year-old woman died in a village neighboring the one where the victims of the mob action were residents.
The woman identified as Anet Friday is said to have died in a mysterious manner. She went to bed normally and died the next morning while she hadn’t been sickly, according to Police regional spokesperson for Kigezi, Elly Matte.
Anet was buried two days later, on Sunday. The funeral rites were completed successfully on Tuesday this week.
However, shortly after the rites, the so-called relatives and friends of the late Anet stealthily organized themselves and stormed Karegyesa’s home accusing him of bewitching the deceased.
They also accused him of bewitching several other people in the village who died in the same manner sometime back.
“They also alleged that they (Karegyesa and Anet) had along misunderstanding and had threatened to deal with her,” a statement by Police states.
The three (Karegyesa, his wife and daughter) were then dragged to Karujanga playground and set ablaze using petrol.
The trio had been badly burnt by the time Police from Katuna arrived at the scene of the mob action and rescued them.
They were rushed to Kabale referral hospital where Karegyesa died on Wednesday. His wife Jesica also died hours later while their daughter is said to be in stable condition.
The Police spokesperson for Kigezi Region, Elly Matte has strongly condemned the incident as “very unfortunate” saying two wrongs can not make a right.
“If you suspect that your relative was bewitched, we have a Witchcraft Act under which such people can be handled. You can report to Police and provide evidence or give reasons why you suspect so. Then let Police do its work,” Elly Matte said.
“All those people mentioned to have been involved in this mob must be brought to book and charged accordingly,” he said.
Last week, Police reported that 42 people have died in incidents of mob action across the country since the start of 2019.
Police spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga said that in January and February alone, 41 cases of mob action were reported to Police, out of which 42 victims died from lynching and four others sustained injuries.