Witchcraft Vis-A-Vis Social Justice And Religion

By Soko Directory Team / Published July 20, 2022 | 12:42 pm





KEY TAKEAWAYS


The Constitution of Kenya in Article 8 clearly asserts the Kenyan state’s position as a secular state by providing that there shall be no state religion. Article 27 (4) goes on to provide that no one shall be discriminated against directly or indirectly on grounds of religion among other grounds. 


It is said that whatever happens in the dark shall come to light at some point.  There is a popular African proverb that says; That Which appears to be far away from us is also very close to others. A lot can be said or rather speculated about the dark forces and what they do, but to be honest, very little is actually known about the dark spiritual world. Does witchcraft really exist?

Would you even believe that Miriam Mwelu and Timothy Akoi, Criminals who had resorted to witchcraft as a remedy to escape arrest by the police were arrested even before their ‘Powerful’ Witchdoctor had finished performing his magic on them? It was at this moment that they knew, they’d messed up! Most of these witchdoctors we here of are just but established conmen.

The Kiambu-based renowned Witch Doctor, who hails from Gachie had immersed Miriam Mwelu in a concoction of blood drawn from a dead fowl. When the detectives pounced in, the witch doctor threatened them with endless incantations but this seemed not to work. Upon opening her eyes, Mwelu was told, “Mama bado tuko hapa, hebu vaa nguo twende”. Yes, she was nude!

Some call it black magic, occult, wizardry, voodooism, sorcery occultism, or black art, the list is long, but one thing remains constant, all these terms translate to the use of magical faculties, most commonly for religious, divinatory or medicinal purposes.

Can we look at Witchcraft through the lens of social justice? What does the law stipulate about Witchcraft, religion, and cultural beliefs? Firstly, it is important to note that Kenya has no state religion.

The Constitution of Kenya in Article 8 clearly asserts the Kenyan state’s position as a secular state by providing that there shall be no state religion. Article 27 (4) goes on to provide that no one shall be discriminated against directly or indirectly on grounds of religion among other grounds.

There have been arguments as to whether witchcraft is a form of religion or not. It is quite clear that our supreme statute book does not define religion, but the most appropriate definition would be that religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.

A deeper understanding of religion reveals that sometimes it is used synonymously with faith, belief system, or sometimes a set of duties. On the other hand, witchcraft is defined as the use of magical faculties, most commonly for religious, divinatory, or medicinal purposes.

From the above explanations, it is evidently clear that there is a thin layer between witchcraft and religion. Additionally, Witchcraft distinctly separates from religion in the sense that it can be manipulated to harm human beings whereas religion brings out virtues and conformity to one’s spiritual wellbeing.

Witchcraft is illegal. It is an offense to perform it and it is punishable by law. The Witchcraft Act, Chapter 67 laws of Kenya, Article 3 states that: Any person, professing knowledge of so-called witchcraft or the use of charms, who advises any person applying to him how to bewitch or injure persons, animals or other property, or who supplies any person with an article purporting to be a means of witchcraft, shall be guilty of an offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

This is the position of the law on witchcraft and there can be no two ways about it. The law is very clear. However, this does not guarantee anyone a right to discriminate or harm anyone on the basis of being witchcraft. All perpetrators of witchcraft should be dealt with according to the law.

By John Kachibo




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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