Women June 14, 2017 at 09:00 am

Ghanaian Police Arrest More Than 60 Persons for Lynching Alleged Witch

Mark Babatunde June 14, 2017 at 09:00 am

June 14, 2017 at 09:00 am | Women

Public lynching’s of suspected criminals are sadly not uncommon across many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where confidence in the criminal justice system is abysmally low. Photo credit: Multinewsonline

Ghanaian police arrested dozens of people in connection with the lynching of Yenboka Kenna, a 67-year-old woman accused of being a witch.

Police say 63 suspects were picked up during a raid at Pelungu and Tindongo in the upper East region of Ghana Saturday.

The suspects, who are all in custody and will be screened for identification, are believed to be a part of a lynch mob that murdered an old woman Sunday, May 28th, according to CitiFM.

Confirming their arrest, Bolgatanga Police Commander, Superintendent Samuel Punobyin confirmed the arrest of the suspects.

“We conducted a swoop in Pelungu market, where the deceased was lynched, and the surrounding houses and have arrested 63 male suspects, including a lady, and they are being held for investigations.

“We conducted this swoop based on intelligence, because we were told the lynching of the deceased was done by people living in the area.

“So the suspects will be screened today and so we are hoping that the witnesses who were also at the chief’s palace before the killing of the deceased will identify those who brought the deceased to the palace, those who demanded she should be released to them and those who lynched the deceased for prosecution,” Superintendent Punobyin said.

Eyewitnesses say Kenna was accused of witchcraft by some residents of the community and taken to the local chief who discharged her after finding her not guilty. Not satisfied, a baying lynch mob later descended on her, killing her at Pelungu market.

Major Maxwell Adam Mahama

Major Maxwell Adam Mahama. Photo credit: MyJoyOnline

Her death came just a day before Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was lynched in a neighborhood in the Central Region of Ghana, sparking widespread national outrage and a swift reaction from authorities.

Curiously, the death of the widow failed to elicit similar attention from authorities and barely got a mention in major newspapers, prompting many, including notable Ghanaian woman activist Janet Nabala, to condemn the apparent double standard.

“I don’t think God will bless what will be a wicked country if the police don’t get up and fight this menace. I think the government should do something about it and if the people who caused the death of this woman are not punished, I would think the government is doing selective justice.

“If the President could go to Captain Mahama’s house and sympathize with his family and yet there is a woman who was killed and the President has said nothing about it, then it shows how important men are in this country, and how women are used in this country whilst nobody cares about us when we have a problem,” Nabala said.

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