Lynched 90-year-old woman accused of witchcraft laid to rest

The 90-year-old being beaten by her attackers

The 90-year-old woman who was accused of witchcraft and lynched in the Gonja East Municipality of the Savannah Region has been buried.

 Mariama Akua Denteh was laid to rest on Saturday, three days after she was brutally beaten to death by a soothsayer and her accomplice. They accused her of using witchcraft to prevent rain from falling in Kafaba, a farming community.

Her body was released to her family after an autopsy at the Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern Region.

72 hours after her murder, not a single person has been arrested as the soothsayer and her accomplice, who allegedly led the assault on the nonagenarian,  are on the run.

But the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, has placed a GHC2,000 bounty on the head of the two suspects. 

The soothsayer, only identified as Selina, and her accomplice stormed the East Gonja Municipality of the region to drive out witches, accused of hampering the progress of the town folks.

Reports had it that the soothsayer claimed that the deceased was a witch who prevented rain from falling in the community.

To exorcise her, the feeble 90-year-old was dragged 800 meters away from her home only to be lynched in broad daylight, while the community members cheered.

Armed with a whip and what appeared to be a wooden board, she was caned, kicked and slapped while the amused community members watched.

The deceased was seen in a viral video pleading with her attackers to spare her life as she denied the accusations of being a witch.

Chief accused

Family members of the nonagenarian had accused the chief of the community, Seidu Yahaya, of being the brain behind the violent end of Madam Denteh.

But the chief has denied sanctioning the invitation of the alleged spiritualist into the community.

He is yet to honour a police invitation, complaining of ill health.

Condemnations

Meanwhile, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, has expressed  “grave shock and incalculable revulsion” at the lynching of a 90-year old woman.

The National Democratic Congress running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, also condemned the incident saying, “the elderly in our society rather deserve our love and protection, not this level of unspeakable cruelty. Old age cannot be synonymous to witchcraft.”

Meanwhile, Human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, has strongly condemned the gruesome act.

Reacting to the disturbing video which has since sparked public outcry, the Country Director for Amnesty International, Robert Akoto Amoafo, described the action of the town folks as “barbaric, backward, and criminal”.

 

 

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