Nairobi News


County govt turns to witchcraft to deal with thieves

By Alex Njeru March 19th, 2019 2 min read

Tharaka-Nithi county government has resorted to the Ameru traditional means of punishing criminals and recovering stolen goods.

After unknown people vandalized Kiamurukima community borehole and stole solar panels that pumps water from underground, county spokesperson Paul Mwabu led a group of elders to invoke the dreaded curse locally known as Nduuka.

The curse is only administered by elderly men who have stopped bearing children and is conducted in the bush away from villages.


Mr Mwabu, who served as Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly Deputy Speaker and Marimanti ward MCA, arrived at the scene accompanied by elders who carried a pot (referred as devil’s pot) full of paraphernalia including a bird’s nest known as Ngoco in local dialect, pieces of broken pot, goat horns among other stuff.

The elders proceeded with the ritual that lasted hours as they offered burnt sacrifices to appease the gods so that they can “come to their aid”.

The elders declared the suspected thieves as enemies of the community who were supposed to either die or become mad and walk away from the village to live in the wilderness.

“The thieves are enemies of the community and should not live amongs us,” the elders frequently restated as they continued with the ritual.

After completing the ritual, the elders promised that in a few days, the missing items would be found or the thieves become mad and announce in public that they were the criminals.


Surprisingly, few hours after the elders finished with the ritual, three out of the lost five panels were recovered near Gacooroni market, some kilometers away.

In 2016, Mr Mwabu led elders in conducting a similar exercise after some boxes full of witchcraft-like paraphernalia were found dumped in several primary schools in Tharaka constituency.

When Mr Mwabu invoked the Nduuka curse, it was reported that the vehicle used to ferry the counter boxes mysteriously caught fire at Ndagani market near Chuka University and burnt completely.