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Police catch ritual killers or Halloween joke?

The Standard reported on October 31 that police were investigating nearly 90 individuals in connection with devil worship. The paper’s lead story was headlined, “86 pastors, politicians caught up in ritual killings”.

Fact? Did we say the report was sensational? Turned out no one had been, in fact, “caught up in ritual killings.” Nor had the Standard counted one, two, three up to 86.

“Religious leaders are among 86 people being questioned by police on suspicion of involvement in the occult underworld,” the report said.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti warned about rising cases of cultism, particularly in Nairobi, Embu, Kitui, and Kericho, citing evidence uncovered following investigations into a string of killings.

Eti evidence? What exactly?

“In the latest investigation, clerics are among those being questioned by the police after their names were found in a book seized from a suspect who confessed to killing a Catholic priest as a sacrifice in an occult ritual,” the story said.

What is being reported here? Are police questioning clerics and other suspects or have they uncovered evidence as the Standard stated? Or do questioning and uncovered evidence mean the same thing?

Detectives said they found a booklet with names of politicians, business owners and civil servants presumed to be members of a cult or potential recruits, the Standard reported.

“But the 22 who have so far been questioned at Kitui Police Station have denied knowledge of the cult. They include 14 businessmen, four deacons, county employees, teachers and farmers.”

So, has evidence of anyone’s involvement in the occult been found? Can anyone then run a headline that says, “86 pastors, politicians caught up in ritual killings”?

“The Standard cannot name the suspects because they are yet to be charged,” the paper said.

No one has been charged. Police are still investigating. Know what? Once police uncover evidence, they charge suspects. In this case the 86 pastors, politicians, businessmen and so on might well exist in police investigation records. But these persons have not been “caught up in ritual killings”, as reported.

Cultic (and other bizarre spiritualist) practices have been reported in Kenya since time immemorial. These are secret, mystical (and mythical) activities that are notoriously difficult to investigate, let alone successfully prosecute.

Anyone has an idea the mountains of files Kinoti has at Mazingira House on Kiambu Road? Apparently, he is looking for more. The Standard now has the top sleuth chasing witches and other shadowy characters. Illuminati?

In 1994, President Daniel arap Moi formed a commission of inquiry into devil worship chaired by Catholic Archbishop Nicodemus Kirima of Nyeri. The findings were never made public. Why? Well, if the commission discovered that Saitan has many followers in Kenya, what would be new about that? What could the government do?

A newspaper that says categorically that a certain number of persons have been caught up in ritual killings, yet none has been charged as there is no evidence, is simply being sensational.

The media had better keep its spotlight on flesh and bones matters that can be verified.

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