Shock as elderly man is hacked to death in unclear circumstances

An elderly man was on Wednesday hacked to death in a brutal attack by unidentified assailants in unclear circumstances in Gandini location, Kwale County.

Mr. Begari Mongolo, 62, was attacked while asleep in the 5am incident in a county with escalating violence that has left scores of elderly people either killed or maimed on allegations of being witches.

Kinango Sub-county police Chief Mr. Fredrick Lai confirmed the killing saying police are following crucial leads that may assist in arresting those behind the heinous act.

We have dispatched police officers to the area to hunt down the perpetrators of the atrocious crime, said Mr. Lai.

The local Chief Ms. Umazi Mwangolo said the deceased, who sustained deep panga cuts was a respected man in the community, who never provoked anyone.

We are greatly upset by his brutal killing as he was a sociable person, Ms. Mwangolo said, adding that the motive of the murder was still unclear.

The administrator further said the deceased was at a relative’s ceremony when the incident happened.

Ms. Mwangolo condemned the incident and warned the residents against engaging in such callous acts.

Police moved the body to Kinango Hospital mortuary for post mortem examination.

The violence meted on grey-haired men and women has been condemned by among others the local Coastal Kaya Council of Elders.

The council says the elderly have become vulnerable and a target of irrational witch-hunts and deserve protection and support.

Grey-haired elders have been living in fear following widespread killings of innocent old people by unknown people, associating them with witchcraft mainly in Kwale and Kilifi Counties.

So grave is the situation that it is estimated that nearly 400 elderly people, mainly men and elderly widows, have been lynched in Kilifi alone over the past five years. All the victims were accused without any proof, of being sorcerers.

The council has been working closely with the Coast Inter-faith Organization which is under the Catholic leadership in Mombasa to create public awareness on the need to respect and protect the elderly people.

Source: Kenya News Agency