Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Widow Says Her Husband Was Captured by Witch Hunters

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By Yankuba Jallow

Amie Njie, a wife to Lamin Sonko, who was a victim of a witch hunting exercise, on Monday, 2nd December 2019 told the TRRC that her husband died as a result of concoction given to him by witch-hunters.

Sonko a watchman at a nursery school in Essau was captured by witch-hunters at his home when he came to take his lunch. She said at the time of Sonko’s demise, they have 5 children.

The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is currently holding regional hearings on the 2009 witch-hunting activity. The witch-hunting exercise according to testimonies, claimed several lives and left several others in critical health condition.

Appearing before the TRRC in Essau, Madam Njie said her husband died from sickness he contracted as a result of drinking concoction.

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“The sickness came after he was captured by these people (witch-hunters) and he couldn’t survive it,” she said.

The 35-year-old said her husband was captured by men who wore red attire. She said they were escorted by security agents and Green Boys.

“When they came here, we were terrified and we went to the backside of the compound. This was because of the way they were dressed and the way they entered our home,” she said.

“When they came, they asked for the compound head and when my husband identified himself to them, they told him ‘come, it is you we are looking for.’ They told him that he should go with them to the village square (Bantaba),” she said.

She said they heard the sounds of drums at the ‘Bantaba’ and got information the strangers came for witches. She said when they took her husband, she followed them up to the bus that they boarded on, adding that she was denied the chance to speak to him (her late husband).

“They said we can’t speak to him. They said they were taking them to Barra,” she said.

She said at the time her late husband was captured, he had a mobile phone and money with him. She told the Commission that the mobile phone was returned to him, but the money was not returned. She said her husband was taken to late Baba Jobe’s compound (a former lawmaker).

She said her late husband spent six days under abduction and he returned home on the sixth day. She said her l husband later came home with injuries on his waist and leg.

She added that when her husband came home, he told her that he was injected and the place where he was inoculated was paining.

“He was complaining of pain, but when his situation was getting worst, he began telling me the condition he was subjected to by those who abducted him,” she said.

“He was healthy before his encounter with those people. He used to go to work at the nursery school and he was not complaining of any sickness or pain,” she said.

She said her husband’s breast was swollen, adding that she later took him to hospital for treatment.

“He died at the hospital. He couldn’t survive the sickness,” she said, adding “the sickness lasted only for two weeks and he died.”

She told the Commission that her late husband was healthy before he was abducted and forced to drink the concoction, but his health condition deteriorated after he drank the concoction which eventually claimed his life.

She said she became the sole breadwinner of the family after the death of her husband. She told the Commission that one of her kids became a dropout at grade 8 because she could not afford his school fees, adding her eldest completed his schooling but he is sitting at home because of lack of sponsorship.

“The impact the death of my husband have on me is huge. I have no one to support me. We were jointly responsible for the upkeep of the family, but now I am the sole breadwinner of the family,” she said.

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