Anthropologists long ago described witchcraft as a widespread multifaceted social phenomenon in many societies populating the African continent, and other regions of the globe, in history and contemporary times.
In fact, they contend that witchcraft has always been part of African societies before the arrival of Europeans. This is documented by written records reporting about witch-hunts in Africa that dates back as far as the 17th-century (Behringer 2004:198).
Ironically, the ancient old belief in witchcraft comes along with rumours which fuels violence against those accused of practising witchcraft.
Available literature and what have been happening to those who are perceived to be witches confirm the violent side of society which is easily visible today and has attracted public attention.
The lynching of a 90-year-old woman, the late Denteh Akua who was accused of witchcraft at Kafaba in East Gonja by a soothsayer and her accomplices last Thursday, has resurrected the witchcraft discourse which has been done in the past to no end.
Many people, especially women and children have been subjected to inhumane treatments some leading to their death but as a country, we have not been able to prevent its recurrent.
Rather, family members, neighbours, pastors and even educated elite falsely accuse people of witchcraft without any shred of evidence or prove and such people assisted by some members of the public humiliate and sometimes kill the victims.
What happened at Kafaba is a classic case of society’s complicity in this high crime of falsely accusing vulnerable and defenseless community members of witchcraft and violently attacking them.
There can be no excuse for such barbaric and backward actions and those responsible for the murder of the poor and defenseless grand old lady should be fished out and if possible given the same dose of their medicine.
It is abhorrent for human beings to subject a fellow human being to such cruelty on a mere suspicion of witchcraft in this time and age.
The Ghanaian Times acknowledges the public outrage and joins all those who have condemned the barbaric act and urge the security forces to smoke out those responsible to justice.
The lynching of the late Denteh Akua should not turn out to be another public discourse without any tangible steps being taken to stop the primitive and backward action of self appointed murderers.
This must be the last time and never again should we look on for anyone to be killed in such horrific manner. We must all take the blame for not doing enough to prevent such needless deaths in the country. Enough is enough.
Source: Ghanaian Times