Kwale County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo has raised the red flag over the killing of elderly on suspicion of engaging in witchcraft.
He said police records show that more than 42 elderly people have been killed in the county since January under mysterious circumstances.
He said Kinango and Lunga Lunga sub-counties are the worst hit by the vice that has left residents and security agencies in shock.
“The killings should stop and I urge religious leaders to intervene,” he said during a public baraza at Kenyatta Primary School grounds in Msambweni.
Interviews with residents revealed that in most cases, relatives mainly youthful ones are behind most of the murders while killer gangs are hired to execute them with land being the motivating factor. He said prosecution of the murder cases has been complicated by conspiracy among relatives who hatch cover-ups.
“Concrete evidence is needed for police to prove murder. When cases are reported and no one volunteers to give evidence during trial, chances are that culprits will go scot free as police cannot prove culpability,” he said. A number of cases have been dismissed because of lack of evidence.