Crime & Investigation

Gulu Witch Survives Lynching, Banished From Village

medicine geneva;”>Identified as Veronica Alum, the old woman was chased away by area residents headed by the village Chairperson; Florence Atto accusing her of being a night dancer who would turn into a wild beast.

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This is after residents discovered foot marks resembling that of an animal crafted on the floor of her rented grass thatched hut and one small deep hole dug near the wall.

However, Alum denies being a witch and claims she only dug a hole on the floor of her house because rain had damaged some parts of it and wanted to repair them though without consulting the land lord.

“Since my stay at Kanyagoga in 1996, such wild allegations have never been levelled against me, why do you think I am now a witch?” asked Alum, adding, “I accept to be killed before God but I swear I have never killed anyone.”

Area residents later removed all her belongings from the house and demanded she goes back to her husband’s home village in Bungatira, 10km North of Gulu district.

People jointly collected Shs 10,000 for her transport, forced her to sit on a motorcycle which took her to the village in Bobi Sub County, south of Kanyagoga amidst cheers.

This is the second time the woman who claims to be a Christian survived lynching by the communities over suspicion of being a witch.

Sophie Atim, a resident in Alum’s village said the woman behaviors had been suspicious lately and as she would be crying in the night and weird things kept bumping on her neighbors’ roofs.

“Weird things no one could understand have been banging on people’s houses at night,” said Atim.

The LC IV of Kanyagoga Parish, Geoffrey Nyero said, at least five people were bewitched last year by unknown people.

“Alum’s expulsion is not a surprise and it will keep her safe from the rowdy residents who could have killed her overnight,” said Nyero.

Meanwhile, night dancing is a rare recreation in Acholi, once caught the victim is stoned to death or ashamed in public as a punishment.

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