NKURENKURU - Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku has condemned “harmful healing” activities which led to the deaths of three people at Mutengo village.
This was after a so-called pastor allegedly prescribed a concoction mixed with methylated spirits, salt and vinegar to inject in the rectums of the victims. A fourth victim was rushed to hospital, and is receiving treatment. “The region is saddened about losing three people, and we condemn the conduct of the church that we expected to protect them. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” Ausiku said.
The victims, who are related, allegedly paid about N$4 600 upfront, and were expected to pay more if they get better. “It is unacceptable for churches to take advantage of the communities that come to them for spiritual support, and we expect the church to look after and protect the vulnerable members of our communities,” she stressed.
“At the same time, I’m appealing to our traditional authorities not to give land to anyone to start a church without consultation with other relevant stakeholders.
Let us all look out for any form of harmful practices happening to communities in our villages or neighbourhoods, and report them to law-enforcement agencies.” The accused in the deaths of the three people is self-proclaimed pastor Engelberth Hamutenya (25), with co-accused Elia Ihemba (36).
They appeared in the Kahenge court on three counts of murder, alternatively culpable homicide, as well as attempted murder each. They were denied bail due to the seriousness of the charges against them, and that it will not be in the interest of justice for them to be released. They were, however, informed of their rights to formally apply for bail. Their case was postponed to 12 January 2022.