TRRC: Wife links cause of husband’s death to concoction

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EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A woman who testified before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission –TRRC- has linked the dead of her husband –Lamin Sonko- to the concoction that the witch-doctors forced him to drink.

Amie Njie told the truth-seeking Commission at its Monday public hearing on former President Yahya Jammeh’s 2009 witch-hunting exercise in North Bank Region community of Barra that it was the concoction given to her husband alongside the inhumane treatment meted out on him by Mr Jammeh’s witch- doctors that led to his dead.

The mother of four said her husband was abducted by witch-hunters in their compound when he came back for lunch. “My husband returned home for lunch from his work as watchman when people dressed in red attires and military clothes entered the compound and requested to see the household head. My husband came out and said I am here and they said yes, is you we want,” she said.

Mrs Njie said the witch-hunters went behind the compound with their mirrors and were inspecting the place, saying her husband was taken into a white bus which was packed at the village square where the green boys were drumming.

Mrs Njie, who described his husband as a simple and easy-going man, said she was scared when he was taken by the witch hunters. She Mr Sonko was taken to Baba Jobe’s compound and when she went to visit him, she was told that she cannot see him.

The woman claimed that her husband spent five days in the hands of the witch-doctors and when he returned, there were injuries on both his knees and he was injected on his waist.

Counsel Mariama Singateh

The exiled ex-president used to mix herbs to produce the substance which he forcefully administered on people he suspected as either witches or wizards in different communities across the country in 2009.

“When the injuries began to disturb him, we took him to the hospital in the morning where he was given medication but he did not go to work for two weeks,” she stated, and added, “He came with sickness and that sickness was with him until the day he died.”

She alleged that his husband fell on the tiles after drinking the medicine as a result, he sustained injuries. “When he started screaming, they injected him on the waist which got swollen.”

She said her husband was taken to the clinic where he was given medication and he was taken home but his condition got worst. “We went back to the clinic where they wrote a referral for us to take him to Banjul. So, when we went to Banjul, before night he passed away.”

The businesswoman said her husband was a healthy man prior to the abduction except for his poor vision which he was born with. She stated that her husband died one year after drinking the concoction.

“Apart from God, I could say that the witch- hunters are responsible for the death of my husband because prior to his abduction, he was not having any complications.”

She said the death of her husband has caused a negative impact on her life and that of the family because she had to assume responsible for the family’s sustenance. “The eldest one wanted to further his education but he cannot and the younger one too was in grade 8 but he had to drop out of school.”

Story written by Juldeh Njie

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