Story written by Amadou Kanteh
EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Fatou Sowe, a woman in her forties who was among the witnesses who testified before the TRRC in its Tuesday public hearing at Jambur said she was arrested by witch doctors while coming from picking rice for that day’s lunch and told her that she was sick before witches and wizards were after her.
Testifying in connection with former President Yahya Jammeh’s 2009 witch hunting exercise which saw hundreds, if not thousands of people being forced to drink a concoction that would render them unconscious and admit to being witches and wizards, Mrs Sowe said she and others underwent troubling times in hands of the Jammeh contracted Guinean witch doctors.
She said when the men in red cloths arrived, she asked them what she might have done wrong to be taken away but they told her that she was sick because witches and wizards were after her and they needed to give her some concoction for healing.
She said she went with them to Makumbaya after one of her sister convinced her to join them, saying she never wanted to go but had no choice because she was frightened as some people who came for her were soldiers who were also armed at the time.
“When we were taken to Kololi, we were given the concoction by the witch hunters to drink but I immediately got fainted till the next day. Upon regaining consciousness, I realized that I am at a different place,” she said.
Mrs Sowe said one of the men later came and asked her if she is a witch and she replied, “I never eat any human being and I am not a witch. I told him that since I knew myself, no one had ever asked me of such except him,” she said.
According her, she had no idea or reason why the men claiming to be witch hunters said she is a witch, because she doesn’t know them and they too never knew anything about her.