Dec 31, 2008, 5:14 AM
former contractor at the Ministry of Education Alieu Mbaye, on Thursday told
TRRC how former president Yahya Jammeh’s witch hunters alleged him a wizard.
Narrating the incident to the commission, he explained that in 2009, while living in Jambur, one day he was visited by one Salifu Jawo and as they were brewing green tea, locally called ‘attaya’, he saw a woman on the run. According to Mr. Mbaye, when he inquired from the woman, she told her that some people were in the village hunting witches.
He said a soldier brandished his gun and threatened to shoot him, if he failed to bring down the juju which was hung on top of his door. Mr. Mbaye stated that the witch hunters exhibited more of witchcraft because of the way they dressed as they had horns, cowry cells and a big mirror.
The witness testified that Solo Bojang and the alkalo of the village, Kebba Juju Bojang were part of the witch-hunters. He said that Solo Bojang provided protection to the witch-hunters and he was the one that threatened to shoot him (Mbaye).
According to Mbaye, accusing someone of being a witch or wizard is defamation of character because people will always run away from the person.
He disclosed that he was taken to Baba Jobe’s house in Kololi and was forced to drink a concoction. He added that the number of people who drank the concoction was 65.
“When they brought us food during our detention at Baba Jobe’s compound, I refused to eat because I was not having appetite,” he said, adding that he was terribly angry to be associated with witchcraft. “I was also thinking of my family because the allegations against me will affect my children.”
Mr. Mbaye disclosed that the cup which was used for the toilet was filled with the concoction for them to drink. “The place was so filthy and smelly. There were two drums, and one with brownish colour was used for bathing, while the greenish was used for drinking.”
He said after 20 minutes, victims started falling and fainting. However, he added that he was not affected till he returned home. He said people who drank the concoction were disturbed, especially the old ones as some of them talked to themselves.
He said some people urinated on themselves while others had runny stomach because they could not get up and go to the toilet.
On the impact it had has on him, the witness said he was severely sick and was in bed for two weeks. He added that he later went to the hospital and was told that he had high blood pressure, but eventually he was taken to a herbalist who gave him medication.
The witness testified that Yahya Jammeh was responsible of what had happened to him.