Six people involved in the alleged recovery of a stolen car through witchcraft in Mombasa last week were yesterday charged with conspiring to defraud the public.
Two ‘thieves’ danced naked under a spell until a witch doctor broke it. The drama was perceived to have been black magic, but later turned out to be a well-orchestrated drama.
The accused are Elizabeth Wetaba, Yassin Lekorobe, Ronald Ng’ang’a, Mary Achieng, Wani Moses alias Patrick Omondi and Musa Ongom.
They jointly conspired to defraud by advertising their “products” on Wednesday last week in Kiembeni, Bamburi.
They were accused of claiming to carry out genuine business, claiming they were able to catch thieves, solve court cases, secure jobs and solve impotency at a fee.
Wetaba, Lekorobe and Ng’ang’a were also accused of giving false information about the vehicle they claimed was stolen.
Lekorobe and Ng’ang’a were further accused of claiming ownership of a forest cobra without licence from the Kenya Wildlife Services.
The two, who were previously believed to be the “witches”, also allegedly trafficked by transporting Moses and Ongom from Uganda to Bamburi, where they were used for exploitation by means of deception.
Lekorobe, Ng’ang’a, Moses and Ongom, who are Ugandans, were further accused of being in the country without a permit from the Immigration department allowing them to reside in Kenya.
Wetaba was also accused of lying about her name. It was alleged that she told a police officer her name was Cathrine Kanduba, yet it was false.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, the two “thieves”, Moses and Ongom, pleaded guilty to stripping naked on the roadside, while trying to convince the public.
State prosecutor Winnie Kabinga objected to their release on bond, terming them a flight risk.
Kabinga said it was likely the accused persons could abscond by running away.
She further said police are still searching for the real owner of the car, which is said to be registered to Rosa Wanjala.
The prosecutor said intelligence indicates the car might have been stolen and its number plate changed.
Kabinga further told the court to order the release of the forest snake, as it is suffering from depression.
She said the snake had not eaten for seven days.
The prosecutor said the snake had been choked during the drama and had lost consciousness, thus causing its refusal to feed.
Senior principal magistrate Diana Mochache ordered the snake be taken to Diani forest.
She is expected to give her bond ruling on September 19.