SENTENCE NOT HARSH

Homa Bay man convicted of witchcraft loses appeal

Justice Kiarie throws out Owade's petition, says it lacks merit

In Summary
  • Joseph Otieno Owade was jailed last year after he admitted to two counts of being in possession of charms (paraphernalia) contrary to section 5 of the Witchcraft Act.
  • He was also convicted of pretending to exercise witchcraft contrary to the law.

 

A file photo of a witchdoctor's tools.
A file photo of a witchdoctor's tools.

A Homa Bay man who was jailed after pleading guilty to being in possession of charms, will continue serving his 18 months jail term after he lost his appeal.

Joseph Otieno Owade was jailed last year after he admitted to two counts of being in possession of charms (paraphernalia) contrary to section 5 of the Witchcraft Act.

He was also convicted of pretending to exercise witchcraft contrary to the law.

The court was told that on August 2, 2020, at Nyamanga village in Mbita subcounty of Homa Bay, he held himself out as a witch doctor and was in possession of witchcraft paraphernalia.

He was sentenced to serve six months in count one and one-year imprisonment in count two.

He later appealed against the sentence saying it was harsh. The appeal was opposed by the state though no grounds were filed.

However, in a judgment delivered on June 8 by Justice Waweru Kiarie, the court considered Section 5 of the Witchcraft Act which provides that any person who is in possession of a charm used in the exercise of witchcraft, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding Sh1,000, or to both imprisonment and fine.

He also noted that Section 2 of the Witchcraft Act Provides, "Any person who holds himself out as a witchdoctor able to cause fear, annoyance or injury to another in mind, person or property, or who pretends to exercise any kind of supernatural power, witchcraft, sorcery or enchantment calculated to cause such fear, annoyance or injury, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years."

"The sentence cannot be said to be excessive or harsh. I find that the appeal lacks merit and the same is dismissed," Justice Kiarie ruled.

-Edited by SKanyara