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Tsuma Washe ‘Kajiwe’, Kenya’s Famous Ghost Buster and Witch Hunter.

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Tsuma Washe alias Kajiwe. To date the nation’s most ‘prolific’ ghost buster/witch hunter. On 9th Dec. 1970 there was even a Parliamentary session to discuss his fate after his detention. With then Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs Daniel Arap Moi having the last say.

Kajiwe was from Uwanja wa Ndege, Rabai. He thrived as a palm-wine tapper before moving to Shika Adabu, Likoni and switching careers to become a fisherman. This would change his life’s path entirely. On one encounter he was said to have been swallowed up by the ocean’s spirits. Kajiwe says he stayed under the ocean for 3 months feeding on nothing but mud from the ocean floor. The spirits then trained him to be who he went on to be. He knew all to do with witchcraft, only this time, he was the one to capture and neutralize those practising it. Kajiwe is said to have had the ability to sniff someone practising witchcraft from a distance, with his body swelling, as the alarm signal. He would then pee on the witch and their powers would be neutralized.

Things all came to a head on 6th Nov. 1970, when the Coast Provincial Commissioner ordered Kajiwe’s arrest under the Public Security Act. He was accused of collecting money from the public without permission and issuing oaths. A heated exchange would take place in Parliament on 9th December, 1970, with Coast MPs Francis Tuva and Kassim Mwamzandi accusing the government of misuse of the Public Security Act with no basis, especially on a simple man like Kajiwe. With Mwamzandi especially, pointing out that President Jomo Kenyatta himself was in Kajiwe’s constituency 2 years ago and in one rally he gave Kajiwe the license to keep on ridding the area of witches so that development would happen.

At this point, Kajiwe had 16 wives, a car and a well-stocked shop. All proceeds of his exorcism work. This, Francis Tuva said was the cause of jealousy in some quarters in his local community. He said those people are the ones who misled the PC into ordering Kajiwe’s arrest. Kajiwe would have another voice of support from the then Assistant Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hon. Kase. He stated that he had proof of some Honourable members who visited Kajiwe’s home before the last election…and they were not only from the Coast. “There was no motor vehicle road to Kajiwe’s home in the years before the last election. But during the campaigns, car after car went to his homestead with honourable members seeking help to win elections…all that activity created a clear path to Kajiwe’s home”- Hon. Kase.

At this point V.P Daniel Arap Moi stood to state the government position and bring the matter to a close saying “Kajiwe went to a mission hospital to undergo a small operation. If he believed in all these other things he wouldn’t have gone to hospital, above all a mission hospital. I regard security and maintenance of law and order to be all important for the welfare of this country. If Kajiwe comes out to say he doesn’t believe in these things, he will be released and things will go back to normal”- V.P Daniel Arap Moi.

Kajiwe never made a public statement to denounce his craft but was released. He would go on to have 40 wives, countless children. At the point of his death in 1993 he was by all accounts still a ‘ghostbuster’. On a positive note, he did build a primary school in his rural home.

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