Over sixty elders in Kilifi County were ruthlessly murdered by their kin last year.
According to police reports, the elders were murdered on witchcraft allegations.
Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata has called on residents in the region to discard the unbecoming habit of lynching suspected witches in the community.
Elungata cautioned residents against killing suspected sorcerers in their midst deploring the habit as outdated, primitive and illegal.
Elderly residents in parts of Kilifi and Kwale counties are increasingly being killed or driven out of their homes on allegations that they practice witchcraft and are behind misfortunes and calamities.
Speaking during a public baraza in Magarini Sub county, Kilifi county Elungata noted the killings are also blamed on land feuds involving family members.
He said some young people are using grey hair as a reason for killing their parents or relatives so as to inherit them.
“It is unfortunate that grey-haired elders live in hiding as locals hunt them down over witchcraft claims,” he said.
The Regional administrator said in 2020 alone 60 elderly people lost their lives in Kilifi county following bitter land disputes and majority murdered by their close relatives.
Elungata said steps will be taken against those found taking the law into their own hands and killing grey-haired people out of suspicion of involvement in witchcraft.
He said beatings and killings of elderly people on suspicion of practicing witchcraft was outright contravention of the law and those perpetuating the habit would face the wrath of the law.
Elungata directed chiefs and their assistants to act tough against those killing elderly men in their localities.
Magarini ward MCA Renson Kambi said the elderly have become vulnerable and a target of irrational witch-hunts and deserve protection and support.
[Some of the Kaya elders in Magarini. Photo/Elvis Kenga].
The MCA said the killings are getting out of hand and there is a need to give law and order a chance to take its course.
A member of the Coastal Kaya Council of Elders Emmanuel Nyawa said they operate two rescue centers for the elderly fleeing the callous killings in Sabaki in Malindi Sub County and Kaya Godoma in Magarini Sub County.
Nyawa said the refuge centres were set up by the Kaya Council of Elders to protect the old from people who want to harm them.