Saturday, December 14, 2019

Daughter of a Victim Narrates Her Father’s Ordeal after he was Accused of Witchcraft

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By Yankuba Jallow

A daughter of a victim of Yahya Jammeh’s witch – hunting activities on Thursday explained to the TRRC her father’s ordeal as a result of concussion he was given by Yahya Jammeh’s squadron of witch – hunters.

31 – year – old Mam Jara Jatta gave account of what happened to her father, Kumba Jatta, a former deputy commissioner of police for Banjul Division.

Kumba Jatta was part of the police officers who drank concussion given to them by witch hunters who were brought into the country by the former President.

He said his father drank the concussion sometime in 2009 and he is still suffering from it. Jatta was at that time 59 – years – old and he was attached to the Police headquarters in Banjul.

Born on the 10th January 1950 in Kuntaur, Kumba Jatta was enlisted in the Gambia Police Force in September 1970 and he was mainly a traffic police officer.

Mam Jarra said her father was physically fit and healthy before taking the concussion that was given to him by the witch – hunters sometime in January 2009.

“He used to go for early morning exercise and he used to jog with the police. Sometimes he goes to the beach for exercise,” she said.

She said one day, her father came from work and he told her that his jujus were taken from him forcefully by some witch – hunters from Guinea Conakry. She said her father told her that they came with Ensa Badjie alias Jesus, a former Inspector General of Police to his office and asked him to hand over all the jujus he had in his possession.

“My father told me that he undressed in front of all of them and handed the jujus to them,” she said,

She said her father told her that the jujus were buried at the police headquarters by the marabouts. She said her father was very sad on that day because he is one person who believes in juju so much.

“My father told me Jesus (IGP Ensa Badjie) wanted to destroy him. He said Yahya Jammeh was the one pushing Jesus on him. My father told me they tried a lot of times to frame him, but they failed in all. He told me RSM Colley does not like him,” she said.

Mam Jarra said her father told the family that he was supposed to go to Baba Jobe’s house to report. She said the whole family asked him not to go, but her father was adamant that he was going to clear himself from the allegation of being a wizard.

She said in the morning of the following day “my father left the family smiling with the intention to clear himself from the witchcraft allegation leveled against him.”

She said sometime later their father called them, but when they called a few minutes later someone picked the call.

“The person was telling us that my father cannot speak on phone at that moment,” she said.

She said her two sisters went to Baba Jobe’s compound and they were denied entrance, but later allowed to go in.

“The found my father lying on a veranda,” she said.

She said they tried to take their father home, but they were told to come the following day.

“That night none of us at home slept. No one slept till morning,” she said.

She said the following morning, her sisters brought her father.

“When they brought him home, he was like a small baby and he couldn’t talk. For days he couldn’t go to work and he cannot talk. His tongue was heavy and he was forcing himself to speak. It took him days before he was able to speak. His whole body used to pain him and his walk change,” she said.

She said: “my father was depressed but I used to force myself to him and make him speak. He told me he was given “Kubejaro” at Baba Jobe’s residence. He told me many people were issued the concussion and they were saying silly things.”

She said her father resumed work after he regained strength.

“As time goes on, he began to become weak and he began losing his memory. Right now, he is constantly sick. He cannot do anything by himself. He has been admitted in several hospitals. He cannot even eat by himself and he can’t do anything else – people help him to do things for himself,” she said.

“Since he drank that, that was the start of his illness,” she said.

She said her family is still suffering from stigmatization from the society because they are labeled as witches.

In her concluding remarks, she said their family are decent people and they are not known as witches until when Yahya Jammeh’s witch – hunters accused their father of being a wizard.

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