Zwedru City – The Liberia National Police in Grand Gedeh County have charged and sent to court a 39-year old traditional herbalist with criminal coercion after he was accused of abusing womanhood.
Zoe Emmanuel Kai had allegedly undressed several women and shaved their genitals as part of a spiritual cleansing ritual.
The incident reportedly occurred in Kparsuah Hill community in early November 2017 in Zwedru city sparking outrage from several women rights group and the county authority.
During police preliminary investigation, Kai said the women had been involved in “witchcraft activities in the community over the years” and the ritual was intended to rebuke them from occultism.
“I am trying my best to change these people from witchcraft attitude then you people embarrassing me,” the herbalist said after the police arrested him.
Chief Zanzan Karwor, head of the National Traditional Council of Liberia, has backed the police investigation of the herbalist.
Chief Karwor urged Kai to remain law abiding while undergoing court prosecution at the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru city.
He said herbalist Zoe Kai was licensed to heal people with common sickness not to “naked women and shave their front hair in the public”.
Meanwhile, women rights groups in the county have expressed grave concern over the herbalist’s action against the women and are calling for his speedy trial.
Jesedeh Bazen, the head of rural women in the county, said such action is unprecedented in the local culture, saying; “We will fight this case until we see the end”.
“This man has disgraced women, just for him to administered herbs on these women he brought them in the public and begin shaving their front hair while they were standing naked in front of the people, ” she said.
At the same time, some of the women who were reportedly “cleansed” by the ritual claimed they have been witchcraft for years and were seeking transformation from the herbalist.
Despite the public expressing disgust at the incident, Sarah Weah, 52, – one of the alleged victims – is calling on the authority to release the herbalist so he would continue his work.
“This man has come to rescue us, so why will people, calling themselves human rights come and disturbed his operation,” she said.
She said the death of her children over the years have been hard to accept. As part of witchcraft activities, she confessed to burying her children underclothes to thwart their prosperity.
Locals have alleged that witchcraft is on the rise in Grand Gedeh County since the dissolution of the traditional test or the trail by ordeal process.
They claimed it helped determined and exposed witchcraft in many communities.
Report By: Mose Geply