Police in Pader district are holding the Ajan sub-county chairperson and five others following their arrest over allegations of incitement towards murdering a woman believed to be a witch after she was suspected to have poisoned to death three people in the same village.
Mr Christopher Mwaka Odokonyero, Francis Okeny (LC 2 of Paibwor) and others were arrested on 23rd of September 2023 on allegations of inciting and burning the woman together with belongings to death.
The deceased had been identified as Akongo Mary, in her early 60s, a resident of Acamoling village, Paibwor parish, Ajan sub-county in Pader district.
It’s alleged that on Wednesday, 20th September 2023, an angry crowd stormed the home of the deceased and burned her to death after she was alleged to have poisoned one identified as Komakech Christopher, 40s and two others whose identities were not revealed. According to reports, other suspects are still at large.
According to locals who preferred anonymity, the deceased is a suspect of killing by poisoning of many people in the area. They allege that Akongo killed over ten people without disclosing their identities ever since she began staying in Acamoling village during the IDP camps insurgencies.
However, before his arrest and detention, Odokonyero (LC 3) revealed that he did not incite anybody to kill the woman. He said that the woman was murdered by an angry mob in his absentia after he attended a clan meeting and took off.
According to reports, the clan meeting was held to harmonize the two parties after the woman before her murder, failed to rescue a man allegedly charmed by her. The mob became angry, and later organized by digging a pit and later forcefully dipped the woman into and burned her to death.
Odokonyero added that his presence in the meeting was not incite, but to condole with the family after the death of one, Komakech who died as a result of alleged poisoning by Akongo Mary.
Meanwhile, Alfred Alumansi, the officer in-charge of the criminal investigation department confirmed the arrest without providing more details of the incident citing jeopardy of the on-going investigations by the police. However, he cautioned the politicians from indulging into the investigations for their own political motives.
Ajan sub-county in Pader district has been under the radar for a long period of years over numerous concerns of charming, poisoning, witchcraft from the time of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency where people were in camps in 2000s.