Monday, March 7, 2011

Burning Alive

Sick in my stomach, I was barely able to finish the Holy Mass just a moment ago. Praying to God for mercy on souls of those who lost their lives just a few hours ago in my neighborhood. One of them someone I knew very well for many many years. So far four members of our local community in Kiabakari lost their lives - two shot dead by the police force, two burned alive by angry mob taking justice in their hands...

The breaking news I received upon my arrival from Musoma at around 5pm this afternoon - where I drove this morning to buy medicine for our health center in my new capacity as a administrator-in-charge, and to buy some construction materials for the finishing stages of the sisters' house, plus some other regular stuff - paying bills, renewing rental fees for our post office boxes - claim that angry mob went to an old woman house, suspected to be a witch doctor who steals children from people and sell them to Gambush village in Sukuma land where - a people widely believe - they become 'litunu' (people changed into something else, like semi-robots, working for other people or witchcraft doctors, living in oblivion, semi-conscious, working in their fields at night cultivating etc.).

Police force from our police station in Kiabakari went there to prevent lynching, as I believe. When one of the angry mobsters helped with another one, decided to enter the house of the woman to find a lost child, he was shot in the chest by one of the police officers. The other was wounded in his side (and died on his way to government hospital in Musoma, passing first through our health center, but we do not have major theater facility for big operations like this).

My informers told me that when this happened, hell got loose... Police officers had to run for their lives and people burned the old lady alive along with her house and all belongings.

Then they proceeded to another house where they claimed the accomplice of that woman lived. They killed him too burning alive and all his houses and belongings. This guy was a crippled man. He was a lapsed Catholic and I helped his nephew to get education from secondary school till he finished university. I can't believe he was guilty of such heinous crimes like abducting people's children and selling them as slaves to others! I'm shaken to the core of my heart...

We decided (sisters and myself) to offer a Holy Mass for the repose of the souls of those who were killed today and for the whole community which committed this crime. May Angels of Peace chase away angels of hell, hatred, vengeance, retaliation from our midst. We don't want to see escalation of violence and vendettas as it may happen likely when people decide to repay in kind those who killed their relatives. May God save us from this madness!!!

May the souls of those who lost their lives today rest in peace and may God help us to restore peace and facilitate forgiveness and genuine love of neighbors...

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