A Nairobi woman has been arrested after killing her six-month-old son allegedly while “casting out demons” during overnight prayers in a house in Kayole.
Irene Mbithe, a resident of Kanguruwe slum in Kayole, was reportedly praying for her son on Wednesday night and hours later she pulled out the child’s tongue.
According to the dead boy’s aunt, Catherine Muthama, who had been housing them for a week, Ms Mbithe started praying for her son saying he had been possessed by evil spirits.
“Mi kusimama kwa maombi, nikasimama nyuma yake akaniambia… wee toka hapo na nikaamsha mtoto wangu ndio asiingiwe na hiyo kitu coz niliona hiyo ni pepo direct,” said Ms Muthama.
The prayers went on for hours. Neighbours recounted how they heard Ms Mbithe shouting, “Pepo toka”, while throwing out household goods.
Hours later, the mother of one woke up Ms Muthama telling her that the demons wanted to take away her son.
“Kustukia ananiita akiniambia ‘amka hii pepo ni kama inashinda mtoto inataka kupeleka mtoto,’ nikapata ulimi ndio anavuruta iko huku nje… nikamwambia, ghai auntie si umemaliza mtoto na hio ni ulimi umevuruta,” narrated Ms Muthama.
The two reportedly called a neighbour asking him to help take the child to the hospital but when he saw the baby with blood stains he alerted another neighbour to report the matter to the police.
A mob then congregated outside the house where the incident took place and the baby’s intestines stuffed inside a washing powder tin were discovered.
“…mara nimeiona wakati mob imekuja ndio nimeona mara ndio nikamwambia ghai omo yangu umemwaga imeingia mara akasema ‘hao watu ni wajanja wametumia hii kisuku’,” said Ms Muthama.
According to Ms Muthama, Ms Mbithe was a member of a church in Machakos County where she had been living before coming to her house and had been warned of the consequences when she quit the church.
Neighbours who recounted how the prayers made them suspicious have blamed the horrifying incident on cult worship as the tongue of the six-month-old baby is yet to be located.
The incident happened while the boy’s father was away in upcountry and the mother, Ms Mbithe says she cannot comprehend what happened.
“Hii ni devil imenikulia mtoto,” said Ms Mbithe when asked what got over her.