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Witch doctor gaffe returns to haunt Kiraitu’s gubernatorial bid

A man who claimed that he could use charms to protect Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi’s votes now claims he is a pastor and his remarks were a political prank gone wrong.

James Mugambi alias Kaana ka Njoka, from Ngongo-Aka in Tigania Central, shocked Meru residents on Saturday when he claimed he is a powerful witch-doctor who can cast a spell on those against Mr Murungi’s gubernatorial bid.

He made the remarks at Senator Murungi’s Kiigene home where several leaders had been invited.

But Mr Mugambi now says he regrets his remarks and would apologize to the Meru people to save Mr Murungi’s image.

The 39-year-old man said he has been a pastor in the Nazarene Church for seven years and an Evangelist with the East African Pentecostal Church (EAPC) for another seven years.

“I am currently an elder at Mbiira Pentecostal Evangelical Fellowship of Africa (PEFA) Church. I am a clean man who has no knowledge of black magic. I have been supporting the development of many churches in my village. I have grown up as a church person,” Mr Mugambi claimed.

STUFFED CHARMS

“I regret that my jokes were taken seriously and now risk hurting Mr Murungi’s campaign. I am used to jesting during politics. I like making people laugh in church and other gatherings. I have never harmed anyone in my life.”

The Tigania East, Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra), roads chairman said he lied that his pockets were stuffed with charms.

“During the meeting, I had Sh100, 000 in my pockets. The nickname, ‘Kaana ka Njoka’, originated from Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi who is my close friend,” he said.

Mr Mugambi said he is a large-scale cereals farmer who employs up to 40 casual workers and four permanent employees in his village.

Pastor Solomon Kaberia of Mbiira PEFA church said Mr Mugambi was an elder and a member of development committee and expressed shock over his remarks.

“I heard the reports in the media that my church member said that he was a witch-doctor. I am still in shock and will be meeting church elders and leaders on Sunday to discuss the matter. However, I have never seen any wayward behavior in Mr Mugambi,” Pastor Kaberia said.

PUBLIC APOLOGY

He said the statements had tainted the image of the church and he would be sending emissaries to Mr Aburi to shed light on the matter.

“I learned that it is the Tigania East MP who introduced my church elder as a renowned witch doctor. We would like him to make a public apology,” he said.

Mr Murungi who is keen on unseating Meru Governor Peter Munya has distanced himself from the self-proclaimed witch saying he was a staunch Christian who believes in the values and teachings of the Bible.

“I cannot and will never wish to be associated with black magic. I urge my supporters to ignore the reports being hyped in the media in relation to Mr Aburi’s sentiments during the leaders meeting that I held at my home on Saturday. I do not know the alleged Kaana ka Njoka traditional doctor whom Mr Aburi had brought along hence wish to distant myself from him,” Mr Murungi said in a statement.