By: Kelvin Chiringa
A Malawian self-proclaimed traditional healer ran out of luck when plain clothed law enforcement agents launched a sting operation that led to his arrest just as he was about to defraud a local truck driver out of N$35 000.
The supposed healer who identified himself as Omex Musa met with 26 year old Gerson Kujendani in Zambia where he promised that he would help him magically solve his family issues.
The unsuspecting Kujendani was told that his dying livestock in Gobabis would come back to him as money that would mysteriously appear in a traveler’s bag which he was supposed to buy for N$500.
He was also told that he would pay a mere N$3 500, which to his astonishment later rose to N$35 000 when the alleged healer came to Namibia and told him that the wealth-recovery process needed such a high amount.
“He told me that he knows Namibia and that he has customers this side. So I explained my problems to him and he said to start I need N$3 500,” explained Kujendani.
In the meantime, Kujendani said he was made to cover the hotel expenses of the healer who lodged at Windhoek Pension Hotel at a N$400 cost a day.
He was made to pay other amounts which saw his initial N$3 500 actual payment shooting to N$8 000, Kujendani told this publication.
“I said but initially you told me that it would be N$3 500 but now it’s N$8 000, he said no my friend this is what I am telling you now! I said fine I will arrange that,” he said.
The Villager teamed up with the sting-operation team to hunt down the suspect at 18h00 this week Monday.
It was only after the Malawian demanded a N$35 000 final payment which had to be dropped in a Khomasdal cemetery that Kujendani realised that he was playing in the hands of a fraudster and alerted the police.
The sting operation
An undercover operation team constituting two main police agents and three supporting ones led by chief inspector Christina von Dunem Da Fonsech tracked down the Malawian using his victim’s cellular phone.
A team of journalists from other media houses were also part of the operation, which was planted around the area.
He was supposedly coming from Mariental and wanted Kujendani to drop some muti together with the money in the cemetery at around 18h30.
The under-cover team moved in closer to the cemetery’s vicinity where within minutes of the money being dropped, two men showed up to check on Kujendani before disappearing.
As Kujendani later met up with the police agents, it was clear that the Malawian was no longer interested to meet his client that night, and demanded that he rather go home so they could meet the following day at KFC.
Yet what was clear with the agents was that their target was close by with the intention of taking the money and disappearing.
The suspect was induced to quickly collect the money which he refused, pretending to be not close by and suggesting that it rather stay there untouched.
This prompted the police to press hard using Gerson to, via the phone, threaten to get the money back right away.
As was anticipated, the Malawian registered a sense of panic and he drew closer to the cemetery blowing his cover before an agent quickly pinned him down at gun point.
His arrest was hustle free as journalists scooped in with cameras.
“I came with some people. I am a sangoma. Not witchcraft, that I think I can call it sangoma, It’s ok. I got the papers, in my bag, but I got them from my country,” he stammered as police manhandled him.
The suspect was quickly escorted to the hotel where he had earlier put up, as it became hard for the police to get out of him details of his residence.
Realising that he was no longer booked, they resorted to maximum force which overwhelmed the so called healer before he agreed to take them to his “friend’s house”.
More stunning findings
An entourage of police and media vehicles escorted the suspect to Otjomuise 2 by around 21h00 before stopping at a house which turned out not to be his friend’, as he initially suggested, but his.
A 26 year old woman, who identified herself as Whitney Swartz, but whom the suspect called Alicia, was caught unawares as the police immediately ransacked the house.
Among his belongings were containers of HIV/Aids medication, while he also owned many phones which had photos of several female “lovers”.
The woman disclosed that the suspect was father to his two year old son, later denying that she knew anything about his witch-craft and healing trade.
“He came only in February and in December he went to Zambia. He is from Malawi. I feel not fine now. I do not know anything. I am not lying in the name of Jesus,” she explained.
She disclosed that he rarely assisted her with money and that she had taken on a job in an Otjomuise butchery to make ends meet.
She also said he was never around most of the times, always on the road.
A stash of recharge vouchers, his passport and clothes and some strange traditional paraphernalia were taken over as the police prepared to lay charges of operating without a license and theft by false pretense against him.
The police agents also wanted him to pay back the money right away, which bore no results.
They made him contact his accomplices who turned out to be dodgy after which they locked him up for further investigations.