Namibia: 'Healer' Arrested Over Illegal Immigration

17 September 2020

A self-proclaimed traditional healer who claims he has special powers to turn around the fortunes of his clients, was arrested yesterday in Windhoek on charges of being in the country illegally.

Khomas regional police commander commissioner Joseph Shikongo confirmed that the traditional healer, who is from Zimbabwe, was arrested at Greenwell Matongo informal settlement in the capital where he is renting a house.

Shikongo says the 38-year-old suspect does not have a valid passport, work permit or visa permitting him to be in the country.

He says the suspect was arrested under the Immigration Control Act and is being investigated for possible fraud after several of his clients lodged complaints against him.

Community police chief inspector Christina van Dunem Dafonsech yesterday said she covertly visited the suspect's home this week, pretending to be a client.

She said she was made aware of the so-called healer's business when some of his former clients informed her about it.

When The Namibian visited the suspect's house yesterday with the police, about 15 photos of different people were found, a register book with names and cellphone numbers, and money was lying on the floor.

Candles were burning, and bottles containing pink, yellow and green substances were found.

The suspect had reportedly just finished performing a ritual when he was arrested. Some of the clients The Namibian spoke to say they submit these photos to the doctor to turn around their love lives for the better or to be reunited with those in the photos.

Dafonsech said the police are also investigating how the 'healer' obtained a marriage certificate without legal status in the country.

"The ministers should investigate such matters. This man has a fancy car; does he pay tax? For the ministry of trade: How is he trading without any trading permit?" she asked.

One of the suspect's clients, who chose to remain anonymous, said the 'healer' has made no difference in her life.

The woman claimed the suspect charged her and her mother N$4 900 for the removal of 'demons' from their house.

When the suspect failed to be of assistance, the woman called the police to recover their money.

"We called him, but he said he was tired of our problems ... and I got fed up with his lies. I told my mother either we call the police to assist us, or we waste our money," the client said.

The Namibian spoke to the suspect yesterday before his arrest.

He claimed to have been a healer in Namibia since 2010.

He started his business at Mariental where he was known as 'Healer Sindanda', and moved to Windhoek in 2014, he said.

When asked for his identity documents, all he could present was his Zimbabwean driving license and a copy of his marriage certificate, stating he was married to a Namibian woman.

Yesterday four other clients visited the suspect's house demanding their money.

One of the clients, who only identified herself as 'Selma', said she turned to the healer when a hospital could not heal her abdominal infections and aches.

She was holding a plastic bag with three bottles to be refilled with 'special water' from the 'healer'.

Another client, who preferred to be called 'Johanna', said she had spent N$800 on the suspect.

"He told me I have demons he has to remove. He once removed something looking like stones from my forehead when he washed my face. I've learnt my lesson and will never go to any healer again," she said.

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