By Emma Kakololo
The ghost that has been tormenting families at the Havana squatter camp in Katutura has stopped after prayers by religious leaders.
Five families at the Havana squatter camp have been living in fear since their houses were attacked with stones from an unseen hand in broad daylight and three homes razed by mysterious fires.
They ascribed the incidents to a spirit that was haunting 15-year-old Anastasia Johannes, who has been living with her uncle, Abisai Nghidileko.
In April one of their shacks, as well as that belonging to their neighbour, Melania Lukas, were gutted. Yet another shack of Nghidileko was mysteriously burnt down on July 16, and ever since then both families have been sleeping outside in fear for their lives.
During the weekend the ghost was still throwing stones at the Nghidileko family, but it stopped on Sunday evening after pastors arrived and prayed for them. Both families have moved back into their rebuilt shacks.
“The thing stopped after Pastor Paulus Haimbodi of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and a certain Pastor Martin from the Roman Catholic Church came to pray for us on Sunday,” said Nghidileko yesterday.
“We are now sleeping inside the other shack. The prayers have really helped so far. But I feel so down because of this problem,” he said, while trying to remove screws from a corrugated iron sheet of the gutted shack.
“Although we aren’t being harassed anymore, we still fear. We pray most of the time in the night and she (Johannes) is also sleeping well.”
Shortly before their shack was mysteriously burnt down, a “ghostly voice” told Johannes to continue undressing but that she should keep in mind that she was going to die the same day. Johannes had just come back from school and was removing her schoolwear at the time.
This was apparently not the first time she had heard the “ghostly voice”. The first time the “angry Oshiwambo-speaking voice” – seemingly that of a man – spoke to them was when she was living with her parents earlier this year.
The ghost would scream at them in the night, ordering them to get out of their home so that it could kill them. On other occasions it would be quiet, but in the morning their blankets and food would be covered with sand and stones.
Nghidileko alleged that Johannes was paying for the sins of her mother, Penehafo David, and stepfather (only known as Menas) who allegedly sourced help from a witchdoctor to become rich. It turned out that, for the juju to be effective, the witchdoctor instructed the stepfather to kill the girl’s mother, which he refused to do.
David apparently ran off to Angola to live with her grandmother.
Johannes’s father passed away about seven years ago.