Police detain ‘fake traditional healers’

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Under scrutiny… Two suspected fraudsters using the names Dr Luck (left) and Dr Gombe (second from right) who posed as traditional healers from Uganda, and a man who distributes leaflets on their behalf (far right), were questioned by Constable Paul Shivera (second from left) and Constable Vaunguraije Kavari yesterday, following complaints by members of the public who lost money to what they said were fake healers. Photo: Selma Ikela

Selma Ikela

Windhoek-Police yesterday took in two foreign nationals, under warrant of detention, for allegedly marketing themselves to the public as traditional healers with the intention of defrauding the public. It is alleged that one of the ‘traditional doctors’ has been sought by the police for some time after his clients complained that he had disappeared with their money without giving them the promised medicine.

The two men, who claimed they are from Uganda, were detained by the police yesterday afternoon along Independence Avenue in Windhoek after two male cousins approached the police to report a certain “Dr Gombe”, who they say disappeared with N$38,000 they had paid him to secure promotions at work.

The two cousins, who wanted to be promoted to supervisory level jobs, paid the money over to Gombe after they read a leaflet in which he promised potential clients that he could return lost lovers, heal incurable diseases, turn around business fortunes, win court cases, and also provide drugs to reduce drinking and smoking, as well as reduce blood pressure, among others.

New Era can confirm that by late last night the two Ugandan nationals were detained at the Windhoek police station for not having valid work permits, or relevant documents to be in the country.

One of the victims who have been duped by the two ‘traditional doctors’ was also summoned to the police station to open a case of fraud, in what the police last night said is a fraud case involving a number of victims across the country. It emerged that several people had been defrauded after the police perused through the arrested men’s cellphones and saw text messages from victims complaining that their prescribed herbs were ineffective.

The police took in a third Ugandan national, who distributed flyers around town on behalf of the so-called traditional healers from Uganda, for which he was paid N$120 a day.

The police, who want to strengthen their case against phony healers, have now called on victims to come forward and lay criminal charges against suspected fake traditional healers.

Inspector Christina van Dunem Fonsech told New Era they decided to embark on the operation after receiving a number of complaints from the public about fake healers, who tend to make all sorts of promises and outrageous claims.

“Many people are complaining; that’s why we decided to arrest these men who distribute the pamphlets in town, so that they lead us to these [so-called] traditional healers,” she remarked and warned the public not to fall prey to fake healers, phony churches and false prophets, who in the end mislead and take advantage of poor and desperate people.

“If you want a promotion, study and work hard. We are tired and this is nonsense,” she said, referring to people who fall victim to fake healers.

Fonsech called on people who had been defrauded by Dr Oobo, Dr Zama or Dr Luck to contact the police on 081-2270452 or 061-2094454.

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