A group comprised of four Sangoma’s also known as Ministry of Ancestors committee wants to establish a working relationship with the police.
Speaking at a gathering on Wednesday afternoon in Mogoditshane, the group complained that Sangoma’s are often discriminated against and associated with dirt. “We are responsible citizens, we want to contribute in fighting crime,” said committee chairperson Aobakwe Ngidi.
The 25 year old further said all needed is to be able to trust police officers as they believe in confidentiality.
Ngidi said there are some doctors who help criminals to win cases and that Sangomas do not condone such practice. “We are traditional healers not witch doctors,” said Ngidi.
He said they also want to give out to the community, and fund some youth businesses so that people accept them as they are.
Ngidi said they are Sangomas and they have churches that they attend.
The committee said there are traditional doctors who are less privileged and they plan to identify them and help them out. “Sangomas often face poverty because they follow their calling, so they do not work,” he said.
They lamented that more often they are treated as demons, and said it’s about time people accepted them and understand that they just as human. “We do not do human mutilations, and we are against things like vagina tightening. Herbs are inserted in genitals, of which can place women in danger of causing them cervical cancer.”
The committee also said they normally hear stories that they usually help people to give birth in homes, of which is not true.
The group said many people think Sangomas drink human blood, that some churches even preach that sangoma’s are demons, which they view as insults.
The group also encouraged other traditional doctors to report crime, and show that they are responsible citizens.
When questioned about working with traditional healers, the Assistant Police Commissioner Christopher Mbulawa said they embrace and work with everyone willing to fight crime. “Botswana police does not discriminate. Everyone is free to work with us as long as it is within perimeters of the law of the country,” said Mbulawa.