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General News of Saturday, 1 December 2012

Source: The Mirror

Political parties take campaigns to ‘witches’ camps

Some political parties contesting the December 7 elections, have been scrambling for the votes of ‘witches’ as they take their electioneering to the witches camps in parts of the Northern Region.

The ‘witches’ and their relatives have been living in isolation and deprivation at the camps for many years, but for the sake of securing political power, functionaries of the two biggest political parties have invaded the camps to solicit for the votes of the estimated 635 ‘witches’ and their dependants above 18 years.

Although neither of the two parties have produced any pragmatic programme to liberate the women condemned to these camps from bondage, both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are requesting the ‘witches’ to vote for them for a ‘Better Ghana’ or ‘Positive Change’.

Political parties posters on buildings, trees and other structures at some of the camps confirmed accounts that some members of the NDC and the NPP had visited the ‘witches’ repeatedly to campaign for their respective presidential and parliamentary candidates.

A former assembly member for the Kukuo Electoral Area, Mustapha Issa, who is also a focal person at the Kukuo Alleged Witches camp, told The Mirror that there were more than 1,000 inhabitants at the Kukuo camp, which includes 114 alleged witches.

He said activists of the NDC and the NPP had visited the camp on a number of occasions and posted their posters on some of the buildings, trees and other parts of the camp.

He, however, indicated that the party activists had focused their campaign on the youth in and around the camp but failed to involve the alleged witches in their campaigns.

“The voice of these alleged witches is not taken into account because they are not recognized, although they also vote,” he said.

Mr. Issa said it was high time politicians listened to the concerns of the people in the witches camps and fashioned measures to improve their living conditions.

He said people living in the camps lacked access to potable water and health care and are also too poor to provide decent clothing, feeding and housing for themselves.

“These are important issues and the parties need to find sustainable solutions to them,” he noted.

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