This reporter found Mweni crying inside one of the traditional houses at the rescue centre. She had just learnt her eldest daughter had died but she was not informed of her illness until two day after her death.
She was afraid to attend the burial, lest the hitmen would find her.
“Even some of my children and their wives say I am a witch, but I am not,” she said.
Mweni said since last year she has been living at the rescue centre and the only one who used to visit her was here daughter, who has now been buried.
WHY ELDERS ARE KILLED
Joseph Karisa Mwarandu, the secretary general of Malindi District cultural association and founder of the rescue centre, said they decided a rescue centre was needed when they realised the plight of the elderly.
They realised that after finding cases of elderly men being lynched on suspicion of being witches were on the rise, particularly in Kilifi.
He said most are hacked to death because they are said to be witches, but the real reason is that relatives want to inherit their wealth.
Sometimes people died of old age and various ailments, including Aids, but they are still said to have been witches or the victims of witchcraft.
“Ever since we started this center, we have not received any support from the county or national government,”Mwarandu said. “We are happy that now colleagues from the legal fraternity are coming on board to support us,” he said.
Mwarandu said the rescued older persons lack proper housing, food and medication, which is a problem.
The senior lawyer aid they plan to securely fence the area so elderly people are safe.