SHOULD Ben.G. Karenzi’s story about witchcraft in Gatsata (‘Bewitched by a relative, The Sunday Times) be taken as truth or just entertaining fiction? Hopefully, the answer is fiction because of two basic factors:
Rwanda is the birth place of the East African Revival Movement (also known as Tukutendereza or Balokole): which started in June 1929 under a tree in Ndera, now a suburb of Kigali City.
This revival movement was later extended to the CMS hospital at Gahini where a number of strong Christians like the late Bishop Festo Kivengere started their spiritual journeys.
The majority of your current leaders trace their faith and guiding principles to this revival movement.
Rwanda is the only recognized Marian site on the African continent: Pilgrims from all over the world have been coming to Kibeho since 1980.
You need to recognize that East Africans consider Rwandans to be the first-born in matters of strong Christian faith; way above the usual incantations and snakes.
Hopefully your narrative falls under the category of bogeyman stories: like the type mountain people use to scare folks posted to Mombasa -- about beautiful Swahili women turning into black cats at night.
However if your narrative is true then we need another revival movement. In my home village, we had a ‘mulokole’ man who was totally blind from birth but he could identify people by their full names and families, even when they were hiding in the bushes.
He would pass the bush led by a stick held by his youngest son and then loudly confirm the exact reasons why they were hiding.
Nobody dared to lie or shimmy around Mwangi Ndumumu, not even the local judge or policemen!
This business of exchanging snakes and tortoises is quite cheap politics when compared to strong faith.