You may ask how African pastor Thomas Muthee ended up in Wasilla, Alaska to lay hands on Sarah Palin’s head and pray for Palin to be elected Governor as part of a new plan for American theocracy. The answer lies in a video and in testimonials extolling Muthee’s supernatural power as a witch-hunter. In the video, Muthee himself claims to have figured out that a woman in his town of Kiambu, Kenya named “Mama Jane” was a witch because of traffic accidents near her home. He claims to have run Mama Jane out of town after issuing death threats for her to convert to Christianity or die, and what’s more to have dispelled her witchy power by having her magical witch’s python shot by police. Finally, he claims that — miracle! — since she was chased out of town, there have been no traffic accidents.
Zoe Alsop of WeNews personally traveled to Kiambu, Kenya. What Alsop found was something different than what Muthee claimed:
- “Mama Jane” Njengu would not have to convert to Christianity, since she is pastor of a competitor Christian church, the African Mission of Holy Ghost Church, which lies down the street from Thomas Muthee’s compound. In the edited scholarly volume The Bible in Africa, Nahashon W. Ndung’u of the University of Nairobi explains the Biblically-centered five-hour-long worship Sabbath-day services of the AMHGC.
- Njengu is still pastor in Kiambu, not having been run out of town at all.
- Traffic accidents in Kiambu are down despite “Mama Jane” Njengu not actually being run out of town. The main road has been paved and speed bumps have been installed during that time (presumably not by the power of witchcraft).
- Njengu doesn’t own and says she has never owned a python.
- Njengu confirms, however, that Thomas Muthee issued death threats against her, broadcasting demands over a loudspeaker that townspeople pray for her death.
Thanks to the work of Zoe Alsop, Thomas Muthee’s tale of supernatural witch-hunting prowess has been debunked. In its place appears a more mundane tale of intramural competition between two Christian churches involving death threats by Muthee. And “Mama Jane” is still there. Thomas Muthee, who declared in a sermon that “the Violent take it by force,” turns out to be a rather flaccid flim-flam artist.