ONGWEDIVA – Ohangwena police are investigating a case of three women allegedly scammed of N$700 000 by a close male friend, who pretended to be a female traditional healer.
The suspect – Elias Tobias (32) – has since been arrested and appeared in the Eenhana Magistrate’s Court yesterday. He was denied bail, and his case has been postponed to 24 August 2023 for further police investigations.
One of the victims, a 27-year-old teacher at Rundu, narrated that she posted on her WhatsApp status, looking for a transfer from Rundu to any school in the Ohangwena or Oshana region.
“Immediately, I received a call from a woman, saying I got bad luck from my ancestors, and she will help me with everything I need in the future. She also mentioned that I am looking for a transfer,” said Selma Kaunda (not her real name).
Kaunda told New Era the woman identified herself as traditional healer Mama Lucia, who is “the best healer in Namibia, based at Katima Mulilo (Zambezi region)”.
Investigations later revealed that this healer also goes by the name of Mama Lucia – the best traditional healer in Africa – and/or Mama Diller on social media.
According to Kaunda, the healer requested N$30 000 to be sent to “her” bank account so that she could buy two black cows.
“She (healer) said the two cows were requested by the ancestors and they will use (sacrifice) the cows so that I will get a post at any school in the Ohangwena region. I sent N$30 000 to her.”
Kaunda said the following day, the healer called again, saying she was told by the ancestors that the money is not enough,
and she sent her N$6 000, N$8 000 and N$5 000 on the same day until her savings account was depleted.
The following day, Mama Lucia called again, saying the ancestors are not happy because of the little money she sent and, therefore, she will not get assistance.
“She asked me to send an extra N$55 000, and if I failed to do so, all my sisters would die on the same day. I was scared because I did not have money,” said Kaunda.
The healer then convinced her to sell her car, which was just two months old because “it was cursed”.
“I sold my car for N$117 000 and gave her N$55 000, and she told me to put that N$55 000 under a tree in Eenhana.”
Kaunda added she was told by the healer that nobody would take the money from under the tree because the ancestors are watching.
“The healer called me again, saying she was talking to the ancestors and they told her that the money isn’t enough. If I do not send more money, my mother and brother will die. Therefore, she said the only best option is to take a cash loan of N$300 000.”
Kaunda said she did as she was told because she was scared.
“I managed to obtain cash of N$300 000 and gave it to her and an additional N$62 000.”
Meanwhile, the healer told her that she has bad luck with her two close friends, and this bad luck can only disappear once she and her friends are cleansed.
The healer then called Kaunda’s two friends, telling them they have bad luck, and that the only solution is to be cleansed in blood. She also requested their naked photos, saying she would send them to the ancestors for good luck.
The second teacher – 28-year-old Naufiku Hango (not her real name) – told this publication she received a call from Kaunda, telling her there is a traditional healer who wants to assist them.
«Later, I received a call from Mama Lucia, telling me that I have bad luck and that is the reason I am not moving forward (in life) as was told by the ancestors,” Hango said.
“She asked me for N$3 000 to buy two black goats so that I could be cleansed with their blood. Immediately, I sent the money,” she added.
According to Hango, the following day, the healer asked for N$200 000 so that it could be sent to the ancestors; otherwise, her son and her mother would die.
“Immediately, I went to the Cash Loan and obtained a loan of N$200 000 and sent it to her.”
Mama Lucia called again, saying her four other friends also have bad luck and she (Hango) should refer them to her.
Hango’s friend, out of desperation to get assistance from the healer, sent her N$100 000.
“I realised that this person is a scammer and knew us very well because she spoke about things that affect our future. Therefore, I decided to block her number and also told my friends to block her.”
Hango then said the healer called from a different number, telling them she was going to expose their naked photos on social media.
“I spoke to Kaunda, and we reported her to the police – only to find out later it is a male friend of ours. We opened a case, and he was arrested,” she added.
These scamming events allegedly took place from last November until he was arrested last month.
According to the Ohangwena police head of crime investigative units Zachariah Amakali, Tobias always gave the correct information regarding the victims’ personal affairs, as he knew them well.
He was arrested last week at his girlfriend’s house in Eenhana, where he was found in possession of various SIM cards.
Meanwhile, Amakali called on members of the public who have also become victims of Tobias to report this matter to the police.