We all are born, we live, age and die. Life does not give us the luxury of prediction in terms of who dies first or last. A newborn may never live to see a day. Toddlers, children and teenagers are all prone to death. So is every adult, the elderly inclusive. The point here is that we are all human beings. There is no handbook to refer to in terms of who lives longer or shorter. We are all frail and vulnerable. Nobody chooses a lifespan so that those who are gifted to live longer must never be punished for their wonderful gift and crown of grey hair.
The atrocities being committed to the elderly, according to our Brains story of page 3 are despicable. Such abuse as accusations of witchcraft must cause emotional and physical turmoil to the aged who should otherwise be taken care of and nurtured for a job well done in raising the current generation.
I heard about an old woman who was chased to the nearby mountains of her village in one northern district to keep her way from humanity as she was being accused of killing it one by one. It is a cold area and here she was forced to live under the harsh elements. A meal was sent over to the hills for the sustainability of her tortured existence. I understand that it rains most of the times in the mountains and she was mostly found shivering and wet under the make shift shelter. She was literally left for dead.
Although this old woman was eventually rescued, the plight of many nationwide requires urgent intervention before they all are sent down that painful road to death over witchcraft allegations. From the little knowledge I have about witchcraft, anybody and everyone is free to practise regardless of one’s age. Why then does it become easy to spot the same in the elderly than any other age? Have we ever asked ourselves how we still have generations after generations today which the same old people raised to adulthood without killing only for them to turn into monsters at the very frail moments of their lives?
This hunt for old people is taking out the positive energy required to deal with real issues such as crime, early marriages, meaningful development and co-existence in our communities. The real criminals are not these grannies. Real criminals are hiding out there in the bushes confusing everyone by diverting attention while getting way with atrocities. If we live recklessly and push the blame on the innocent, we will have more blood on our hands than we are accusing this aged population.
It is and should never be a crime to grow old. We need to celebrate old age, especially in these times when the lifespan has decreased from changing times that include HIV and Aids. Let us identify real causes of early deaths than pin it erroneously. Let us be the first to stop this barbarism and task those perpetrating it. n