Embu MCA yesterday revealed that sorcery is big business in Embu County as prominent politicians, businessmen and high ranking members of society flock to witch doctors especially as general elections draw near.
Witch doctors and sorcerers therefore could soon be operating freely in Embu if a proposal by the County Assembly to waive license fee for traditional healers is adopted.
The proposal, in its second reading and contained in the County Finance Bill 2016, aims to expunge a tax provision for the traditional health services, herbalists, and divine healers.
MCA Newton Kariuki said witchcraft and sorcery has been a source of living for some old people in the area and therefore taxing them would affect their livelihood.
Rosemary Muturi, Nominated MCA however viewed the request in a different angle saying if witchcraft if left without regulations, mushrooming dens and black magic will flock the county. The Assembly was debating on a waiver on a proposed Sh5, 000 annual tax on anyone wishing to start witchcraft, divining, astrology, sorcery or rain-making business.
Finance Committee Chairman Kanjogu Mugo said there was a unanimous decision to scrap the witchcraft tax because it was not easy to collect such monies due to the mysterious nature of the operators.
He also said the committee had agreed to subsidize charges for other medical services such as male circumcision and treatment of rape victims at public hospitals. Kanjogu further revealed that snakebite victims would be treated at public hospitals for free, while patients suffering from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer would also be considered for subsidized medical care.