Current Malagasy Minister for Fishing and Marine Resources Sylvain Manoriky is suspected of sorcery against President Andry Rajoelina.
This is a rare and bizarre accusation in the modern history of Madagascar.
Early this week, the minister allegedly used one of his close collaborators to fetch two powerful sorcerers from the rural area of the south-western regional capital city Toliara to kill President Rajoelina.
People from this region are considered among the most talented wizards in the island nation.
Police officers of the Direction de la securité du territoire (DST) within the President’s office on Friday announced they arrested two male wizards at the minister’s residence in the capital city Antananarivo.
“We received a call from a local informant telling us about the arrival of the minister’s envoy in Toliara who was to look for strong sorcerers there,” Commissioner Charly Nakany, head of the DST, told reporters.
“This person is a doctor but serving as inspector within the Fishing department,” he added.
“At the beginning, the envoy said he was seeking wizards to help him to cope with his personal business. He said he has had a land tenure problem and he wished the intervention of the strongest sorcerers,” Commissioner Nakany explained.
“While having a drink, the envoy confessed that his real mission was to execute the order received from two ministers. It’s difficult to unveil the name of one of the ministers. But we are sure concerning the minister of Fishing,” he added.
Allegedly the duo had planned to put to death President Rajoelina who, so the story goes, they deemed as the true problem of the country and source of the suffering of the population.
“Once the informant was aware of the macabre project, he urged the two sorcerers who were getting ready to go to Antananarivo to return to their village,” Commissioner Nakany said.
“However, the ministers’ envoy secretly got them to head for the capital early in the morning. Then, the informant urgently warned us as he was worried about the two male witches,” he went on.
The DST police officers reportedly tried to intercept the “dangerous travellers” but in vain.
The Fishing Minister could be summoned by police for interrogation over the next few days.
On Friday, Mr Manoriky vehemently denied the DST allegations.
He the Toliara story was “stage-managed” and was never linked to the search for sorcerers leave alone the killing of the president.
He further explained the so-called male witches the DST police officers arrested are all family members of the inspector in the ministry.
They were to follow medical treatment in the capital but they still brought with them their gris-gris (traditional gear) as do many people from the remote areas, Mr Manoriky said.
He just provided facilities for the guests in welcoming them to his residence, he offered.
“This story wasn’t true. It was a fabricated to defame me. The police never informed me about it. I have ever seen even the face of Mr Nakany. I’m seeing something suspicious behind this tall story,” Mr Manoriky said.