Human Sacrifice Still Alive in Uganda

Saturday, January 30, 2010
(photo: BBC)

Human sacrifice is on the increase in Uganda and children are the main victims. According to a BBC investigation, the problem may be more common than authorities have acknowledged. The head of the country's Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce believes that the crime is directly linked to rising levels of development and prosperity. Increasingly, people believe that witchcraft can help them get rich quickly. 

Busy parents often leave their children with friends, relatives, or even strangers, who in turn connive with witch doctors to kill the children for money or to exorcise perceived curses. Oftentimes the children are simply abducted. They are considered spiritually clean and pure, which makes them a target for witch doctors since there is a strong belief that a mutilated body ceases to be spiritually powerful, and children are considered especially innocent. 
Jalia Katusiime, a hairdresser in Njeru town, Mukono District, left her 5-year-old daughter, Shammin, with a neighbor so that she could attend to a customer. When she returned, both her neighbor and daughter were missing. Shammim's body was later found with two fingers, her tongue, and her genitals missing.
Fred Enanga, a police spokesperson said that ritual murderers “have a belief that in human sacrifice they are appeasing and worshiping the gods or ancestral spirits so that their wealth is sustained and their problems go away.” 
A witchdoctor interviewed by the BBC said that his clients come to him in search of wealth. “They capture other people's children. They bring the heart and the blood directly here to take to the spirits... they bring them in small tins and they place these objects under the tree from which the voices of the spirits are coming,” he said. 
Investigations conducted by the Ugandan police revealed that witchdoctors do not do the killing themselves. Instead, they play on the psychology of their clients to do the actual killing and bring them the desired body parts.
At least 25 ritual murders involving children were confirmed in Uganda in 2006 and 230 child abductions. The cases dropped to 108 in 2007, but then increased to 318 in 2008. There were 21 recorded ritual murders in the first eight months of 2009, including 13 juvenile victims.
-Angela Chen
New Blood Thirsty Cult Confirmed in Uganda (by Shifa Mwesigye, The Observer)
Uganda's Epidemic of Child Sacrifice (by Mubatsi Asinja Habati, The Independent)


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