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Child Sacrifice Cases on the Rise in Gulu

Gulu, Uganda | Sarah Namulondo| The African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) on behalf of the Civil Society Organisation and the Anti-Child Sacrifice Coalition in Uganda expressed their disappointment with the increasing cases of child sacrifice in the country.

They said that in a period of only two weeks, ANPPCAN registered 3 cases of child sacrifice in Gulu district alone and in one of the bizarre cases,  Ajok Mercy went missing on 28th October 2012 and her body was discovered on 2nd November 2012 floating on the river banks.

The post mortem report carried out showed that her hands and ears were cut off, private parts and heart removed and also part of the intestines were missing.

The post mortem report showed major signs of all the deaths related to child sacrifice in Uganda.

Anslem Wandega, the Executive Director of ANPPCAN, said that related cases of child sacrifice had been reported lately including one of a fifteen year old who was sacrificed in Lugazi in Buikwe district.

The other he said was of a 4 year old whose torso was discovered floating on River Nile in Nalufenye, Jinja district who was later identified as Ramadhan Muhammad, who had disappeared from his parents on 31st October.

Another case happened in Kasubi where a man sacrificed his own son in Mityana District. The above cases show that child sacrifice is on the rise, Wandega said.

He said child sacrifice undermines our Constitution which states that no person shall be deprived of life intentionally, but also hinders effective implementation of government programs in which children are the target beneficiaries.

Wandega said that although government has taken some steps like placing a ban on the advertisement in the media of quack traditional healers and witchdoctors “Child sacrifice is still an iniquity that needs our concerted efforts to stop.

He condemned the premise that child sacrifice brings prosperity and called it a mental illusion that needs urgent intervention.

Wandega said the evil act of child sacrifice requires a concerted effort to stop by government, CSOs, Private sector, Media and the general public. We risk being a laughing stock, when the future generation sits down to take stock of Uganda’s record in addressing child sacrifice over the years, Mr. Wandega added.

He said that Parliament should amend the 1957 Witchcraft Act to clearly differentiate between traditional healers from quacks for easy implementation and they should ensure child sacrifice cases are handled very well.

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