16-year-old girl killed in suspected ritual sacrifice

Monday July 13 2020

Mr Patrick Lule, the officer-in-charge at Busia

Mr Patrick Lule, the officer-in-charge at Busia Central Police Station, on Saturday confirmed the incident. File photo 

By DAVID AWORI

Police in Busia District have launched investigations into the death of a 16-year-old girl, whose body was found decapitated in a suspected act of child sacrifice.

Mercy Bridget Mwanga, a Primary Six pupil at Mawero East Primary School, went missing on June 6 and since then, her whereabouts were unknown.

However, all that changed on Friday when her body was found dumped in a maize garden near their home in Mawero East B Village, Eastern Division in Busia Town.

Mr Patrick Lule, the officer-in-charge at Busia Central Police Station, on Saturday confirmed the incident.

"The deceased left home riding a bicycle in the afternoon of June 6 and mysteriously disappeared until her decomposed body was discovered in a maize garden on Friday," he said.

Mr Peter Paado, the area LC1 Chairperson, said the deceased's breasts and some other parts were chopped off, raising suspicion that she might have been a victim of child sacrifice.

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Recounting the deceased's last moments, Ms Patricia Ajambo, the mother, said her daughter left home riding a family bicycle and was in a jovial mood.

"She prepared lunch, took a bath and later left riding the family bicycle. She, however, failed to return home that evening, the following day and subsequent days, prompting me to report to police,” she said.

Mr Brian Hainja, a resident in the area, said the deceased had a white piece of cloth fastened across her face, suggesting she was first blindfolded.

Mr Boniface Mwanga, the father, said his daughter must have been killed by people who were very close to her.

"There must be a gang in the area that is targeting young children for ritual murders because this is not the first time such an incident has happened," he said.

According to Ms Asha Khainza, a resident, four children have been killed in the area, in acts that relate to child sacrifice.

Past incidents

Residents recall an incident that happened on January, 2 2014, when parents of a 2-year-old baby are said to have slit his tummy, drunk his blood and ate his liver before being arrested by police.

Then, on March 8, 2016, Hassan Wasemba a 12-year-old pupil of Madibira Primary School in Busia municipality was found dead a week after he was kidnapped.

Police investigated the case and arrested one of his stepbrothers after his phone was traced to the one that was used to demand for ransom.

In 2019, a 12-year-old Primary Six pupil of Mawero East Primary School was found murdered under unclear circumstances.

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