A local artiste in northern Uganda has been arrested on charges of killing his wife in ritual sacrifice. The reason for the killing was to gain fame and get rich. Several of his co-accused associates have also been arrested for their role in the crime. Whereas at this stage of the investigations the suspects are presumed innocent under our legal system, what is undisputed is that a woman was killed in ritual sacrifice, a primitive criminal practice that has been happening in the country for decades.
Every year, there is increasing incidence of the crime and there seems to be no effective measure to check it. In the 2008 Annual Police Crime Report, 25 cases of ritual murders were reported. This increased to 29 cases the following year and it has not dropped. Behind all these killings lies a single cause: Wealth. The belief in ritual wealth cuts across every social class ranging from the poorest, who live in slums and rural areas, to the rich and wealthy in towns.
These misguided and misinformed individuals believe that using witchcraft will bring them wealth/money and fame. They frequent witchdoctors’ shrines where they are manipulated or misguided to believe that witchcraft brings wealth if human beings are sacrificed and their blood and body parts poured at the altar of Satan.
This evil practice is thriving and growing because government departments, including Parliament and the law enforcement agencies, are sleeping on their job. For example, the Ugandan law does not allow practice of witchcraft.
However, everyday unscrupulous people claiming to possess witchcraft or supernatural powers, are advertising their services in the media purporting to cure all sorts of ailments and problems. The media is awash with their claims of power to make people rich, take away curses, bring fortune, cure evil spirits, etc. Government should task these witchdoctors to prove the efficacy of their claims, failure of which they should be checked or even arrested to account for their deception.
Why does government allow such agents to trade witchcraft? They should be tasked to prove the efficacy of their claims to bring wealth or good fortune. The government must check free spread of harmful falsehoods and evil propaganda.
These are some of the causes that perpetuate witchcraft and breed ritual killings. It appears their activities are justified in as long as they do not antagonise or threaten the existence of the State.
If they talked ill of government, they would not operate the following day. But they are now freely misguiding people with witchcraft and ritual killings in the futile search for evil wealth. Government must wake up or shut up on this evil.