Members of civil society oganisations and some legislators have accused government of laxity in handling ritual murders, especially of children, due to lack of a deterrent laws on human sacrifice in Uganda.
While addressing the media in Kampala yesterday, the Bunya County South MP, Mr Robert Ntende, said for the past three years, they have been lobbying for the passing of the Human Sacrifice Bill but the Finance ministry has not issued a certificate of financial implication for the Bill to be debated and passed by Parliament.
“Without this certificate, we cannot table the Bill for first reading, and yet we were trying hard to have this Bill passed before the term for the 10th Parliament ends,” Mr Ntende said.
The Bill seeks to establish human sacrifice as an offence independent of murder.
Ms Irene Kagoya, the associate director for advocacy at World Vision Uganda, said it is unusual for a person alleged to have sacrificed a person to be charged with murder, manslaughter, or any other offence against the person.
“Our biggest concern to date are the gaps in the current legal regime. The law does not provide for the offence of human sacrifice. A number of cases have been instituted in the courts of law against individuals accused under the Penal Code Act but only a few have been successfully prosecuted,” said Ms Kagoya.
Mr Peter Sewakiryanga, the executive director of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, said the government should be blamed for not issuing a certificate that will protect children amid the increasing cases of child sacrifice.
“Why is it hard for the government to issue a certificate of financial implication. Aren’t they interested in protecting the children? All these cases continue to surge because the government is not pushing for the passing of this Bill amid increased cases of child sacrifice,” Mr Sewakiryanga said.
However, Mr Apollo Mughinda, the principal communications officer in Ministry of Finance, said the ministry could not issue a certificate of financial implication because the Bill introduces new costs and a new office which have an impact on the Consolidated Fund.
“In a letter to the Clerk to Parliament in March, the PS explained that they could not issue out the certificate because the Bill had a financial implication on the government. According to the law, such a Bill has to be put under Cabinet review, and are waiting upon their guidance,” said Mr Mughinda.