What you need to know:
- "Our century-old methods and beliefs hold valuable insights that could contribute to the understanding of complex cases," traditional healers say.
Ugandan traditional healers and herbalists are advocating for the right to present their findings in court during child sacrifice cases.
Milton Mayanja Mugisa, the director of the Anti-Human Sacrifice Unit in the National Traditional Healers and Herbalists Association, told Monitor that they were facing frustration over their inability to present their findings in court. He emphasized the importance of allowing a comparison of evidence to ensure balanced judgments.
"When approached by parents and relatives of victims in child sacrifice cases, we are not permitted to present our findings in court, hindering the possibility of reaching conclusive judgments," Mayanja said in an interview.
Mayanja also expressed their willingness to explain the methodology of their findings in human sacrifice related cases to judges, and provide insights to facilitate informed decision-making.
According to Mayanja, the traditional healers and herbalists' involvement could aid in preventing the heinous act of human sacrifice if their findings are given due consideration in court.
"Our century-old methods and beliefs hold valuable insights that could contribute to the understanding of complex cases," he added during a July 1 interview.
Mayanja further argues that their methods, derived from generations of experience, possess unique insights that can contribute to uncovering the truth in certain cases.
"Considering both scientific and traditional perspectives could potentially enhance the justice system's effectiveness,” he observed.
When contacted, judiciary spokesperson Jameson Karemani Karemera highlighted the organ’s commitment to addressing issues of the herbalists, signaling a flexible and adaptable decision-making process.
Karemera noted that the judiciary remains vigilant and prepared to evaluate each situation on its own merits.
In May 2021, Parliament passed the Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Act, criminalizing human sacrifice with provisions that those involved in the act would face maximum penalties, including death.