Masaka traditional healers shun registration exercise

Participants. Some of the traditional healers and herbalists at a meeting at Buwunga Sub-county in Masaka District recently. Photo by Ali Mambule

What you need to know:

  • Refusal. The association’s chairperson says traditional healers operating in the area have refused to register.


Traditional healers in Masaka District have asked the army to intervene in the process of registering all traditional healers in the eight districts of greater Masaka.

Mr Kayinga Kiggundu, the Masaka District Traditional Healers’ Association chairperson, said traditional healers operating in the area have adamantly refused to register yet some of them lack permanent addresses.

“It is high time the army intervened to force them to register or else we will continue having self-seekers masquerading as herbalists,” Mr Kayinga said.

He added: “There are more than 20,000 traditional healers in Masaka District alone, but most of them have refused to register, making it difficult to monitor their activities.”

While talking to Daily Monitor at the weekend, Mr Kayinga said without registering the traditional healers, it would be hard to curb illegal acts like human sacrifice in the country. He referred to a recent meeting between the police and traditional healers from all the eight districts of greater Masaka at Masaka District headquarters where less than 80 herbalists showed up.

The meeting was intended to sensitise traditional healers about the registration process and to establish a cordial relationship between them and security organs.

However, Maj David Muwanga, the coordinator of traditional herbalists in the country, said the situation does not yet warrant the army’s intervention.

Maj Muwanga said the registeration process was ongoing in other parts of the country, but the problem remained only in the central region.

“We have opened up an intelligence desk which is fed with information by traditional healers themselves and it has helped us a lot,” he said, adding that cases of human sacrifice and other crimes like rape and stealing people’s money by traditional healers had greatly reduced.

Traditional healers have for a long time been blamed for the recurrent cases of child sacrifice while some have been accused of raping women who visit their shrines.