6 cases of child 'good luck' sacrifice reported in run-up to Uganda elections – charity

© James Akena
Several children were murdered and mutilated as ‘good luck’ sacrifices in the run-up to the recent Ugandan elections, a charity has announced. It stated that many locals believe such acts bring wealth and power.

Six cases of mutilation and murder were reported in the lead-up to the elections, Shelin Kasozi of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), a charity that cares for survivors of attempted child sacrifice, told Reuters.

"Child sacrifice cases are common during election time as some people believe blood sacrifices will bring wealth and power," Kasozi said.

She said the cases were reported from October to February in the districts of Ssembabule, Mukono, Buikwe and Mubende, all located in central Uganda.

Moses Binoga, coordinator of the anti-trafficking task force at the Ugandan Interior Ministry, acknowledged that children had been reported missing during the election period, but could not confirm KCM's reports. He said investigations are ongoing.

He did, however, acknowledge that seven child and six adult sacrifice cases were reported in Uganda in 2015, compared to nine child and four adult cases in 2014.

Referring to the past cases, Binoga said the mutilated bodies of children and adults had been found, some of whom had their hearts or livers ripped out. In two cases reported last year, the victims' heads were missing, he said.

In 2012, 82-year-old grandmother Hanifa Namuyanja was sentenced to 15 years in jail for taking part in the sacrifice of her granddaughter Shamim Nalwoga. The child was found with her tongue and eyes cut out and genitals mutilated.

The United Nations said last year that attacks on albino people in Africa were on the rise, linked to a growing demand from political hopefuls seeking body parts retrieved in black magic.

The February 18 election saw President Yoweri Museveni extend his 30-year rule, in a vote slammed by the US and the European Union. Ugandans also took part in municipal and parliamentary elections.

Referred to as Uganda's 'President for Life’, Museveni was described in a 2001 UN report as one of the “godfathers of the illegal exploitation of natural resources and the continuation of the conflict in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo).”