Traditional healers petition court over advert ban
Publish Date: Jul 10, 2014
Traditional healers petition court over advert ban
Uganda Communication Commission Executive(UCC) Director, Godfrey Mutabazi. PHOTO/ Nicholas Oneal
  • mail
  • img

By Andante Okanya 
Traditional healers under umbrella body Uganda N’obuwangwa Bwaffe Limited, have petitioned court, challenging the advertisement ban imposed by regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
On June 27, they filed an application for judicial review at the civil division of the High Court in Kampala, protesting UCC’s directive to media houses on the ban.
The contentious directive was published in the New Vision edition of Thursday March 27, 2014. 
The umbrella body comprises traditional healers, herbalists and birth attendants.
Judicial review is conducted by the High Court to scrutinise proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts, inferior tribunals or government bodies.
All media houses, both print and electronic, were instructed to halt publication of adverts promoting services of the various traditional healers, citing witchcraft.
Media houses were cautioned that failure to heed would attract penalties and sanctions in accordance with the law. 
But through Centre for Legal Aid, the traditional healers contend that the directive is imprecise, as it encompassed genuine traders of the umbrella body.
“The impugned directive is vague and ambiguous in so far as it fails to define ‘witchcraft’, ‘witchdoctor’ or ‘traditional doctor’,” the petition states in part.
Adding: “The impugned directive is overly broad, overreaching, and unfair as it tends to put traditional healers, herbalists and birth attendants in the same bracket as the so-called practitioners of ‘witchcraft’ and ‘fraudsters’, thus failing to separate wheat from chaff.” 
The application is supported by the affidavit of the umbrella association secretary general, Ssewaya Kiwanuka, who asserts that they were not consulted prior to the directive being effected.
He states that UCC should have instituted investigations on the unscrupulous individuals of ill-repute who abuse the laws of Uganda.
Kiwanuka also contends that the directive was an abuse of the right to freedom of expression, and an insult to the government policy of promoting indigenous medicine, complementary and natural  health care therapies.
UCC is yet to file its response. A hearing date is yet to be fixed.
Related Stories

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Kenya, Uganda to harmonize clearing operations
KENYA and Uganda clearing agents have pledged to deepen partnership with the aim of facilitating faster movement of cargo across the region...
Online sales dominate
FRENZIED crowds failed to materialise at shops in Britain for "Black Friday" sales...
MDIs urged to embrace best financial reporting practices
Microfinance institutions have been urged to improve on their financial reporting procedures and embrace best practices for more rate of turn over...
LG president jets in from South Korea
The president and CEO of the LG Mobile Communication Company Juno Cho has jetted into Uganda for the first time to assess how the business is doing....
Government has embarked on the process of licensing warehouses across the country to improve quality of grains especially maize in Uganda....
Gov’t told review social protection policy
GOVERNMENT has been asked to review the Social Protection Policy to include vulnerable groups like the youth in agriculture production who lack financial support...
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter