National
Expedite tabling of herbalists Bill - Ruhindi
Publish Date: Jul 11, 2014
Expedite tabling of herbalists Bill - Ruhindi
Justice and constitutional affairs state minister Frederick Ruhindi says the healthy ministry is taking too long to table the Bill. PHOTO/File
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Umaru Kashaka 

KAMPALA - Justice and constitutional affairs state minister, Freddie Ruhindi, has called on the ministry of health to expedite the tabling of a Bill that will regulate the proliferation and operation of traditional doctors and herbalists in the country.

He appeared before the parliamentary committee on gender over a petition of the former students of the International School of Uganda against child sacrifice and ritual murders of children on Thursday.

 Ruhindi wondered why the health ministry was still dragging its feet and yet Cabinet approved the Bill.

The spirit of the Bill is to sieve out quack practitioners from the genuine health workers, and also bring to an end the rampant increase of ritual murders often fuelled by wrong prescriptions by the quacks.

The practice of witchcraft is illegal in Uganda and any person who practises witchcraft or who holds himself or herself out as a witch, whether on one or more occasions, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

“You should summon the health minister (Dr Ruhakana Rugunda) here to explain why he has not yet brought the Bill to parliament. We don’t need a new law, but the existing law (Act enacted in 1957) is problematic to implement by the Constitutional Court because it’s impossible to prove that one is a witch. This Bill will make the existing law enforceable,” Ruhindi said.


Traditional healers smoke pipes during a meeting of traditional healers and herbalists in Jinja at Busoga Kingdom headquarters in Bugembe town council in 2011. PHOTO/File

The deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Amos Ngolobe, explained to MPs that the limited Police funding had curtailed efforts to speed up investigations into child sacrifice and other murder cases.

The leader of traditional healers in Uganda, Sylvia Namutebi also known as Maama Fina under her organization ‘Obuwangwa n’eddagala lyaffe’ recently said the current Witchcraft Act lumps them together with witches, yet their work is different in nature.

“The cases of child sacrifice have been tagged to traditional healers on several occasions but our practice does not allow us to spill human blood but animal sacrifice,” she said.

The MPs said that the killing of children for ritual sacrifice, with their organs removed presumably for use in magic charms is fuelled by witch doctors, but the current laws seem not to be tough enough to deal with the vice.

“The current Act was enacted by the colonial government and is old and outdated. It’s not specific, thus creating loopholes that are being exploited by the criminals,” noted the committee chairperson the Nakasongola Woman MP, Margaret Komuhangi.

In April, a new Police Annual Crime and Road Safety report showed that homicide cases as a result of ritual murders increased to 12 cases in 2013, from 11 cases in 2012.


Also related to this story

Herbalist left for dead as wife is beheaded

Former witchdoctor warns against witchcraft

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 digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Construction firm sues UN over sh2.7bn loss
KWIK Building Contractors and Engineering alleges that it was in 2012 awarded a contract to construct UN regional offices in Entebbe at US$ 3.8m, but cancelled the contract...
US General, Angina discuss regional security
THE deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt. Gen. Charles Angina, Wednesday held talks on regional security with the US general commanding the Combined Joint Task Force Maj. Gen. Mark Stammer...
ILO wants visa requirements for Africans scrapped
THE International Labour Organization has implored African countries to scrap visa requirements for Africans to stop Africans dying as they attempt to make risky trips to Europe...
Besigye arrested over illegal rally
FORMER Forum for Democratic Change president Dr Kizza Besigye has been arrested for reportedly planning to hold an illegal rally in Ndeeba, Kampala...
LDC opposes raising retirement age of judges
THE Law Development Centre has opposed a proposal in the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to raise the retirement age for Justices and Judges...
RCC boss summoned over breach of contract
THE Reynolds Construction Company managing director Yaron Bunsky has been summoned to appear in Mbarara High Court in a case the company management was sued for breach of contract...
Should medical students be subjected to pre-admission exams?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter