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
Two schools closed over sanitation
As Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) continues to crack down on poor sanitation in the city, the Public Health directorate on Tuesday sealed off two schools in Luzira and Bugolobi...
VP Sekandi, Kadaga for UNAA Kimeeza
The Vice President of Uganda and the Speaker of Parliament will lead executive and parliamentary delegations to attend the 27th Uganda North American Association (UNAA) convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, organizers of the convention confirmed here Tuesday....
Museveni tips manufacturing to curb unemployment
President Yoweri Museveni has urged the East African Community (EAC) to create a favorable environment for manufacturing to flourish as a means of curbing high and growing youth unemployment in the region and the continent....
Museveni receives special message from S. Sudan
President Yoweri Museveni has received a special message from President Salva Kiir of South Sudan....
Africa in the dock at the ICC
The International Criminal Court, where the trial opens Wednesday of Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda, has launched investigations in eight African countries....
Dispute erupts, delegates’ conference halted
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) delegates’ conference has been halted for about 30 minutes following a disagreement among members over genuine delegates....
Are poor parliamentary debates a result of removal of school debates?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter