By Paul Kiwuuwa
Traditional healers have petitioned Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga seeking her help to meet President Yoweri Museveni over their support during the 1980 Bush war.
Traditional healers use spiritual rituals in combination with herbal remedies and claim to be different from herbalists.
The healers under their umbrella association, Uganda ‘N’eddagala lyayo’ led by Patrick Mudhungu handed their petition to Kadaga on Tuesday.
The traditional healers claim that their support towards the liberation war has not been recognised by government.
“Most of us traditional healers supported the NRM but the President has not met us again. We wish to meet president soon,” Patrick Mudhungu said in a petition.
Mudhungu was accompanied 20 members of the traditional healers’ association.
The group claims to have over one million members.
Asked by New Vision what role traditional healers in the guerrilla war, Mundhungu told the reporter: “You cannot understand this form of science.”
“We played a bigger role in the bush war, but we have failed to get a channel to communicate our grievances to the President,” the healers stated in their petition.
The Ugandan Bush War also known as the Luweero War, refers to the guerrilla war waged between 1981 and 1986 in Uganda by the National Resistance (NRA).
With the help of troops from Tanzania, guerrilla fighters removed Idi Amin in 1979. The war ultimately ushered in the current National Resistance Movement (NRM) government.
While receiving the petition at Parliament yesterday, Kadaga promised to forward their request to meet the President.
“I promise to forward your communication to the President,” Kadaga said.
According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that over 60% of Ugandans seek medical attention from traditional healers. This pattern cuts across all social classes and educational levels.
In their petition, the traditional healers asked to meet the internal affairs minister, Gen Aronda Nyakairima over the licensing of foreign traditional healers.
They asked to be given powers to vet foreign traditional healers whom they accuse of engaging in dubious acts including child sacrifice.
Recently, another group of traditional healers petitioned the committee on gender and labour and social development asking for the enactment of a tough law to regulate their trade.
Appearing before the committee, Sylvia Namutebi also known as ‘Maama Fina’ under her organization ‘Obuwangwa n’eddagala lyaffe’ said the law would help to curb child sacrifice and the rampant ritual murders.
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