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Rakai district approves 300 witch doctors and shrines

By Davis Buyondo

Added 12th June 2016 01:27 PM

The week-long screening exercise of traditional healers, under Uganda Traditional Healers and Herbalists Association was concluded, causing fear among residents in different communities.

Rakai district approves 300 witch doctors and shrines

Justine Nansamba,the head of traditional healers in greater Masaka region

The week-long screening exercise of traditional healers, under Uganda Traditional Healers and Herbalists Association was concluded, causing fear among residents in different communities.

Rakai district officials in collaboration with the leaders of traditional healers in Greater Masaka Region have approved 300 witch-doctors and shrines to operate in the district.

The week-long screening exercise of traditional healers, under Uganda Traditional Healers and Herbalists Association was concluded, causing fear among residents in different communities.

It was a response to a directive from Rakai District Security Committee to screen, register and license all traditional healers for proper monitoring.

According to the committee, there has been rampant child sacrifice, blooming of fake shrines and operation of quack healers in the district.

Justine Nansamba, the leader of Traditional Healers in Greater Masaka, said the exercise did not only stop in Rakai but covered the entire region.

Nansamba said 2000 traditional healers have already been registered and given identity cards for easy tracking and supervision.

She told New Vision, that this was meant to crack down on the quack witchdoctors who have persistently caused mayhem in society.

Charles Mubiru, the Resident District Commissioner for Rakai, said that they come out to enforce the registration and inspection of traditional healers because the cases of missing children and child sacrifice had become rampant in the district.

He explained that mutilated bodies of children and adults would be found dumped in forests, bushes and swamps, with some parts and organs missing. He also urged traditional healers to always refer very complicated ailments to hospitals so as to save patients' lives.

According to Sylvia Namutebi, the head of traditional healers in Uganda, commonly known as maama Fiina, about 90% of traditional healers are fake and only 10% of are genuine.

Namutebi explained that it is the fake healers who only aim at financial gains than offering effective services.

She said that fake healers always manipulate people by demanding for human blood or organs such as heads, tongues to use for their ritual sacrifices.

Julius Gobolo, the Rakai District Police Commander, said that on many occasions witch-doctors are implicated in crimes such as murders, extortion, intimidation, kidnapping and human sacrifice which has tarnished their work.

He added that the exercise was long overdue since people always die in shrines of ailments which the traditional healers purport to be spiritual. He further warned to arrest those who defy inspection of their shrines.

Residents Speak

In April, police discovered remains of four children which were dumped in Kabaseke and Kisenyi villages in Kasaali Sub-County, Kyotera Constituency.

Residents claim the approved number is too big even when the district authorities come out to regulate their operation.

Francis Mujuzi of Kasenyi village in Kyotera town council attributes the consistent disappearance of children and murders to the increasing shrines and witchdoctors. He explained that there are many shrines which are operating under cover and have continually duped people . 

Safina Nakalema, a resident Kabaseke village and a parent of 4 children, says the approval of 300 witch doctors has put parents her on tension. She is worried saying her children and other in the community may become a target.

But Dauda Ndawula, one of the witchdoctors in Mutukula town board attributed the existence of fake doctors in Rakai to weak laws and poor supervision of unauthorised foreign healers from Tanzania.

Pastor Kenneth Wavamuno of Kalisizo Pentecostal Church said that it is their responsibility to preach the gospel and win people's souls to God since they are often manipulated by witch-doctors for financial gains.

 

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