Feature

Where human sacrifice lives on.

The week's news at a glance.

Uganda

Editorial New Vision

Too many Ugandans still believe that sacrificing a human child can bring them riches, said the Kampala New Vision in an editorial. Two weeks ago, little Aggrey Muguluma, age 5, was murdered “by wealth-seeking criminals.” The two men who kidnapped Aggrey and slit his throat confessed that they did so at the request of a witch doctor they had hired to perform a wealth-bringing charm. It was not an isolated case. Eleven other children have been kidnapped, most likely for sacrifice, this month. It’s a sad commentary on our society that, “in this era of technological advancement, our people still believe in miraculous wealth.” But greed is not the only reason this “backward” rite still exists. Many people believe the rise in child kidnappings is due to the construction boom. Last month, a rumor flew through town that a huge tree slated for removal for the widening of Jinja Road demanded 10 children as the price for its life. Fortunately, workers ignored the rumor and cut down the tree anyway. But what if they hadn’t been so enlightened? The government needs to start cracking down on witch doctors. The 1964 Witchcraft Act and the subsequent laws banning cannibalism must be updated to reflect the rituals currently in vogue. “Otherwise, we shall continue losing children through this outmoded practice.”

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