ARUA. The Member of Parliament for Ayivu division Mr Bernard Atiku has called for a death sentence for people who are involved in child sacrifice acts.
His call follows a recent incident in Masaka where a child was kidnaped, beheaded and the head ended up at the gate of parliament of Uganda in Kampala.
Atiku who is the chairman of the Uganda parliamentary forum for children said the whole country should condemn such acts of brutality acts children and people living with albinism.
“I would like to urge the government to deal with these individuals very harshly in terms of penalising and investigating them thoroughly”, he said.
He asked the ministry of finance to fast track the issuance of certificate of financial implication so that he can present the prevention and prohibition of human sacrifice bill to parliament for first reading.
Statutorily, the ministry of finance is supposed to respond within 40 days which have since elapsed.
The bill provides a unique legal regime that criminalises the act of human sacrifice which is not the case in the penal code Act, the penal code Act considers the act of human sacrifice as murder while the Bill has coined the act as a criminal offence that needs to be criminalised alone.
“We want parliament to pass this Bill into law so that we give a maximum sentence of death because the act of human sacrifice is to take life and more so in a very painful way, so we think passing this bill into law will help deter any individual from thinking about human sacrifice”, Atiku said.
A case study done by Uganda parliamentary forum for children in Tanzania discovered that cases of human sacrifice increases every time elections are conducted in East Africa.
He urged aspiring politicians to desist from vising shrines and the locals to shun politicians who associate with witchcraft and not to vote for them.
But the prime minister of Lugbara cultural institution Mr Ismail Tuku said the Lugbara perspective does not support death sentence for such acts but calls for confession and reconciliation.
“The Lugbara cultural perspective says when you kill a kinsman and admit to it in a confession, there are obligations you are supposed to fulfil but not a reprisal but when you deny it, you are left to go and death will follow you”, Tuku said.
Uganda has registered 16 cases of human sacrifice cases since the beginning of 2020.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission published a report in 2014 that warned of an underestimation of cases. This was based on late claims and tampering of crime scenes. Over 2007 and 2008 there was an 800% rise in the number of reported ritual sacrifice cases.
There are three pieces of legislation currently governing child sacrifice in Uganda. The most recent of these was the October 2009 Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act; this contained relevant sections on trafficking for the use of body parts. Prior to this there was only the Witchcraft Act of 1957 and the Children's Act 1997.