ARUA. Law enforcement officers on Thursday arrested 5 suspected witchcraft practitioners from the various wards of River Oli division in Arua Municipality and confiscated their property after locals complained to the authorities over their conduct.
The locals accused the suspects of sleeping with their women and doing some heinous acts under the guise of being traditional healers.
Authorities say their eviction is in line with the division and council resolution that prohibited the operations of witchcraft practitioners.
“When I came to office, we had 345 witch doctors in the division and as council we took decision to reject their operations, and from that point we have been dealing with them and yet some still existed stubbornly like this one in Adriko cell called Meddy” the River Oli division chairman Mr Muzaid Khemis said.
He continued “yesterday we got them with wild animals and even a human skull and we think they could become a source of insecurity to the people let alone not showing the permission from Uganda wild life Authority to have wild animals”
Out of the confiscated property as seen by the West Nile Web were eggs one of which contained a name (not disclosed), other properties included chicken, pigeons, and a book containing a number of names suspected to be the visiting fortune seekers.
Muzaid stated that the arrested members cannot be rejected in the division but what are not wanted are their activities in line with the council resolution.
Mr Toha Uruku, secretary for security of the division blamed lower authorities for conniving with the witch doctors, “I blame the LC I chairpersons for the operation of these people, in fact when we reached Adriko cell where one the witches was arrested, the area Chairman almost fought me, he insulted me but we had to resist him” Mr. Uruku said.
“We received a number of complaints from the locals saying these people are sleeping with women and doing a number of heinous things, so we decided to invade their places” He said.
The names of the 5 arrested people were not divulged to the press; however some of the suspects whose property was confiscated reportedly fled before the arrival of the enforcement team.
Uruku said they got two women nearly naked at Meddy’s place at Adriko cell but the women fled the scene.
When contacted about the matter, the West Nile regional police spokesperson Ms Josephine Angucia denied police involvement in the operation, she said the activity was solely conducted by the local government and Police was not involved.
The last incidence of arrest of witch doctors in Arua was initiated by the then woman member of parliament Ms Christine Bako Abia in which women was got naked at one of the shrines belonging to a practitioner in Dadamu Sub County; their properties were later confiscated, since then, they have been operating freely.