YesWeDid….

Not Just Another Blog

CHILD SACRIFICE IN UGANDA

Posted by yeswedid on February 6, 2010

It’s quite emotional for me to write about this. Being a {professional} journalist reminds one constantly that you are not necessarily living for yourself, but rather you are a mouth piece to society. It’s for this reason that I have to be strong, and put my emotions aside and write about this topic.

For over a decade now, there have been children being sacrificed, for one reason or another. This is not to say that adults are not affected. Oh yes they are! Only that little children, as little as three years are targeted. And my heart goes out to them.

In Uganda, there are traditional healers. And they are licensed. Honestly, I’m not sure if the government is certain of these “healers” activities. Matter of fact, child {or people} sacrifices are a result of these blood suckers, in form of traditional healers {may be they are all not blood suckers but I cannot find an appropriate word to use here}.

In most cases, this is how these sacrifices happen: a person goes to a witch doctor {or traditional healer}, in search for a way to get rich {very rich}, or in search of a cure for HIV/AIDS, but the major reason is to get rich {to get rich, through human sacrifice?????? really?} Can anyone live with themselves, being rich as a result of this? I hate to even think about how they go on. The witch doctor {this is how they are referred to here}tells this person that it’s “very easy” to get rich. All they need to do is to {for example} bring private parts of a 10 year old boy/girl, a man’s brains or left leg and right arm…..anything, as long as it’s a body part. I have asked around to find out why young children are preferred. I was told that it’s because they are virgins, so no blood as been shed and that is perfect for sacrifice. And because of this, in the recent past, parents decided to pierce their little babies ears, regardless of their sex as a way to keep them safe from being sacrificed. I don’t know if this helped.

More appalling is that most sacrifices take place in villages. The areas that are poverty-stricken. Child sacrifice cases are very few in the capital Kampala or in other cities. Some of the people involved in this practice are already business men, and rich {at least by Uganda standards} but they want to be more rich. In some cases, some parents have been given money in exchange for their children {to be sacrificed}. The money is as little as $2500 {I don’t mean to imply that there’s any money worth a life}!! And its the rich here that can afford to raise this much.

Last Saturday, the 31st of January 2010, I went on some sort of campaign against child/human sacrifice. The idea came to me on Tuesday of that same week, as I was talking with one of my brothers, asking him what I can do. And like many {If not all} other Ugandans, I have been discussing this issue, how we are losing our children {i don’t have chilren yet}, just like you talk about anything else, like politics. And that’s it. We go on with our lives like nothing is happening. Anyways, I got an idea: to stand at the constitutional square with a banner that read “CHILD/HUMAN SACRIFICE IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT??” This is the exact message I wanted to send out. We all tend to have high expectations on our governments, and in this particular case, the police. Quite frankly, there are so many other ways that the government is not delivering {on many issues}! So for us to take a back seat and expect that they will protect our children? I don’t think so. I wish people could put it in their minds that this is upon each one of us. At the constitutional square, I was joined by two of my friends. I’m so grateful to them that when I explained to them what I planned to do, they dropped all their plans, stood with me in the scorching January sun {it was extremely hot! January is a very hot month}for this noble cause. Even my friends who don’t live here, and the ones who couldn’t join me for one reason or another, all encouraged me.

We managed to talk to a few people while there, asking them if there’s anything they have done to stop these brutal murders. Many told us that they talk to their children about how to keep away from danger. My point exactly! If they have not touched your child or close relative, it’s almost no big deal! All you get to know about it is in the news, and life goes on. Where this issue has got, we all need to join forces. When I ask people what they are doing, I mean for everyone to be on the lookout. I know it’s just natural to protect our own, but this calls for all our {personal} attention. For example if in the village where you live there’s a witch doctor {or traditional healer as they like to guise themselves}, as a community you should find if their practice is legit {if there’s anything like that with these people}. If ever you suspect that he/she is involved in anything that is suspicious, burn his shrine down! Please note that I’m not inciting people, but this can help stop some of these acts. There have been many cases after which, people gather and talk about how “all this time they had suspicions concerning “doctor” so and so…..” and it’s too late! A child, man or woman has been murdered!! Instead of waiting for government, in form of police to arrest suspects {even when its very clear that the person is guilty, they still refer to them as a suspects? Does law have limits!}, there’s need for all of us to protect our childre and people!

So far, apart from coming on the scene to take the body {sometimes}, to do a postmortem, I don’t know what the police has done. And for those who have  a lot of trust in our government, on Tuesday, the 2nd of February 2010, it was reported in one of the dailies here {government paper- New Vision} that government is going to set up a commission of inquiry into ritual murders. After how many innocent children and people have been sacrificed? May be some of you have been following this story and you even know the statistics. For those of you who don’t, may be it’s better that way. Why I haven’t put them here is because they overwhelm me.

Quite frankly, I don’t know if people got the message or even better, are willing to act. We all live under some sort of fear hear, from the police {especially} and may be from the blood suckers in form of “doctors”. And I appreciate this. But then again, people demonstrate for things like bad roads, for the current electoral commission chairman to step down, but no one is coming out to do such a thing for these ritual murders or sacrifices. I’m almost sure that if the press had written or talked about it {this campaign}, it would have been huge {we all know the power of the press}. It’s amazing the stories editors highlight {I can’t start on this now, but you know what I’m talking about} I’m not sure of what I can do next. I need people to join me. For now, that is what I have done. What are you doing? Especially if you are in Uganda? If  you have any ideas, whether you live here or out there {wherever}, please get back to me. It’s been quite an emotional experience writing about this, but I have managed this much. For now, I can only pray that other people get to share my idea. This is not an end in Itself, but I think it can be a {an effective} means.

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