Views from Fiona: Child Abduction on the Increase
Karungi and Ocen display their certificates:
The 2 officers who investigated the disappearance and murder of 5-yr-old Edwin Muguluma
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Views from Fiona: Child Abduction on the Increase


Currently on everyone's mind in Kampala.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: August 17, 2006


The spate of child sacrifice is awash in and around Kampala and has gained a lot of publicity and outcry from parents. In the last three weeks, at the least, there have been reported cases of children being abducted to act as sacrifice by witchdoctors in shrines, in order to give either riches or children to those who are seeking divine intervention in their marital problem and infertility.


Last week a mob almost killed four men who appeared at Blessed Nursery School in one of the city suburbs claiming they had sent them to collect a young boy named Alex. The school authorities were suspicious considering these men neither new the child's other names nor his father. The residents descended on them, and the three managed to disappear, but the police did arrest one.

This comes a few days when police, acting on a tip, discovered the remains of a young boy, Edwin Muguluma 5, who was kidnapped on July 20th at Masanafu Lugala village city suburb and where he had been strangled to death. The police found Muguluma's body wrapped in a sheet and buried in a shallow grave. The painful experience of Muguluma's parents is at least closure for them for many parents have had their little ones disappear with no trace. For some it is not possible to go on not knowing whether your child is dead or will one day turn up.

On Tuesday August 8 a witch doctor and a mother of two were arrested over a stolen baby. Rashida Nakawooya and a traditional healer, Ssentumbwe Senoga, were arrested in Kalerwe Mayinja zone when the deal went bad. The people who were in Senoga's shrine heard the discussion outside between the two and raised an alarm. The two were arrested by a security operative who were tipped off that a mob was going to lynch them. Drama ensued when Senoga said the woman was trying to sell him a stolen baby and the lady purported that she was working on his instruction.

Parents have been on high alert since these incidents of gruesome murder and kidnap have been reported and the police have warned parents to be strict with their children and not allow them to talk with strangers. Schools are also warned not to release pupils to unknown people. This however will take toll on parents who are busy and tend to send other people to pick their children from school.

The kidnapping of children and the children being used as a sacrifice in shrines are not new phenomena. Often times these children are stolen by either neighbors or people known to them. The 'uncles' and 'aunts' often lure the innocent children with buying them sweets and the next thing they know they are being bundled into a car. There is a strange fact though that girls with pierced ears cannot act in sacrifices, as they are no longer deemed innocent. This probably explains why the recent interest has been boys because naturally their ears are not pierced. Parents should be extra careful with whom they leave their children with and they should not be left unattended to for longer periods as this could lead the abductors to pounce on these innocent souls.

The government and parliament must act urgently and put laws that will deal with culprits expeditiously. The people feel that the courts often take long to prosecute the culprits and sometimes let them walk free only to abduct another suspecting young soul. If the government does not act soon the people might take the law in their hands and the only way they know how is through mob justice and this could lead to innocent death of some suspects. My call goes to all parents to take extra caution when sending their children to school.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: August 17, 2006
Fiona Abaasa is a visitor of UGPulse.com.

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