During recent Ugandan elections, six cases of mutilation and murder of children as “good luck” sacrifices were reported, a children’s charity said.
"Child sacrifice cases are common during election time as some people believe blood sacrifices will bring wealth and power," said Shelin Kasozi of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), a charity that cares for survivors of attempted child sacrifice.
The cases were reported from October to February in Ssembabule, Mukono, Buikwe and Mubende districts in central Uganda, she said. Suspects had been arrested but the cases had yet to go to court, she also added.
President Yoweri Museveni extended his 30-year rule by winning a Feb.18 election in a vote that was criticised by the United States and European Union. Ugandans also voted in municipal and parliamentary elections.
Children had been reported missing in the election period, said Moses Bingola, coordinator of the anti-trafficking task force at the interior ministry. As the investigations were ongoing, he could not confirm KCM’s reports.
Seven child and six adult sacrifice cases were reported in the country in 2015, he said, also in 2014, nine child and four adult sacrifice cases were reported.
Mutilated bodies of children and adults had been found, some with hearts or livers ripped out, and in two cases last year victim’s heads were missing in two cases last year.
82-year-old Hanifa Namuyanja was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2012, for taking part in the sacrifice of her own granddaughter Shamim Nalwoga.
The court said the police found the girl’s body with her tongue and eyes cut out and genitals mutilated.
Attacks on albino people in Africa were on the rise, the United Nations said last year, associated with the growing demand from political aspirations for body parts prized in black magic in the run up to elections in various African countries.