“Human sacrifice is a growing concern to law enforcement agencies, parents, child rights activists and the general public. Records from the Uganda Police Force show that human sacrifice cases have been steadily increasing for the last several years,” reads part of the committee report.
A person who contravenes this provision commits the offence of human sacrifice and is liable, on conviction, to suffer death.
has passed the Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill, 2020, which
provides the death penalty or life imprisonment for any person involved in
The Ayivu County MP, Bernard Atiku
tabled the private member’s Bill whose object is to provide for the offence of human
sacrifice, fines and penalties on April 8th, 2021.
Tabling the bill, Atiku explained the
need for a separate law on human sacrifice and its criminalization. Apparently,
Human sacrifice is not punished in its own right.
It is catered for under Cap
120 of the Penal Code Act, which provides for murder and trafficking in persons
under the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2019.
Atiku says that human
sacrifice has been on the rise, arguing that the available laws have failed to
curb the evolving nature of the practice.
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The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
Committee that considered the Bill concurred with Atiku’s argument. The committee
report that was presented by the Busiki County MP, Paul Akamba recommended the approval
of the bill with punitive measures against different human rights practices.
“Human sacrifice is a growing concern to
law enforcement agencies, parents, child rights activists and the general
public. Records from the Uganda Police Force show that human sacrifice cases
have been steadily increasing for the last several years,” reads part of the
Legislators on the committee also argue
that the few provisions under the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act,
2009 are brief and do not capture all possible scenarios, causes and elements
surrounding the crime leaving too much room for ambiguity.
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The offence of Human Sacrifice
The new law provides for an offence of human sacrifice stating that a person commits
the offence of human sacrifice when he or she mutilates or causes the death of
another person for the purpose of performing or furthering a ritual. A ritual
under the legislation means a religious, traditional or cultural ceremony
performed for the purpose of satisfying a belief.
A person who contravenes this provision
commits the offence of human sacrifice and is liable, on conviction, to suffer
The offence of Financing Human Sacrifice
The law criminalizes financing human
sacrifice and provides that a person shall not finance another person, whether
directly or indirectly, to commit the offence of human sacrifice. Contravention
of this provision will also be liable, on conviction to suffer death. Also a
person who attempts to commit the offence of human sacrifice or the offence of
financing human sacrifice shall be liable on conviction, to imprisonment for
“A person is taken to attempt to commit
the offence of human sacrifice or the financing of human sacrifice where a person begins to put his or her intention into execution and manifests his or
her intention by some overt act, but does not fulfil his or her intention to
such an extent as to commit the offence of human sacrifice or financing of
human sacrifice,” further reads the provision.
Prohibition of Harmful Practices Relating to Human Sacrifice
The law also provides that a person who
spreads belief in human sacrifice for financial reward or gain professes to
practice human sacrifice encourages any person to use human body parts in any
ritual, treatment or other forms of healing and encourages a person to sacrifice
a human being commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment
Also, a person who unlawfully has in his
or her possession of human body parts uses human body parts in medicine or
concoction for sale, personal use or any other purpose and those assisting them
and have in their possession an instrument used for or associated with human
sacrifice commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for
life. During the debate, David Bahati, the State Minister of Finance for Planning
noted that human sacrifice poses danger to the human race.
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Michael Timuzigu, the Kajara County MP said that having a law that specifically
targets human sacrifice is very important because human beings have a right to
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Margaret Baba Diri, the Koboko Woman MP said that human sacrifice has become
too common with those carrying it thinking that the act will make them rich.
She says that the law will help deter the sacrifice of innocent people like
children and albinos among others.
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Jessica Ababiku, the Adjumani Woman MP suggested that every person engaged in
the act of human sacrifice should get the ultimate penalty of death once found
guilty so that it acts as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.
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Speaker Rebecca Kadaga says that the new piece of legislation provides an
opportunity and avenue for justice for victims of human sacrifice.
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In 2008, the entire country was gripped with shock following the gruesome murder
of Joseph Kasirye after his torso was found in a swamp without genitals. Several
people businessman Kato Kajubi, a traditional practitioner, Umar Kateregga and
his wife, Mariam Nabukeera were arrested in connection to the murder.
and his wife, Nabukeera later confessed to having killed the minor and cut off
his private parts after being paid by Kajubi.
The trio was arraigned in court before Kateregga
and his wife went on to testify on behalf of the state, which saw them walk
In the first hearing, Kajubi was acquitted of murder. He was re-arrested
and convicted for the same offence in 2012 for a retrial by the High Court.