Snatched on their way to school then castrated or decapitated: Horrifying rise in child human sacrifice in Uganda at the hands of witch doctors
- Witch doctors convince the rich that ‘sacrifices’ will increase their wealth
- Businessmen pay them ‘thousands of pounds’ to mutilate young children
- They are left to die after their genitals are removed, their heads sliced open
- Number of atrocities ‘expected to rise’ due to upcoming Ugandan elections
‘Hundreds’ of Ugandan children are being sacrificed every year by witch doctors who have convinced the country’s superstitious elite that mutilating them will make them even richer.
Shockingly, these ‘gruesome crimes against children’ are ‘expected to rise’ with the 2016 Ugandan elections fast approaching.
Wealthy businessmen are paying traditional healers ‘thousands of pounds’ to hunt down impoverished children and harvest their body parts, which they believe can cure impotence and boost their fertility, a children’s charity told MailOnline.
These witch doctors sever limbs and remove their genitals after snatching them on the way home from school or as they go to fetch water for their family. Their dismembered remains are later discovered in forests and building sites.
Victim: Allan Ssembatya is one of the ‘hundreds’ of Ugandan children who are abducted and castrated by greedy witch doctors every year
Beheaded: The decapitated body of Steven Emmanuel Kironde (pictured) was discovered behind his home after he inexplicably went missing one evening
Merciless: This witch doctor does not condone human sacrifice, but many are charging ‘thousands of pounds’ to harvest the body parts of children for powerful Ugandans who think the sacrifice will make them richer
Atrocity: Boys like Allan are taken to huts (left) by witch doctors (right, who does not condone human sacrifice), who hold them down and mutilate them
Cruel witch doctors do not use their severed body parts to craft a magic potion, but claim to ‘offer them’ to the spirits who commanded them to carry out the brutal attacks.
In February, Uganda’s government created a National Action Plan to stop the murders and approved a bill to regulate healers – some of whom were practising as real doctors.
But the businessmen who pay thousands of pounds for the sick rituals are rarely prosecuted because witch doctors refuse to give up their clients.
The boys they castrate suffer the crippling after-effects of blood clots, a dangerous decrease of bone density and spinal fractures their entire lives.
Binoga warned child sacrifice will be difficult to stamp out because ‘as long as people have such a belief, that practice will continue’.
But furious activists say the senseless killings will continue because they are fueled by greed, not tradition.
‘It is a gruesome crime against children driven by superstition, religious beliefs, witch craft and extreme poverty,’ according to the founder of the Jubilee Campaign who documented these crimes.
Danny Smith told MailOnline: ‘Ugandans will tell you this is widespread – everyone knows about it – and children are being murdered under the umbrella of superstition.
‘Witch doctors and traditional healers do very well because they convince them they have to go through different levels of spells – and the most powerful one is the blood of a human child.’
Allan Ssembatya was seven-years-old when he was kidnapped and taken to a witch doctor’s shrine as he made his way home from school in Mukono village – 18 miles east of Uganda’s biggest city Kampala.
Two men held him down while the machete-wielding attacker made a deep cut across his neck and then across his shoulders – before slicing his head open.
After he passed out, the so-called healer crushed his testicles before cutting them off completely.
Allan was dumped in the bush where he was later discovered still unconscious, lying in a pool of his own blood.
He was rushed to hospital where doctors faced a desperate scramble to repair his broken skull.
Chilling: Allan Ssembatya was seven when a cruel witch doctor kidnapped him and sliced his head open with a machete before castrating him
Senseless: After removing his genitals, the witch doctor left Allan (pictured in 2011) to die in a pool of his own blood
Damaged: To this day, Allan suffers seizures, flashbacks and terrifying nightmares because of the harrowing ordeal
They managed to close the wound but his injuries were so horrific that he fell into a coma for a month and suffered a near-fatal stroke which took away the use of his left leg.
Before his attack in 2009, Allan was a normal, happy boy who enjoyed playing with his friends and loved going to school.
Now, not only does he bear the physical marks of his harrowing ordeal in a massive scar across his head, but struggles to deal with the emotional aftermath too.
Allan suffers seizures, flashbacks and cries out in his sleep from terrifying nightmares caused by the trauma he suffered.
His father was forced to abandon his hair-cutting business and took up a job doing casual building work to pay for his son’s expensive hormone treatments.
The orphan who was abducted and decapitated
After his father died, Steven Emmanuel Kironde moved in with his grandmother in the Nyamwezi village in the Jinja district.
On July 5, 2009 – when was six – she left him alone for a few minutes while she went to the nearby shop to buy soap to bathe him.
When she returned he was gone. She frantically ran from house to house asking her neighbours if they had seen the child.
She hastily organised a search party and went searching for Steven – eventually alerting the police at around 5pm.
She spent the whole sleepless looking for him but they found no clues or evidence of his whereabouts.
Deceased: Steven Emmanuel Kironde was abducted while his grandmother rushed to the nearby shops – and found decapitated behind their home the next morning
Heartbroken: Steven’s grandmother (pictured) stands beside the body of where his body was discovered decapitated by a witch doctor who still has not been tried in court
Abduction: Steven was killed near his home but witch doctors often kidnap children as they walk home from school and take them to their shrines (pictured)
At 6am they made a grisly discovery in the plantation of corn fields behind her own house – Steven’s limp, decapitated body.
His head had been removed clean off his neck and his esophagus – or windpipe – had been removed entirely.
The police managed to track down arrest the witch doctor suspected of carrying out the ritual sacrifice.
But only three weeks later, the head policeman in the area tried to coerce Steven’s grandmother with £110 to drop the case against him.
She rejected the offer and took him to court but to this day, there have been no developments in the case and she is still waiting for justice for the murder of her grandson.
The case had not been heard and is one of several cases that ‘have been backlogged in the court system’, according to Jubilee Campaign.
THE ‘SHY AND CLEVER’ BOY WHO WANTS HIS ATTACKER ‘TO BE KILLED’
At four-years-old, George Mukisa was described by his teachers as a ‘beautiful, shy and clever child’.
It was because of his ‘trusting and polite’ nature that a cruel witch doctor was able to lure him away from a funeral service by promising him treats – only to hold down his legs and painfully castrate him with a knife.
After mutilating Mukisa without anesthetic, the man known as Otema left him to die in a secluded area of woodland in Iganga District.
His mother discovered him bloodied and dying in a bush – and rushed him to hospital. Doctors tried to reconstruct his genitals with skin grafted from his forearm, but the operation was unsuccessful.
His mother (right) discovered Mukisa (left) bloodied and dying in a bush where the witch doctor had left him, after castrating him at his shrine
Cruel: Doctors had to reconstruct George Mukisa’s genitals with skin grafted from his forearm after he was abducted by a witch doctor who ‘promised him sweets’
Revenge: When the ‘gentle child’ was asked about what should happen to his attacker, he replied: ‘He should be killed’
Nearly six years after he was butchered by a man he trusted, Mukisa urinates through a tube and he has developed severe fracturing of his spine because his family could not afford expensive hormone treatment.
In an interview with Jubilee Campaign, who document such atrocities, his grandmother said: ‘When I look at Mukisa, I feel sad… Sad for what has happened to him, and sad for what the future holds for my grandson.
When she was asked what the government did to help Mukisa and punish his attacker, she replied: ‘Nothing.’
Mukisa is still a ‘gentle child’ but when asked about what should happen to Otema his reply was powerful and simple: ‘He should be killed.’
- The Jubilee Campaign, who collated and shared these tragic stories with MailOnline, began a petition to end this cruel act entirely. You can add your signature to the thousands HERE.
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