Sunday, September 30, 2012

30 Miles: 30 Victims of Child Sacrifice: PART FIVE: MILES 13, 14 & 15

Dear friends, these are difficult stories to tell and even more difficult to comprehend.  I have been sitting at my computer all afternoon wishing I had something heartening to tell.  But this is the reality of child sacrifice--many of these children do not survive.  Nevertheless, even in death, they are telling us something about ourselves: It takes a village to raise a child and we (as a collective village) have failed miserably to protect them.  Here is the story of Kevin, an Unknown child whose names were omitted in the police reports, and Rita.  They will be on our hearts through mile 13, 14 and 15 of Rose's Journey in Dallas.

Mile 13: Name: KEVIN, A.; Age 2 years old (M); Date of attack 27th August 2009; reported to Medi Opei Police Station, Kitgum district. Parents: Mother Atim, Rose, resident of Medi Opei Trading Center, in the same district. Kevin disappeared from his home on August 27th, 2009 and his body was recovered with the private parts, eyebrows and eyelids missing.  He was suspected to have been murdered for ritual sacrifice. 7 suspects were arrested for interrogation and 2 of them, including a traditional birth attendant, were later taken to court for murder.  Evidence, including blood stained clothes and razor blades were recovered.  Arrangements for exhumation of body to obtain more evidence are underway. Case still open...

Mile 14: Name: UNKNOWN male; Age 1yr 6mo; Date of attack: September 9th, 2009.  Reported to Ibanda Police Station; Parents: Father Alinitwe, Andrew from Kahoko cell, Ishingororo, Ibanda District.  On September 9th, 2009 at around 1200hours, body of a male child was discovered buried in a banana plantation.  The body’s head was cut off and the child was suspected to have been murdered for ritual sacrifice. The deceased went missing on September 24th, 2009 when his mother left him at home with his father while she fetched water.  3 suspects including the father, his friend Sengimana Valence and a business man Tumwesigye Lasito, were arrested and taken to court for murder.  Samples of some pieces of bones, bloody looking herbs found in the pot of the businessman, plus the hoe and panga were submitted to the government lab for analysis. Case File submitted to the Resident State Attorney but no court date has been set...

Mile 15: Name RITA, N.; Age: 6 ½ (F); Date of attack May 13th, 2009.  Reported to Mpigi Police Station and Kyabaddaza Police Station; Parents undisclosed: Relatives: Mukwaya Fred from Gwatiiro, Budde Sub county, Mpigi District. Rita went missing on September 12th, 2009 while staying with relatives.  Her body was recovered on September 15th, 2009 with several parts missing.  Her lower body including legs, the skull, ribs and jaw bone were the only parts that were recovered.  Majority of her upper body was missing.  Rita is suspected to have been sacrificed to the spirits of a nearby stone quarry.  4 suspects were arrested.   2 of them, including the victim’s caretaker were taken to court for murder.  A 3rd suspect, Ahabwe, has been in hiding since.  The two suspects taken to court were later released on court bail.  Case is on hold pending exhumation of the body for further analysis...

Important Note: These stories are excerpts of a full report on child sacrifice in Uganda by the Jubilee Campaign and Kyampisi Childcare Ministries which can be accessed here: .  On this page you can also sign a petition to end child sacrifice.  If you live in the UK, please don’t hesitate to browse here for more information on how to engage and support the End Child Sacrifice Campaign.

For more information on Rose’s Journey October 6th in Dallas, Texas see:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

30 Miles: 30 Victims of Child Sacrifice: PART 4: Mile 10, 11 & 12

Dear friends, thank you for allowing your hearts to go on a journey with me as we pay tribute to the fallen children.  The ones that will never come home.  And their families who sit in wait or in mourning everyday praying for justice! Here is the story of Evra, Steven and Slyvia: Mile 10, 11 and 12.

Mile 10: Name: Evra Mudaali: Age: 3 years old From: Buikwe District Date of Attack: 13th June 2010. Evra’s parents both work and the child was frequently left in the care of her grandparents in Bugoba village’s Buikwe district.  On June 13th 2010 Evra’s mother, 21 year old Rosemary Anyango, went to care for a sick relative while her 24 year old father, Ronald Serwajjo, was at work at the local video hall. Evra’s grandparents, Agnes Namanya, aged 52 years old, and John Baptist Serwajjo, aged 70 years old, were looking after her when she went missing.  Five days later, Evra’s body was found dumped at the shores of Lake Victoria with a hole in her armpits. Her heart and left ear were missing.  After investigating the crime, the police came to the shocking conclusion that the girl’s grandmother had led her to the shrine at 11pm on the night she disappeared.  At the shrine many of her family were present including her uncles, Yudu Nakacho, David Mukulu, Lauben Mande; her aunt Jennifer Night; along with her grandparents. Several media reports at the time claimed that Evra’s “family sacrificed her during a ritual aimed at initiating one of the family members into traditional healing.An incision was made under her left armpit through which her heart was removed, and her left ear was cut off. The sacrificial ritual was believed to initiate Yudu Nakacho, her uncle, into traditional healing believing that the witchcraft rite would bring him success. After these atrocities, and the completion of the ceremony, Evra’s body was buried in a shallow grave before it was dug up and dumped near Lake Victoria.  After the discovery of her body, all those suspected of involvement in her ritual murder were arrested, and mob justice prevailed as their houses were burnt down and all the village shrines destroyed. The acting district Police Commander, Najibu Waiswa confirmed that Evra was murdered in the shrine and said that the police were hunting for the witchdoctor who led the ritual ceremony along with other family members who had run away. The New Vision website reported that “the suspects would be charged with murder and human sacrifice” however to date no one has stood trial for the crime. Evra was an innocent 3-year-old girl who was betrayed by people closest to her, by those that should have been protecting her from harm shockingly, her own family.

Mile 11: Name: Steven, E. Kironde; Age: 6 years old From: Nyamwezi in Jinja district; Date of Attack: 5th July 2009.  Steven lived with his grandmother, Tepenensi Nombogwe, in the above village after his father passed away.  On 5th July 2009, Steven returned home from school at about 1:00pm and had lunch. In the afternoon, his grandmother prepared a basin of water outside for Steven to have a bath. In the usual Ugandan rural setting it is usual for children to bathe in the compound outside. Steven’s grandmother who was going to bathe him realized that that she didn’t have any soap. She left Steven by the bath and went to a near-by shop just around the corner from her home to buy some. When she returned, Steven was gone.  Extremely alarmed at the disappearance of her grandson, Mrs. Nombogwe contacted the neighbors but no one had seen the child. A search party was organized immediately and Mrs. Nombogwe and the people from the community went in pursuit of the missing child but he could not be found. At about 5:00 pm, the police were informed. Mrs. Nombogwe spent a sleepless night but by the morning no clues or evidence were uncovered. At 6.00 am, the following morning, 6th July 2009, there was a grisly discovery made in the plantation of maize fields behind his house.  The decapitated body of Steven was found with his head separated from his body; his esophagus had been removed. A Polaroid photograph was taken for evidence.  The police tracked down the witchdoctor suspected of involvement in his kidnapping and ritual sacrifice and he was arrested and locked up. However, 3 weeks later, the station head policeman tried to coerce the grandmother with 500,000 Ugandan Shillings (About $ 220.00) in a bid to convince her to drop the case. Mrs. Nombogwe rejected the offer, insisting instead that the case should be taken to court. By September 2011, there had been no developments in the case, and Mrs. Nombogwe is still waiting for justice for the murder of grandson.  The case had not been heard and is one of several cases that have been backlogged in the court system.

Mile 12: Name Slyvia, K; Age 12 years old; From Ntunda B village, Nsambya Sub County, Kiboga District.  Reported to Kiboga Police station on March 21st, 2009. Slyvia’s body was found in the bush around 150 meters away from her parent’s home with parts of her private parts cut off.  12 suspects, including a witchdoctor, Waryomu Mande, were arrested and charged with murder. Case was committed to High Court.  Hearing in court: date not yet set.

Important Note: These stories are excerpts of a full report on child sacrifice in Uganda by the Jubilee Campaign and Kyampisi Childcare Ministries which can be accessed here: this page you can also sign a petition to end child sacrifice.  If you live in the UK, please don’t hesitate to browse here for more information on how to engage and support the End Child Sacrifice Campaign

For more information on Rose's Journey:  

Friday, September 28, 2012

30 Miles: 30 Victims of Child Sacrifice: PART THREE: MILES 7, 8 and 9

Mile 7: Name: Sula, N.; Age: unknown; From: Small town outside of Kampala:  Date of Attack: 25th November 2002.   Sula lived with his family in a small town outside of Kampala, and studied at the local school. Sula regularly helped his mother, Mrs. Nahkenyo in the, and his neighbors considered him a friendly child.  On the November 25th, 2002, Sula was sent on an errand by his mother to go and collect milk from their cow. As she started to prepare lunch for the family later that day, Sula’s mother noticed that he had still not returned. Mrs. Nahkenyo became alarmed at his absence, as it was most unlike him not to return from a task.  She alerted her neighbors who organized a search party to look for him. The next day Sula’s mother went to the local police and the local radio broadcast an appeal for him but he still could not be found.  Four days later, Mrs. Nahkenyo was called to her son’s school. On arrival she witnessed a horrific sight. The head of her dead son had been left on the desk at school where he used to sit. Accompanying it was a note, which stated simply that the boy had not been pure enough to be used in the ritual sacrifice but that he had been killed anyway. Sula’s body has never been found and Mrs. Nahkenyo lives without closure, constantly tormented by dreams of her son’s body being returned to her so that she can bury it properly with her son’s head.  Mrs. Nahkenyo believes that the local police and government authorities did not prioritize the case or give it proper and serious attention. Although a local witchdoctor, Luamba, was arrested, he was released and the case has never been taken to the court. Mrs. Nahkenyo is convinced that Luamba is responsible for her son’s abduction and murder and is suspicious that the witchdoctor was freed because he bribed the police to drop the case. Mrs. Nahkenyo has reached the conclusion that she will never attain justice for the murder of her son and reluctantly will accept compensation from the government. She does not think the police will ever arrest anyone for the crime and that Luamba will never face a trial because of the pay-off to the police. 

Mile 8 and 9: Name: Nakalema Immaculate, N.; Age: 13 years old and Name: Nuru, N.; Age: 9 years old; From: Near Kyampisi; Date of Attack: 2nd January 2003
In a small village near to Kyampisi, 90 km North of Kampala, the tightly knit community was genuinely shocked when four children were sacrificed by a witchdoctor in a single day.  People who are familiar with the group say that everyone in the locality appears to be as one large family and that a tragedy for one person is a tragedy for the whole community.  On 2nd January 2003, grief engulfed this small community, as everyone in the village mourned the dead children. For Topi and George Nakibinge the experience was highly traumatic as one of their daughters was among the dead. The sight of one of their daughters was so terrible that they returned home in distress. Later they returned to the site of the dead children to recover their daughter only to discover that not one, but two of their daughters had been killed on the same day.  Immaculate was 13 years old and her sister, Nuru 9 years old when they became victims of Child Sacrifice. They are buried together behind their family home where Topi and George visit their graves. The witchdoctor allegedly guilty of these murders was arrested but as yet the case has not reached the courts and it remains to be seen whether he will be convicted and incarcerated for his crimes.

Important Note: These stories are excerpts of a full report on child sacrifice in Uganda by the Jubilee Campaign and Kyampisi Childcare Ministries which can be accessed here:  On this page you can also sign a petition to end child sacrifice.  If you live in the UK, please don’t hesitate to browse here for more information on how to engage and support the End Child Sacrifice Campaign.

For more information about Rose's Journey please see:  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

30 Miles; 30 Victims of Child Sacrifice: Miles 4, 5, & 6

These stories are excerpts of a full report on child sacrifice in Uganda by the Jubilee Campaign and Kyampisi Childcare Ministries which can be accessed here:

Mile 4: SHAFIC, M.; Age 9; Male: Parents: Undisclosed: Village: Kisalosal, Kawempe, Kampala.  On December 28th, 2008, Shafic was abducted by Mugambwa Paul and taken to the shrine of Semisambwa of Bombe Zone, Kirinya, Mukono District.  On arrival to the shrine, Shafic was rejected by Semisambwa’s wife, Nanteza Harriet because he was circumcised, thus deemed “Unfit” for sacrifice.  All 3 suspects were arrested and charged with kidnapping with intent to murder.  In March of 2011, all 3 were sentenced to prison for 15yrs each.
 George in 2009 during his return visit to Hopeward
Mile 5: GEORGE, M.; Age 3; Male; Parents: Father, Mr. Wanyama; Village: Namawombe, in Iganga District.  Date of attack: February 15th, 2009.  “On 15th February 2009 Mukisa’s mother and father attended a funeral service; his brother was playing football, leaving Mukisa unsupervised at home. Otema, a local witch-doctor, and family friend, visited the home and enticed Mukisa to go to the village shops with him, promising him sweets. As many a child would, when offered gifts by a trusted elder, Mukisa accepted the witch doctor’s invitation and accompanied him on an excursion. Otema had no intention of buying sweets for the child. Instead, he took Mukisa to the bush where Otema grabbed and held Mukisa’s legs before castrating him with a knife.  The attack was made, without anesthetic, and no warning. The witch-doctor then abandoned George and took off” (Child Sacrifice Report, 2011).  George’s parents found in a bush near the witchdoctors' residence with his penis and testicles cut off and rushed him to a hospital.  George has had multiple surgeries and skin grafts and without expensive hormone treatments, he will suffer the long term consequences of castration such as kyphosis and gynecomastia (abnormal enlargement of breasts).   Olebati John was arrested and taken to court for kidnap with intent to murder.   However, he was released on court bail. No hearing date had been set at the time of the report in 2011.  When a reporter asked George about what should happen to Otema, his reply was powerful and simple, “He should be killed.”

Mile 6: ALLAN, S.; Age: 7; Male; SURVIVOR:  Allan was attacked on his way home from school with his friends on 19th October 2009. He was kidnapped and taken to a witch-doctor’s shrine. The 3 people involved in his abduction were a local witch-doctor named Awali, his brother Abass and another man named Paul. At the shrine Allan was cut with a machete on his neck and across his shoulders. He was then struck in the head with the machete and his skull was sliced open. After Allan lost consciousness, the witch-doctor proceeded to crush one of Allan’s testicles and castrated him. Allan was then dumped in the bush where he was later discovered, unconscious, in a pool of blood.  Against the odds, Allan survived the brutal.  After his mutilated body was discovered, Allan was rushed to Kayunga Hospital, and then transferred to Mulago Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair the split in his skull. 3 years after the attack, Allan recovered the full use of his left leg but not his arm, and a scan in May 2011 revealed that he had an intercerebral lesion and possible haematoma. These physical injuries are long term and his castration will lead to further developmental problems in the future, such as kyphosis, the gradual decrease in bone density and gynecomastia.  Allan recognized the men who attacked him and has identified them to the police and to Chris Rogers and the BBC investigative team in 2011. A case is pending, and Jubilee Campaign and Kyampisi Childcare Ministries intend to help to take this case forward. 

I cannot imagine the multiple challenges these three children and their families will have to face.  The scars on the bodies (for Allan and George) are a constant reminder of the brutal encounter with evil.  We can do so much more to support these families and prevent future attacks on children.  If you are a Ugandan who lives in Kyampisi, please seek out this organization that is already reaching out to these victims and lend your support/voice and resources.  We can educate our communities: e.g. pierced ears and circumcision can easily deter witchdoctors from kidnapping a child as was the case for SHAFIC.  Join me as we silently pay tribute to SHAFIC, GEORGE, and ALLAN on miles 4, 5 and 6 of Rose's Journey in Dallas October 6th, 2012.