Uganda: Anti-Human Sacrifice Bill Proposes Death Sentence

Individuals, who will be convicted of participating in human sacrifice, face a death sentence or life imprisonment if a private Bill presented in Parliament yesterday is passed.

The Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill 2020 was tabled by Ayivu County MP Bernard Atiku.

According to the Bill, which Daily Monitor has seen, the existing law does not provide for the crime of human sacrifice but it is considered as murder or related offences under the Penal Code Act.

Mr Atiku argues that because human sacrifice involves children and relatives, it is difficult to handle the cases under the existing legal provisions, making it difficult to pursue justice for the victims and survivors.

"Several cases of human sacrifice, which are tried either as murder or manslaughter cases, meet severe legal challenges due to the rules that already exist, especially the well-established rules of evidence in respect of those offences. For instance, the offence of human sacrifice has slightly different ingredients from the ordinary homicide because it involves mostly children and issues of trust and vulnerability," the Bill reads in part.

It adds: "Whereas attempted murder is well defined and can be proved under the ingredients of murder, attempted human sacrifice is a very different category because it involves relatives, witchdoctors and children found in shrines without explanation. There is also need for a specific law on human sacrifice that takes cognizance of the unique nature of the offence and provides specific rules to deal with the practice."

The Bill proposes that a person who commits the crime, facilitates it or is found with human organs is liable to suffer death or life imprisonment.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga forwarded the Bill to Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, advising that in case it is not concluded under the 10th Parliament, it will be handled in the next.

Three years ago, Mr Atiku sought leave of Parliament to research the Bill seeking to address issue of human sacrifice, which have reportedly been increasing across the country.

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