Six children were killed and mutilated before and immediately after Uganda’s recent presidential and parliamentary elections, possibly to use their body parts in rituals to help some politicians win, a Christian charity dedicated to the welfare of children said Monday.
The killings took place between the launch of electoral campaigns in October and immediately after the February 18 poll, said Shelin Kasozi, a child protection worker with Kyampisi Child Care Ministries.
The cases were reported in the central Ugandan districts of Mukono, Buikwe, Sembabule and Mubende. Kasozi was unable to give the ages of the victims.
“Like in the past, child sacrifice is common during election period and the perpetrators believe that spilling blood brings luck. We think the killings were election-related,” Kasozi said.
However, the head of a police unit responsible for such cases, Moses Binoga, said there was no conclusive evidence that the children had been killed for election-related purposes.
Traditional healers involved in black magic may have people killed or mutilated to obtain body parts – tongues, genitals, eyes – for rituals aimed at bringing their clients power or wealth.
Many of the victims are children.
Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni – in power since 1986 – won the elections while the opposition alleged fraud.