On November 13 I posted on this website a report on the notoriety of Kayunga District in Uganda when it comes to child sacrifices and ritualistic murders. In this posting I mentioned the case of Allan Ssembatya – then a six-year old small boy – who was cut with a machete and left fighting for his life in a forest. The offence was committed in Busolo Village, Kayunga District, in 2009. Luckily, Allan was found alive. Two men were arrested for attempted murder; recently they were sentenced to 40 years in prison. Both Allan Ssembatya and the the convicts, Awali Kivumbi and Paul Ngaswireki (see photo), were residents of Busolo in Kayunga Sub-county, Kayunga District.
Thirteen years after the incident took place justice was delivered. Hail to the Uganda judicial system! Nevertheless the foregoing, ‘prevention is better than cure’: all efforts should be made to prevent these crimes through proper education and the eradication of superstition.
Warning: some readers may find the following report disturbing.
Two get 40 years in jail over ‘child sacrifice’
Published: September 20, 2022
By: Fred Muzaale – Monitor, Uganda
Court has sentenced two men to 40 years imprisonment each after they were found guilty of attempting to behead a six-year-old boy for ritual sacrifice.
Chief Magistrate Sarah Tusiime yesterday sentenced Paul Ngaswireki and Awali Kivumbi, after evidence linked them to attempting to murder Allan Ssembatya who was cut with a panga (machete) and left fighting for his life in a forest.
He was only discovered by his grandparents while in a coma.
“In light of the above evidence, submissions and the law, the prosecution has provided its case beyond a reasonable doubt that A1 and A2 are guilty of the offense of attempted murder of Ssembatya Allan contrary to Section 204 of the Penal Code Act,” held magistrate Tusiime.
The prosecution led by Mr Edward Muhumuza states that the offence was committed in 2009 in Busolo Village.
Ssembatya is now 19 years and in Senior One.
At the time of the incident, Ssembatya was six years old and in Primary Two at Busaale Church of Uganda Primary School, Kayunga.
In her ruling, the magistrate held that the conduct of the two convicts before, during and after the commission of the act was wanting.
The magistrates explained that Kivumbi, had been a good neighbour and even visited Ssembatya’s family quite often in hospital.
“It makes one believe that the frequent visits by A2 (Kivumbi) were to monitor the health of the victim or to conceal their participation. Such conduct is enough to prove that indeed there was malice aforethought,” held Ms Tusiime.
The magistrate also observed that the body parts damaged were the neck, head, skull, shoulder and testis.
The victim and the convicts were all residents of Busolo in Kayunga Sub-county, Kayunga District.
The convict was in their first trial acquitted for lack of evidence. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed, leading to yesterday’s verdict.
Present at court were the father of the victim and a number of anti-child sacrifice activists from Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a non-governmental organisation.
The magistrate branded the case as purely one for “child sacrifice”.
Both convicts asked for lighter sentences.
“I have 12 children and two wives and I was their breadwinner. I now don’t know what my family is up to,” Kivumbi said.
Mr Peter Sewakiryanga, the executive director of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, said he had relocated Ssembatya’s family for their safety.
“My belief is that now we have a precedence that, however long it takes to get justice, when there is will by the community, justice can be delivered,” Mr Sewakiryanga said.