Passy Mirembe went missing on October 23 and her decapitated body was recovered in the bush by a group of hunters on October 28. COURTESY PHOTO

Police in Masaka District are holding three people over their alleged involvement in a suspected ritual murder of a one-year-old baby who had been missing for a week.
The suspects in Police custody have been identified as Moses Makumbi, witchdoctor; Deo Walakira and a 12-year-old boy.

Police’s preliminary investigations indicate that the trio is connected to the alleged sacrifice of Passy Mirembe, a daughter to Mr Moses Kalangwa, a resident of Kayugi village, Mukungwe Sub County in Masaka District.

According to the Masaka region Police Spokesperson, Mr Lameck Kigozi, the minor who was last seen with the deceased revealed to police that one of the key suspects Walakira gave him Shs200 on the fateful day (October 23), before disappearing with the toddler on a motorcycle.

Mr Kigozi added that Makumbi, a known witchdoctor at the village, was arrested following accusations by residents who connected him with the gruesome murder.
“After the deceased went missing, a mob attacked Makumbi’s home before beating him. They accused him of being involved in the sacrifice of the toddler,” he said.

The residents’ attack on Makumbi’s home came after one Mirembe’s relative reportedly got “possessed with the spirit of her late grandmother” which told them that the baby had been killed by one of the witch doctors in the village.

But when the residents went to Makumbi’s shrine, nothing was recovered after a long search.

Kigozi said that Police took Makumbi to hospital for treatment after being seriously beaten up by the mob.

Mr Salongo Kigundu Kayinga, the chairperson of traditional healers in Masaka Region has condemned the incident saying their norms (traditional healers’) do not permit human sacrifice.

“This is so strange in our community. Whenever you are to sacrifice, it has to be birds or animals and not human beings. I wonder which gods tell witchdoctors like Makumbi to sacrifice children. This could have been copied from other communities,” he said.
He further said that Makumbi stubbornly refused to register with his association wondering if he is a genuine witch doctor.

Uganda: One Year Old Baby Killed, Head Taken

Masaka — Residents of Kayugi, Mukungwe Sub county, Masaka District have been left in shock after they landed on the beheaded body of a one-year-old baby who had been missing for more a week.

Until Saturday when the body was recovered, the residents had been searching for Mr Moses Kalangwa’s daughter, Passy Mirembe who went missing on October 23.

He said on the fateful day, a neighbour’s son only identified as Joram,12, visited them and they thought he had gone with Mirembe to collect fire wood.

When Joram returned,he was asked and denied going with her. However, Mirembe’s elder brother insisted that he saw him going with her .

“Joram was pinned and said he saw the baby following him but was later taken away by a Boda Boda man whom he didn’t identify,” said Mr Kalangwa.

Three days after she disappeared, Mr Kalangwa noted that one of his relatives got “possessed with the spirit of Mirembe ‘s late grandmother” which told them the baby had been killed by one of the witch doctors in the village.

“We went with police to search the said witchdoctor’s shrine but found nothing,” Mr Kalangwa said.

He further noted that they continued with the search for Mirembe but in vain. However, her decapitated body was recovered by a group of men who were hunting for wild animals in a bush near Kalangwa’s home.

Mr Lameck Kigozi, the Masaka Region police spokesperson confirmed the incident.

” I was told about the incident but have not yet received full details from the investigating officers,” Mr Kigozi said.

Mirembe killing suspected to be for ritual sacrifice comes exactly nine years after Ronald Kasirye, 12, was also killed in the same village for the same purpose leading to the arrest and prosecution of businessman Kato Kajubi.

Kasirye was killed on October 27 2008.