Persons involved in human sacrifice will face the death penalty if a new law aimed at preventing the offence is passed by Parliament.
The Prevention and Prohibition of Human sacrifice Bill, 2020 proposes that persons who mutilate or cause the death of another person for the purpose of performing or furthering a ritual commits an offence.
“Ritual means a religious, traditional or cultural ceremony performed for the purpose of satisfying a belief and a person involved, commits the offence of human sacrifice and is liable, on conviction, to suffer death,” the bill proposes.
The object of the private member’s bill moved by Ayivu County MP, Hon Benard Atiku seeks to provide for the crime of human sacrifice, to provide for fines and penalties for the offence of human sacrifice.
The bill also provides for the death penalty for persons that finance other persons to commit offences of human sacrifice.
“A person shall not finance another person, whether directly or indirectly to commit the offence of human sacrifice,” the bill proposes.
Possession of human body parts and instruments of human sacrifice will also be an offence.
“A person who unlawfully has in his or her possession human body parts, unlawfully uses human body parts in medicine or concoction, whether for sale, personal use or any other purpose or makes or uses or assists in the making or using or has in his or her possession an instrument used for or associated with human sacrifice, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life,” the bill adds.
Hon Atiku says that human sacrifice is a growing concern to law enforcement agencies, parents, child rights activists and the general public.
“Records from the Uganda Police show that human sacrifice cases have been steadily increasing for the last several years. The general consensus of the various societies affected by the practice consider it worse than murder due to the gruesome way it is performed,” he added.
Atiku adds that the current laws don’t provide for the offence of human sacrifice.
“At present human sacrifice related cases are prosecuted as murder or related offences under the Penal Code Act,” he said adding that, ‘It is therefore, not unusual for a person alleged to have sacrificed a person to be charged with murder, manslaughter, or some other offence’.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga referred the bill to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to process the bill and report back within 45 days