Anyone who engages in Human Sacrifice shall pay with their lives too, following a decision by Parliament to pass the Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill, 2020, which provides for the death penalty or life imprisonment for any person involved in human sacrifice.
The private member’s Bill was tabled by Ayivu County MP, Bernard Atiku with the objective to provide for the offence of human sacrifice, fines and penalties on April 8th, 2021.
While tabling the the bill, Hon. Atiku argued the need for a separate law on human sacrifice and its criminalization because Human sacrifice was not being punished in its own right.
The offence was catered for under Cap 120 of the Penal Code Act, which provides for murder and trafficking in persons under the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2019.
Atiku says that human sacrifice has been on the rise, arguing that the available laws have failed to curb the evolving nature of the practice.
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee that considered the Bill concurred with Atiku’s argument.
The committee report which was presented by the Busiki County MP, Paul Akamba recommended the approval of the bill with punitive measures against different human rights practices.
“Human sacrifice is a growing concern to law enforcement agencies, parents, child rights activists and the general public. Records from the Uganda Police Force show that human sacrifice cases have been steadily increasing for the last several years,” reads part of the committee report.
Committee members also argued that the few provisions under the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2009 are brief and do not capture all possible scenarios, causes and elements surrounding the crime leaving too much room for ambiguity.
The new law provides for an offence of human sacrifice stating that a person commits the offence of human sacrifice when he or she mutilates or causes the death of another person for the purpose of performing or furthering a ritual. A ritual under the legislation means a religious, traditional or cultural ceremony performed for the purpose of satisfying a belief.
A person who contravenes this provision commits the offence of human sacrifice and is liable, on conviction, to suffer death.
The law criminalizes financing human sacrifice and provides that a person shall not finance another person, whether directly or indirectly, to commit the offence of human sacrifice. Contravention of this provision will also be liable, on conviction to suffer death. Also a person who attempts to commit the offence of human sacrifice or the offence of financing human sacrifice shall be liable on conviction, to imprisonment for life.
“A person is taken to attempt to commit the offence of human sacrifice or the financing of human sacrifice where a person begins to put his or her intention into execution and manifests his or her intention by some overt act, but does not fulfil his or her intention to such an extent as to commit the offence of human sacrifice or financing of human sacrifice,” further reads the provision.
The law also provides that a person who spreads belief in human sacrifice for financial reward or gain professes to practice human sacrifice encourages any person to use human body parts in any ritual, treatment or other forms of healing and encourages a person to sacrifice a human being commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life.
Also, a person who unlawfully has in his or her possession of human body parts uses human body parts in medicine or concoction for sale, personal use or any other purpose and those assisting them and have in their possession an instrument used for or associated with human sacrifice commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life. During the debate, David Bahati, the State Minister of Finance for Planning noted that human sacrifice poses danger to the human race.