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Uganda:Monitor journalist beaten as he traces sorcery criminals

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Sunday July 06, 2014 - 19:16:01 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Uganda:Monitor journalist beaten as he traces sorcery criminals

    Waagacusub.net - Kabulengwa is about four kilometres from Nansana-Masitoowa Town. It is on the Kampala-Hoima road, off Nansana-Kyebando road. On the densely populated hill are many bungalows in their final stages of construction and the owners have

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Brian Mutebi after being beaten
Waagacusub.net - Kabulengwa is about four kilometres from Nansana-Masitoowa Town. It is on the Kampala-Hoima road, off Nansana-Kyebando road. On the densely populated hill are many bungalows in their final stages of construction and the owners have just moved in to some of them.

Akright Housing Estates is establishing a housing estate on one side of the hill and right opposite, there is clear view of another emerging housing estate at Bujjuuko.

The sprouting expensive buildings on the hill paint a picture of a hill inhabited by well-to-do people. However, the place is also home to witchcraft and sorcery. Along the way to the hill, you literally see shrines built in people’s compounds.


The risky venture
The boda boda cyclist at Nansana-Masitoowa stage is my guide. I ask him to take me to the shrines where women I had met at Mulago hospital were beaten. He warns me of the possible dangers that might befall us if we dare go to those shrines in the name of following up the story.

"Everybody in this village fears to go there. It is a great risk you’re taking,” he says. I, however, convince him and off we ride with my camera in hand.

From a distance after about four kilometres from Nansana, I can see three big shrines in one compound. The boda boda cyclist offers to stop about 100 metres away. 
"I am not going there. Forget, that place is dangerous,” he says. Fear now grips me but again there is this desire within me to find a story.

At the home of a sorcerer
A Born Again Christian that I am, I smell a rat; I realise I am approaching Satan’s territory. 
I can see three big shrines ahead
of me beside a big bungalow with brown iron sheets. I say a short prayer before taking the ‘lonely’ walk. Off I go.

What strikes me first is that there are no doors to the house. There are three men; two seated on the veranda and the third squatting beside a fireplace, cooking. House utensils and firewood spread all over the place. A woman nurses her baby in one corner.

I am at the sorcerer’s home. I greet them. I must find out the reason why I am here of course. It cannot be that I seek to understand whether it was in these shrines that women were beaten.
"Oh, you have a good view of Kampala,” I begin my conversation.

"I seek to buy a plot of land on this hill, how much does one go for?” I disguise. "Talk to him,” one man refers me to a young boy of about 17 years. "About Shs17 million for a 100x50 plot,” the young man offers. "But I can find you a contact that might be more useful,” he quickly adds, as he rushes into the house probably to pick his phone.

That’s the opportunity I take to move around the house and take pictures of the shrines; three huge ones and about four small ones.

Behind the house are gullies. As I take the first two shots, one man appears. He was moving around to see what I was doing. 
On seeing that I was just ‘admiring’ the gullies, he goes back, an opportunity for me to take more pictures. From a distance, I can see spears and backcloth inside the shrines. It is dark inside and I can’t see more things.

The boy returns. I ask him to take me around the hill. He accepts. I can see the boda boda cyclist far away now, about 500 metres downhill. The hill is covered by thickets. There are trails, an indication that there is human activity on the hill. The boy doesn’t want to tell me his name and offers little information.
They have been here for seven years and live "peacefully” with the rest of the community. He dodges every question on the shrines. "Let’s go further up beyond that thicket, I will show you more land,” he suggests. Now I have taken enough risk, I cannot go beyond that thicket. I need to be where at least the boda boda cyclist can see me. I suggest we walk across the hill. It is busty and the soils are bristle. One can easily slide and fall but I am firm on the ground.

Encounter with police on mission
Across the hill, we find a group of police personnel on mission. They are part of the "strategies” Detective Assistant Inspector of Police Cotirida Nandutu talked about at Nansana Police Station. "What are they looking for?” the boy asks me. "I don’t know. You live in this village, you should tell me,” I answer back.

"I think they are looking for some guys...” "Your colleagues?” I interrupt. "No, for us we are peaceful. I hear there are some guys up there who committed crime. They smoke opium, eat marijuana and the like. There is a house up there where bad boys stay.” "How do people stay in the bush? That’s interesting!” I exclaim. "I think I would want to see that. Can you take me there?” He declines but points to the house. It is about 500 metres away. 
The beating of the women was not done at this boy’s home but in that abandoned house.

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