Several children were ritually murdered and mutilated during the recent election season in Uganda, a Christian charity says. The activists believe that killings were meant to invoke magic bringing "wealth and power."
The body parts of victims might have been used to bring good luck to political hopefuls in Uganda, the Kyampisi Child Care Ministries (KCM) charity said on Monday.
"Like in the past, child sacrifice is common during election period and the perpetrators believe that spilling blood brings luck. We think the killings were election-related," child protection worker Shelin Kasozi said.
A total of six cases were reported in several district in central Uganda since October last year, during the in the run-up to the general election and immediately after the February 18 polls. The suspects were apprehended but the trials have not yet began, Kasozi added.
However, senior ministry official in charge of the issue, Moses Binoga, said there was no conclusive evidence that the children were killed for election purposes.
According to Binoga, the officials noted seven cases of child sacrifice and six instances of adult sacrifice in 2015, compared to the nine children and four adults sacrificed the year before.
The authorities are investigating the latest KCM claims, Binoga added.
Ugandan officials have discovered bodies of children and adults with hearts and livers ripped out, and at least two of the victims from last year were decapitated, according to Binoga.
In January, an Ugandan court sentenced the 82-year-old Hanifa Namuyanja to 15 years in jail for taking part in the sacrifice of her granddaughter Shamim Nalwoga in 2012 case.
The UN also warned last year that attacks on albino people were on the rise in Africa, linked to political candidates who believe that albino body parts could turn the tide in their favor during elections.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni won the February election, prolonging his 30-year rule. The opposition accused the regime of fraud.
dj/rc (Reuters, dpa)