Kasese Man Seeks Legal Redress against ‘Witchcraft’

What would you do if you suspected witchcraft being used against you? Probably go to church or work your own magic on the perpetrator. A Kasese man, however, has decided to take his matter to the local authorities. Tadeo Sentamu, a citizen reporter from the district tells of a one Mr. Hulhukya whose daughter has been suffering under what he describes as demonic attacks for a while now and has decided to take the matter to court. Hulhukya, who suspects Esther, a fellow resident of Ihandiro sub-county of sending the demons to his daughter, filed a case with the authorities of Butohyo Central village.

Apparently, Esther's motivation to send the demons stems from her failed efforts at match-making. Reportedly, Esther tried to convince the girl to marry a certain man but that relationship didn’t work out. Concerned parties are now theorizing that in bitterness and frustration Esther decided to drive the young lady mad. “She sent the demons just to confuse the girl,” Tadeo testifies. “The daughter is seriously oppressed by the demons which are being sent by Esther, but the government can't believe this,” he goes on.

While this sounds like another village tale to laugh off, it may not end very humorously. The father of the ailing girl swears that should his daughter lose her life, even Esther’s life would “end on the same day.” This may very well be more than an idle threat. Out in the countryside, women do get killed on accusations of witchcraft. In this story (http://www.news-hapa.com/story/67/) that News-Hapa carried in early August, a 45 year old woman in the same district of Kasese was killed by her neighbours on accusations that she had caused the death of another woman through witchcraft. Therefore, how the local authorities rule and counsel on this matter will be very important.

- Oct. 1, 2013
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