Residents in Bufumbira South Constituency in Kisoro District are expressing concern about the rising incidents of witchcraft accusations within their community, which have led to cases of mob justice.
The most recent incident involving mob justice related to witchcraft occurred in Muramba Sub County, where a mob set fire to at least three houses and severely assaulted a woman based on allegations of practicing witchcraft. In response, law enforcement has arrested a total of 21 individuals on charges of arson and assault resulting in serious injuries, as confirmed by the Kisoro District Police Commander (DPC).
Kamuhanda Charles Bigira, the Chairman of Nyakinama Sub County, has voiced the fears of residents in his area, emphasizing that the increasing number of witchcraft cases is causing anxiety. He also highlighted concerns that a similar incident to the one in Muramba might happen if the issue is not promptly addressed.
Kamuhanda also identified other challenges affecting the region, including drug abuse, early school dropouts, land disputes, unscrupulous money lenders, fraudulent pastors, and domestic violence.
SSP Mugerwa Bernard, the Kisoro District Police Commander, called on local leaders to become advocates for security in their respective areas. He stressed the importance of educating the community about the law and discouraged local council leaders from seeking the release of residents who commit crimes that effective leadership strategies could have prevented.
Arinaitwe Boaz, the Kisoro District Community-Police Liaisons Officer (CLO), warned against resorting to mob justice and emphasized that individuals engaged in illegal activities can be held accountable for their actions. Boaz also urged lodge owners to be vigilant about the guests they host, as they may unknowingly accommodate individuals involved in criminal activities.