By Christopher Nyeko
GULU: For the last two months, Gulu city authorities have witnessed increased criminal cases being resolved through the help of the sorcerers who perform rituals.
According to local leaders in Industrial area cell in Library ward Bardege Layibi division, they are battling with increased cases of criminal activities such as phone snatching, highway robbery, house breaking, properties theft, and rapes cases.
On a daily basis, the authorities register 10 to 20 cases of such nature.
Sandra Adong, the industrial area vice chairperson explained that since its criminal in nature, they refer the complainants to the police to take charge of them.
Local authorities also blamed the security for conniving with criminals after being paid.
According to them, this has forced locals to implore other means of solving their problems like lynching the suspect, or resort to sorcerers.
They also accused police for delaying to arrest the suspects and demanding for something they called “fuel” or even taking long with their investigation.
For the last two month sorcerers have been the best option to the victims of criminality by the locals if their valuables are robbed.
They would invite the traditionalist to perform rituals so that their stolen properties are gained back.
Early this week, Police in Bardege Layibi Gulu city arrested the suspect who has for the last four months been hunted over theft of 10 million shilling belonging to Nancy Apori.
In August last year Nancy Apori, a market vendor at Cereleno market reported a cases of thugs breaking into her shop.
The matter was reported to Bardege-Layibi police station hence prompting police to launch an investigation but in vain as the suspect went on a hideout.
Apori said she decided to seek help from traditionalists since the suspect was in a hideout. Early on, the swarm of bees attacked the suspect.
The suspect, identified as Alfred Ojara age 39, was attacked by bees in broad daylight.
How dramatic the scene was! Ojara, who was wearing a red shirt and black trousers, was at around 8: 50am seen running to Dr Munyoro while crying for help and rescue from the sorcerer as he was battling with a swarm of bees stinging him.
Dr Munyoro said it was his first time to arrest such suspects in Gulu adding that he is assisted by the security, local leader, and cultural leaders respectively.
He was joined by police officers from Gulu Central Police Station who picked the suspect and took him to the Gulu central police station.
Faustino Olany, one of the elders in the industrial area who witnessed the ritual said it has sent a serious warning to the lazy people especially the youth who have resorted to stealing from the communities.
Daniel Comboni, the Defense secretary of the Industrial area cell library ward Bardege Layibi Division said he is optimistic that if traditional healers are to continue with fortune telling and ritual targeting the wrong doers, many criminal gangs and street goons in Gulu city will be transformed.
The Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson David Ongom Mudong however said that traditional healers getting involved in criminal material are jupadising police investigations. He however warned that they should stop.
“They don’t record statements when summon by the police, some time the mob can lynch the suspect because the traditional healers don’t have security to guard them while conducting their ritual in rowdy crowd,” he said.
In 2020, President Yoweri Museveni appended his signature on the traditional and complementary medicine act.
The act gives mandates to the traditional healers, sorcerers and herbalist or practitioners to practice their various vice of spirituality such as cleansing of the land, restoring the cultural sites, cooking food for the mountains and hill, making rains to come or to stop when it is too much but the practices should not cause harm to the community.
Gulu University is one of the public universities which have embarked to implement this policy.
Through the formation of a project named “Indigenous knowledge and indigenous knowledge system”
The project has brought traditional knowledge holders together to converse and come up with the solution to common problems affecting its people.