Mob Storm Police Station and Lynch Suspected Witch

An angry mob on Sunday night stormed Namwiwa police post in Bukunya village, Kaliro district in eastern Uganda and lynched a suspected witch doctor.[URN]

Residents dragged from the cells Bingwa Muhairwe, a renowned witch doctor in the area. Muhairwe had been arrested on Saturday evening on allegations of exhuming the remains of Hawa Natwoli, a deceased local. 

He was accused of chopping off Natwoli's skull and disposing off the other body parts in a nearby sugarcane plantation. According to reports, police officers revisited the scene on Sunday to investigate the matter. During the investigation, a sniffer dog was seen resting on Muhairwe's bed, which further infuriated the angry residents who had attempted to lynch the suspect earlier that day but were deterred by standby security personnel. 

The residents stormed the police post at a time when only one unarmed constable was on standby outside the cells. His colleagues had gone out for night patrol. The constable was overpowered by the mob, which proceeded to chop Muhairwe to death in front of the police post premises.

Rashid Baganzi, the area LC I chairperson, revealed that five families had registered complaints of their loved ones' remains being exhumed in the past two months. 

However, there has never been successful investigations into these cases. Baganzi attributed the situation to superstitious beliefs and witchcraft that have led to mob justice-related tendencies in the area. John Kalugu, the LC III chairperson of Namwiwa town council, called for sensitization on the operability of the justice system to avoid cases of mob justice against suspects. 

He noted that ignorance of the law is the main catalyst for mob justice-related tendencies in the area. He further urged the public to follow legal processes at all levels, as detaining suspects could yield valuable information that could help investigators crack down on criminal gangs. 

Busoga North police spokesperson, Michael Kasadha, confirmed the incident, stating that investigations were underway. However, he declined to divulge any further details. The deceased's body was taken to Namwiwa health centre III mortuary for a postmortem.

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