The Iganga High Court has sentenced a man to 54 years in prison for the heinous crime of ritual child sacrifice. Hassan Kafudde has been found guilty of brutally slaughtering five year-old Juma Muyita in a gruesome attempt to acquire wealth.
Iganga High Court Judge David Batema delivered the sentence, bringing a tragic chapter to a close. The victim, Juma Muyita, was an innocent pupil at Mirembe Junior School in Kawempe.
On a fateful Monday, Kafudde was convicted on charges of murder and trafficking in persons. Another individual, Mubaraka Kabaale, was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact of the ritual murder and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Justice Batema, in justifying the sentence, considered that Kabaale’s involvement was not as active as Kafudde’s in the commission of the murder. However, the Judge ruled that the prosecution had provided ample evidence implicating Kafudde in the murder.
The court proceedings revealed that Kabaale, who had shrines in Musita village, had been informed by Kafudde about the ritualistic act. Kabaale subsequently went into hiding following the incident.
The chilling details of the case date back to June 6, 2017, when the two convicts, at Musita village in Mayuge district, beheaded the child and removed his genitals in a ritual sacrifice, all in a desperate quest for quick wealth.
Remarkably, the father of the deceased, Issa Muyita, admitted guilt and entered into a plea bargain. He offered to testify on behalf of the prosecution as a witness. A plea bargain is an agreement between an accused person and the prosecutor where the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for concessions.
As part of the plea bargain, Muyita received a 25-year jail term, while the trial continued against Kafudde and Kabaale, both of whom pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During the trial, Muyita confessed that he had accompanied Kafudde from Musita trading centre to a sugarcane plantation, where he presented his son to Kafudde. It was Kafudde who introduced the idea of sacrificing the child to attain wealth.
The Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Rachel Bikhole, provided additional harrowing details. The child met his tragic end in a sugarcane plantation near a stream. After the gruesome act, Kafudde collected the victim’s blood in a kaveera (a type of bag) and proceeded to dig a shallow grave, where he buried the headless remains of the innocent child’s body.
The prosecution team, which included Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Gladys Nyanzi, Chief State Attorney Peace Biira, and Senior State Attorney Arap Malinga, played a vital role in bringing justice to this horrifying case.