Police, UWA raid shrine hunting for pythons


A traditional doctor and a Policeman removing itesm from the shrine. Photo by Ayiga Ondoga

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) backed by Police raided a shrine to remove three pythons which were suspected to be used for witch-craft practice by a traditional medicine woman in Buwama on Masaka road.

The whole day operation which attracted several local residents from the surrounding villages was led by Buwama Police station chief, Abbey Ngako.

However, the operations yielded no results since the reptiles were not trapped as planned by the UWA officials. The shrine was set up by a traditional medicine woman from Mubende district, Jjaja Bberelimu Nambi who was assisted by several of her aides.

At the site, raw eggs and ripe banana were placed in baskets in front of the holes where the three python live, a big fire place was set, drums and gourd were placed around the fenced shrine.

The officials forced Nambi and her team out of the site, where they retreated to a nearby shrub with their items and started smoking their pipes.

“These people are wasting their time here. They will not get the pythons because they are spirits and not the pythons in the wild,” Nambi boasted in front of the gathered people and the officials.

UWA officers diiging up the holes where the pythons were said to be hidding. Photo by Ayiga Ondoga

The UWA officials started opening up the holes but after three hours there was no success of reaching the reptiles.

The team later sought assistance from the contractors constructing the Kampala-Masaka highway, Reynold Construction Company (RCC) who used two excavators to dig down the soil but failed get the pythons. The only things excavated from the soil were three rats.

“I told people earlier that the reptiles will not be found because they are spirits. They may be the ones who have turned into rats,” Nambi asserted.

The operation led to the destruction of the entire anthill and the shrine site. As the Police and UWA officials were leaving the place, Nambi and the local people were jubilating for the unsuccessful operation.

Gerald Musoke, who resides in the neighborhood of the shrine said, “Why should people come and destroy the shrine when they (Locals) are not complaining about the presence of the pythons in the place.

Musoke believes that although the shrine was destroyed, the reptiles will come back in the area since they were spirits who did not fear people when they come to the site to see them (reptiles) the past days.

By Ayiga Ondoga, The New Vision

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