Child Sacrifice Emerges as Disturbing Uganda Trend

Witch doctors teach that burial of children's body parts can bring wealth.

ByABC News
February 25, 2010, 10:39 AM

Feb. 25, 2010 — -- Uganda is a country so beautiful that Winston Churchill once called it "the pearl of Africa." It has world-class wildlife, fertile rolling hills and a breathtaking lakeshore.

Here, the ancient and the modern meet. The poor scrape a living from the soil, and many still cling to the mystical beliefs of their ancestors. They speak with the spirits, they cure with potions.

In the cities, commerce and capitalism now reign. There's fast money to be made, and a new middle-class lifestyle to be had. Uganda is thriving.

But from this clash of cultures, a gruesome new phenomenon has emerged -- and Uganda's children are paying the price. Children are disappearing, victims of human sacrifice.

Asima Baguma knows the horror. Her 17-month-old son, Nicholas, was murdered, a victim of child sacrifice. She found his body in a banana plantation on a remote farm in her village, near the border of the Congo.

"I pulled my son's body out of the soil," said Baguma. "I realized he had no head."

Detective Chris Yashaba, from the Uganda Criminal Investigations Department, was stunned at the brutality of the case.

"I have never seen something like this," he told ABC News. But perhaps the most shocking aspect of the case was the revelation that the child's killer was his own father. And the motive? Money.

The father, Andrew Baguma, apparently received $2,000 from a rich businessman in the area for his son's head.

In an interview with ABC News from a Ugandan prison, Andrew Baguma admitted that he had had his child killed. He says he wanted the money to set up a busines, fixing bicycles. So, he says, he and a friend beheaded Nicholas, dug a shallow grave and buried his headless body.

Andrew said that he still loves his wife and hopes that she will forgive him one day.

For her part, Asima Baguma believes her husband should die for his crime. She said she will never forgive him for killing her only child. At 20 years old, she feels as if her life is over.

"Now that he is gone, I will never be happy again," she said.