By Patrick Edward Musisi
Mukono Resident District Commissioner Fred Bamwine has advised traditional healers to put their house in order by weeding out criminals from their profession, warning that short of that, government will intervene into their operations.
“Sort yourselves out, or else government will be provoked into intervening in your activities. As you know, I do not know who is who in that business and I may end up rounding up everybody until the real culprits are zeroed on,” he warned.
He was on Wednesday officiating at the swearing in of the 324 district and sub-county executives of Mukono District Traditional Healers and Practitioners Council (THEPCO) at their headquarters at Ttakajjunge village in Nama sub-county.
Moses Male Byekwaso bounced back as chairman to lead the herbalists for another five year-term, deputized by Mulo Masiko.
Bamwine said he had given the association two months to formalize registration requirements for all their members, adding that he is going to issue a format to be followed in the registration exercise and thereafter treat as criminal whoever will not have registered.
He also cautioned them against pretending to administer anti-barrenness potions and in the process impregnating married women, and added that those in this category are responsible for disease spread, homes breaking up and other forms of domestic violence.
THEPCO chairman Male reported that there are many fake practitioners in their profession, and volunteered to help government in identifying, arresting and prosecuting culprits who he said have tarnished their name.
“They have no shrines and operate in single-room rented houses, are unwilling to come out openly, and are the ones behind dubious activities like forcing patients into sex, engaging in abductions and human sacrifice, and abetting criminals who later seek protection charms from them.
The District Commercial Officer who is also responsible for tourism promotion, Kenneth Ntege advised the herbalists to develop a data bank and keep track of their members, their operational bases and specific experience, to leave no room for fake practitioners.
He also advised them to uplift their levels by setting up referral services and ambulances, and set up supermarkets dealing in their wares like herbs and other usables.