|Linet Masiga, mother to slain seven- year-old boy, Brodan Barasa, shows her son’s grave. [Photo:Oscar Obonyo/Standard]|
By Oscar Obonyo
Parents of school-going children in Busia County are caught in a state of terror following what they say is a spate of unsolved ritual murders.
Civic leaders and education officials say at least 14 people have been killed and their bodies mutilated over the last eight months. However, officials in the Provincial Administration dismiss talk of ritual killings as “mere rumours”.
A senior police officer, who declined to be named in this story, insists only two homicide cases reported involved the removal of organs.
Last Sunday, police responded to the mob lynching of a man suspected of involvement in the abductions and killings.
This followed two fresh killings in the last two weeks, including that of seven-year-old Brodan Barasa on July 29. Brodan’s murder has galvanised teachers and parents in Busia into action.
The boy, a nephew to football legend Dr JJ Masiga, was apparently lured or dragged into a maize plantation in Lugala village and stabbed several times in the head and neck.
The attack took place around noon near a grazing field, less than three kilometres from the Kenya-Uganda border. His screams attracted the attention of a neighbour on an adjacent farm, forcing his attacker or attackers to flee on a motorbike.
The first witnesses on the scene say the Standard One pupil was still alive when he was discovered and there were signs the attack was similar to other ritual murders seen in the region.
“Why would anybody subject my child to this kind of death?” asks Linet Masiga, Brodan’s mother. She is infuriated that local Government officials deny these killings are going on.