Police in Kiira region have confirmed the arrest of Siraje Wanzala, 72, a renowned traditional healer in Kainogoga cell in Jinja City Northern division for allegedly raping his client. The victim whose name has been withheld, says that Wanzala raped her repeatedly during ritual cleansing sessions in May and June this year.
According to the victim, she was battling persistent headaches between January and May this year and decided to seek help from Wanzala after failing to manage the condition at different health facilities. Wanzala promised to heal her at Shillings 120,000. She explains that Wanzala then organized a cleansing ritual session running for 10 days from May 30th to June 8th, 2023.
The victim explains that the cleansing sessions kicked off with a bath of unknown substances in Wanzala’s shrine who later forcefully undressed her during the night of May 31st, 2023 before feeding her on unknown substances causing her to collapse immediately. She regained her consciousness on June 8th, 2023 with her private parts covered in blood, and on enquiring what had transpired, Wanzala informed her that the blood had been extracted from the sacrificial animals to the gods.
She opted for a medical check-up, where doctors confirmed sexual penetration, which prompted Wanzala to flee into hiding. This partially slowed down investigations. She claims that Wanzala later invited her for private talks where he openly insisted that sexual intercourse was part of the ritual cleansing, which if mismanaged would deter the healing process.
However, Wanzala, who is currently detained at Mafubira police station has since denied the allegations against him as baseless, arguing that, the client is only treading the rape claims as a means of destroying his reputation. Wanzala further claims that he had a secret conjugal relationship with this client, but she is just frustrated after delayed recovery and has opted for blackmail as a means of consoling herself.
The Kiira regional police spokesperson, James Mubi, says that detectives have been assigned to expedite inquiries into the matter. Mubi also notes that the region has recorded over six complaints of clients accusing traditional healers of raping them as part of their cleansing rituals and the matters were forwarded for further prosecutions in the different courts of law. Mubi explains that several cases of sexual manipulation go unreported as witch doctors often threaten to kill their victims through demonic attacks.