Four Houses including a Shop, Lodges and family house, all owned by John Baptist Batazze, a former Kalangala LCV aspirant have been destroyed, some burnt to ashes at Banda Landing Site, Bufumira Sub County in Kalangala District. The former aspirant is accused of possessing witchcrafts that haunt the residents.
Both John Bright Batazze and his wife Nakityo Meeme are accused of having purchased witchcraft commonly known as “amayembe” said to have attacked, killed Irene Kalija Kipusu, another resident of the landing site.
Kipusu died on Saturday night while shouting Meemes’ name, with a possibility of being strangled by spirits that were not seen. According to Marvin Nkwanga, Kipusu’s relative the death was unusual and residents accused Meeme, a wife to Batazze’s witchcraft possession.
Robert Mukasa, another resident says, the witchcraft claims have for long been neglected by island leaders despite several reports to the Kalangala RDC, DPC and the District Internal Security Office. Some of the reports were registered at Kalangala Central Police Station.
In the event, after the unprecedented death, residents resorted to destroying Batazze and Memes’ properties estimated at about Ugx 120 million. They also called for the immediate eviction of both Batazze and the wife from the island.
Batazze however rejects all allegations related to witchcraft. In January this year, Batazze went to Kalangala Police, accused all Banda island residents of supporting the Kalangala National Unity Platform, reason they wanted to burn down his (NRM) assets in the area.
Kalangala Police has heavily deployed at Banda Landing Site to cum the situation as residents prepare to transport the deceased’s body for burial in Kasese District today for burial. James Nandu, the police community liaison officer in Kalangala says, all measures are in place to restore peace and sanity at Banda Island.