MBARARA: Five arrested for coercing patients to abandon modern medication for traditional healing

The suspects getting loaded on the police pickup. These confessed to their actions with minimal worries.

Mbarara, (UG):- Authorities in Mbarara City Wednesday arrested five women for allegedly coercing patients at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) to abandon modern medicine for traditional healing.

The suspects, including Agnes Asiimwe from Kabale, Rosemary Ayebare and Akantuma Elizabeth from Mbarara, Loyce Akatukunda, and Sharon Atuhaire from Mitooma, were apprehended by detectives led by Swizen Tibesigwa, the head of operations at Mbarara Central Police Station.

The arrest came after a caretaker, Evelyn Kansiime, reported that the suspects were interfering with a patient’s treatment plan. The hospital security initiated the operation, which led to the arrest of the five women.

The accused, all linked to self-proclaimed witch doctors in the region, are said to be moving around promoting a hoax narrative of a powerful witch doctor in Karooza Mitooma, who wields extraordinary powers including making mountains fight.

The hospital administration, led by Dr. Oriokot Francis, Deputy Director, held an emergency meeting and condemned the actions of the suspects, citing the recent incident and the devastating impact of witch doctors on the healthcare system.

Halson Kagure, the Mbarara Hospital’s Public Relations Officer, expressed scepticism about the effectiveness of witchdoctors, questioning why they operate in secrecy if their methods are credible.

“As an administration, we vehemently condemn such people who play on the lives of patients to earn a living. If witch doctors were qualified enough to manage patients, why are they operating under the dark?” Kagure wondered.

The hospital administration has vowed to intensify efforts to combat the vice and continue to sensitize the masses on the benefits of seeking medical treatment.

Recently, Dr. Deus Twesigye, Acting Hospital Director, warned patients to be cautious and announced measures to combat fraud and illegal activities in the hospital.

It’s remembered that a few months ago 19-year-old girl Shirat Namatongo was caught red-handed donned in clinical coat defrauding patients. The suspect was later found that she was a girlfriend to the Mbarara University Medical Student and the duo was also detained and released on bond.

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