West & Central Africa

Witch doctor pastors selling “miracles” ‘contrary to teaching of Jesus’

Retired Anglican Bishop Zack Niringiye has condemned the proliferation of bible-carrying witchdoctors selling “miracles” in Ugandan media stations. He said that these ‘miracle cures’ were contrary to the teachings of Jesus, in

whose name they proliferate these miracles and fleece vulnerable poor people of their little income.The proliferation of ‘miracle workers’ has become a big concern for Bishop Niringiye who said Ugandans have “elevated simple outcomes of hard work like buying a car or getting a promotion, to miracles, which they seek from pastors.”

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is battling the problem without any effective law because the Witchcraft Act was enacted by the British colonial administration and has never been amended to address the modern menace of witchcraft.

The commission which oversees proliferation of such broadcast by mobile telephony providers, social media and the Internet, is unable to do anything about the fraudsters. Its impact has only been on radio stations in Kampala using the obsolete Witchcraft Act.

The radio witchdoctors who call themselves pastors would be on air, on any radio station, and in their scam, “line up several callers who phone in to thank them for their great charms that secured them a fantastic business deal, a visa, a job or a dream lover. They give their phone numbers after every few sentences to lure more victims,” an observer said.

The Ugandan police have arrested some of the “miracle workers”. Some “pastors” use cordless electric shock devices on their unsuspecting congregation. The “‘pastor’ triggers the device from his pocket and hits a believer a couple of metres off with an electric shock, the victim believes it is the Holy Spirit around the ‘man of God’. The police disclosed

The gullible and innocent congregation usually empty their account or even take a loan to ‘sow’ a big financial ‘seed’ in the pastor’s church.

The concern here, according to an analyst said, is that even the law enforcement agents due to their superstitious beliefs are afraid to antagonise some unknown powers which the conmen purport to represent.


Hassan John is west Africa Editor and priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image credits: Google images/