KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan police on Monday arrested a man attempting to enter the parliamentary building in the capital carrying the severed head of a child in a wrapped gift box.
Police said in a statement that the victim was a child of about five to eight years, giving no more details.
Police “assure the general public that the investigations are vigorously being undertaken to ensure that the perpetrators are taken to court,” said the statement.
Parliamentary Watch Uganda, a local group that monitors the activities of the legislature, said the gruesome package was intended to be delivered to the office of the parliamentary speaker, Rebecca Kadaga.
A spokesman for Kadaga, a member of the governing National Resistance Movement party who has held the speaker’s post for two terms, declined to comment.
Lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would punish the crime of human sacrifice with the death penalty. Supporters of the bill say such legislation is long overdue.
Ugandans on social media expressed outrage over the incident, with some pointing out that it had the hallmarks of a ritual killing. Children are frequently targeted in such killings across the East African country, according to the police and some watchdog groups.