1941: Ugandan wizard dispatched with unripe bananas

Fabiano Kinene, Seperiano Kiwanuka and Albert Iseja all appeared before a Ugandan court in 1941, charged with murdering an old man in their village. According to the defendants, the victim was practising witchcraft and they were acting to defend the village.

Kinene claimed the victim was discovered in the middle of the night, “naked, with strange objects and acting surreptitiously”:

“They caught him performing an act which they genuinely believed to be an act of witchcraft… they killed him in the way which, in the olden times, was considered proper for the killing of a wizard… Death was caused by the forcible insertion of unripe bananas into the deceased’s bowel, through the anus…”

The court lowered the charge from murder to manslaughter, ruling that acts of attempted witchcraft might constitute a “grave and sudden provocation”.

Source: R v. Fabiano Kinene, 1941, cited in Ugandan Law Review. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.