HC Deb 19 February 1930 vol 235 cc1364-5

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information as to the growth in Uganda of the Christian sect known as Malakites; whether the Government of Uganda has decided on any steps for the suppression of this sect; and, if so, for what reasons?


As I am giving a full answer to my hon. Friends question, and it is rather long, I will, with his permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The Malaki sect, so called, from the name of one of its founders, made its appearance in Buganda in 1914, and made rapid progress in many parts of the Protectorate of Uganda during the first two or three years of its existence. The tenets of the sect are based on a literal and distorted interpretation of the Bible, the main plank in its platform being a strong objection to all medical, sanitary and veterinary measures, an objection which is traceable to the fact that, in modern Luganda, the word employed to signify a medical practitioner is the same as that which, in the Luganda version of the Bible, is used to translate such words as wizard and sorcerer.

The policy of the Government towards the Malaki sect, from its inception, has been one of non-interference, provided its adherents have not, by endangering public health or public property, transgressed against such Ordinances as those providing for the control of smallpox, plague or rinderpest. The attitude of the members of the sect, as a whole, has been one of passive resistance to medical and veterinary activities, and it is only within the last three years, and then only in a portion of the Bulemezi county of the Mengo district that any active opposition has been shown. As recently as March last the Governor received reports from all Provinces which indicated that the Malakites were steadily decreasing both in numbers and influence. The recent incident referred to in the Press was not a general movement, but the work of a few-fanatics.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether a judicial inquiry is being held into the deaths of six persons, members of the religious sect of Malakites, which occurred as the result of an affray at Kalagala, Uganda, on 20th July last; and, if so, whether the findings of such inquiry will be published?


A magisterial inquiry was held by the District Commissioner at Kampala last July immediately after the disturbance. The finding of the magistrate was that the five persons killed died from the results of injuries to the skull due to blows from heavy sticks received in the course of a riot provoked by the murderous assault by the deceased upon the persons of Mr. W. V. Kendall and Chief Susani Muinda; that the persons causing the deaths of the deceased were only carrying out their duty in law of using every effort to assist their lawful chief and to protect him and a British public servant from being assassinated; and that it was a case of "Justifiable Homicide." A full summary of the magistrate's report and finding was made public in Uganda. This was repeated in a telegram from Nairobi of the 31st July published in the "Times" of the 31st August.