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Uganda closes 23 radio stations for ‘promoting witchcraft’

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Ugandan authorities have closed 23 radio stations for “promoting witchcraft’’ and trying to con people out of money.

The stations’ licencses were suspended after they had guests on air who claimed they could heal diseases like HIV, Pamela Ankunda, the Uganda Communications Commission spokesperson, told dpa on Wednesday.

“The radios have been promoting witchcraft. People claimed on these radios to cure diseases like AIDS and cancer,’’ she said. “These people have been fraudulently getting money from the public.

“Their operations and licences have been suspended until they are able to assure the commission through writing that they will abide by the minimum broadcasting standards.’’

She said that Uganda has 292 radio stations, mostly privately-owned.

It is not uncommon for various religious leaders, self-proclaimed prophets and traditional healers in Africa to claim being able to cure HIV and other incurable diseases.