By Ivan Mwine
The Uganda Police have warned all parents and guardians to step up protection around their children after intelligence gathered indicating that there is an increase in the number of child murders since schools reopened last month.
This revelation was made by police spokesperson CP Fed Enanga who revealed in a statement dated Monday January that the police is concerned about the increase in incidents of child murders.
“Most of the incidents arise out of domestic violence, which is a major indicator of risk to children. The perpetrators who are violent to their partners, are also frequently violent to their children, including murder,” Enanga said.
Citing an example of such cases, he noted that; “For instance, on the 27.01.2022, the police in Rukungiri arrested three siblings who conspired and chopped off the head of an 18 months old infant. This occurred at Nyakatembe “A” cell, Kikakara Parish, in Rukungiri district.”
He identified the suspects as; Tukwasibwe Felistar, a 22-year-old mother, and her two brothers, Twinamasiko Jackson, 37 and Garubanda Cypriano, 25.
Enanga revealed that suspects were angered by the failure of the victim’s father, Nyamuhemba Venansio, a fish dealer at Rwenshama Landing Site, to provide basic necessities and support, which prompted them to murder the infant.
He also revealed that in Kalaki district, the police have in custody, Enyimu Simon, who on the 27.01.2022, at around 9:45, attacked his wife, who was carrying their 10-month-old son, Opolot Felix on the back.
“During the fight, their son slid from the mother’s back and fell in boiling water. The victim was rushed by the grandfather, Opolot Charles, to Soroti Referral Hospital, but unfortunately succumbed to the injuries. This happened at Ongeloi village, in Kalaki district,” Enanga noted.
He cited another example of infanticide saying; “Again, on the 29.01.2022, at around 10 am, Namagombwe Salima, an 18-year-old housewife, to Mubiru Rashid, left her village in Masita with a panga and went to Nakasisi village, Bugiri district, to attack a co-wife, whom her husband had rented for a second home. She did not find her at home, but instead hacked to death a 3-month-old baby girl, identified as Kigenyi Nuhu, a daughter to Birungi Shakira, who is a friend to her co-wife. The suspect arrested and in custody.”
Citing another case, Enanga said that; “On the 29.01.2022, Oyanga Patrick, a 26-year-old peasant, of Iyama village, Alebtong district, got Okullo Thomas, a 7-year-old, male juvenile, trying to steal jackfruits from his compound. He grabbed the victim and assaulted him to death in his compound. The suspect was arrested and is in custody.”
He stressed that; ‘These incidents indicate that Child torture and murders are real. Many children are at great risk of homicide, when their parents are at the point of separation or after. Parents also kill their children, as a means of taking revenge on their formal partner for leaving them. They view the children as their possession, therefore, no one else would have them.”
He also noted that; “Other significant risk factors for children are; criminal record, use of weapons, injuries inflicted, financial problems, alcohol, drugs, mental illness, victim is pregnant, jealous, separation, threats to kill, sexual abuse and attempts to strangle, among others.”
He concluded by saying that; “We call upon anyone in a domestic violence situation, toxic relationship or staying next to aggressive neighbours, to seek help from the Child and Family Protection Officers at the nearest police station, the LCs, probation officers and NGOs advocating children’s rights. They have counsellors who work with family members to create a safety plan, help with stress management, communication and talk about the signs of addictive relationships and violence. In all the incidents above, the young children’s rights to life, was absolutely violated.”