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UGANDA

Judicial CP - February 2005



Corpun file 15533

The Monitor, Kampala, 7 February 2005

Child neglect cost Luwero women strokes of the cane

By Rogers Mulindwa

The rate of child neglect in Luwero district has reached an alarming stage provoking the district leaders to administer cane the suspects.

Ms. Topister Nabitalo, 28 of Kamira village in Bamunanika County on February 2 received five strokes from the district probation and social welfare officer, Ms. Joyce Namigadde.

She had placed her seven-month old baby girl in a basket and hid her under the bed for an estimated period of seven days without food.

Police in Kamira received a tip from the neighbours and rescued the baby whom medics said would be at the door of death had she spent another 24 hours without feeding.

The child looked dehydrated and kept yawning for something to eat but the mother could not even allow her to suckle until the district officials interfered.

This made the probation officer angry and she ordered Nabitalo to lie on her stomach to be punished. A local administration police constable got a stick as the victim pleaded to be pardoned but the visibly concerned Namigadde did not change her mind.

She gave her five strokes on her behind and thereafter rushed her to the office to make her statement.

Nabitalo said the child’s father whom she identified as Fred Bogere, a shop attendant in Kasana trading centre had abandoned her shortly after delivery.
She had given birth to the girl in the hands of the medical personnel in Kamira Health centre III on May 5, 2004 according to the records at the health unit.

A lady from the staff at the health unit who preferred to be identified as Jane said the baby was in good health on delivery but added that they had not heard from the mother since she was discharged.

The neighbours testified before the probation officers that Nabitalo regularly walked without her child claiming that the husband had taken her away.
“I could not raise the money to feed myself and his child,” she said in defence of her decision to hide the child under the bed. Nabitalo who was dressed in a purple busuuti (traditional wear) had treated hair and confessed to drinking a bottle of beer daily.

[.....]

2005 The Monitor Publications Ltd.




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