A woman, who had employed a 10-year old girl into exploitive domestic activities after forcing her out of school, has been arrested in connection with the crime.
The victim doesn't know the name of the supposed aunt she was staying with
Francoise Mukundiriki, a resident of Kangondo II in Nyarutarama Cell, Remera Sector in Gasabo District, was arrested on Friday from her home, where the victim was also rescued by local authorities.
She is currently held at Remera Police station.
The arrest followed a story published in last Friday's edition of The New Times, as local authorities and security organs were not aware of the victim's six months suffering at Mukundiriki's home.
The victim, who was in Primary One at the time she was brought to Kigali from her home in Huye District, in January, had been working for Mukundiriki as a baby-sitter for her two-year old daughter, besides doing other domestic activities like cooking and fetching water.
According to Police, Mukundiriki will be charged with using a child and engaging her in exploitive work.
By law, children below 16 years are prohibited from engaging in economic activities. It also prohibits forced labour with culprits risking a prison sentence of three to five years.
Mukundiriki had claimed the young girl's parents had abandoned her, leaving her with an aunt. However, police investigations indicate that Mukundiriki neither knows the name of the aunt who she said gave her the young girl, nor the girl's parents.
The victim also doesn't know the name of the supposed aunt she was staying with.
Sources say Mukundiriki, who is also from Huye, escaped from her home to Kigali in 2010 when she was in Senior Five, after she realised she was pregnant.
It is not yet clear if Mukundiriki will also be charged with torture, as the child claimed that her captor was mistreating her, including beating her, which sometimes forced her to seek refuge in the neighbourhood.
In the past weeks, the girl was wandering the streets of Nyarutarama, begging passers-by to help her reunite with her parents and resume her education.
In a related development, police has also arrested two other women, Jeanne Mukazitoni and Eugenie Nyiransekanabanga, in connection with using another 10-year old girl as a domestic worker.
The young girl, who is unrelated to any of the duo, according to police, was brought to Kigali from Ngoma District in April by Mukazitoni to work for Nyiransekanabanga and has been working for the latter as a baby-sitter for her two children, aged one and three years.
Meanwhile, by press time, yesterday, authorities in Remera sector were in the process of reuniting the two children with their families.
"There are procedures we have to go through to take them back to their homes; they will be taken by officials, who will hand them over to the authorities in their respective areas," Felix Kayihura, the Executive Secretary of Remera Sector, said in a telephone interview.
The two victims' captors were neighbours.