New Vision (Kampala)

1 March 2013

Uganda: Woman Arrested for Abducting Children

It is eight years ago since a mother, Mariam Kyoowa, then a student, lost her baby who was just two weeks old.

Yiga, the grandfather to the toddler then, says the traumatising incident led to the arrest of his wife, Florence Nantongo and consequently, the break up of his family because his son, Henry Mpuuga accused her of killing his baby.

However Nantongo, who passed on, was released because there wasn't evidence pinning her to the crime.

When Kyoowa received news that her murdered baby was now a grown 8-year old, she could not believe it. The story of how her child had suddenly reappeared is a sickening tale though.

The 8-year old, Agilla Namusoke, has grown up with a stranger, Fosa Namuloke, who snatched her from her family. Namuloke's arrest came under bizarrely similar cricumstances, only this time she got caught.

Namuloke was arrested after curious neighbours reported to police that she had a baby that might not be hers. The mother of the baby, Florence Namara (right breastfeeding), said her baby was stolen from her maid on January 23. She filed a case at the police under file number CRB 215/2013.

Shocking story

Yiga said that when the 8-year old girl was abducted, Namuloke had been his tenant in Najjanankumbi, Church zone. Days after the baby's disappearance, Namuloke left his place.

Shockingly, after abducting the baby she was arrested with, she went back to Yiga's place as a tenant, exactly eight years after abducting his grand daughter.

Yiga said Namuloke was busted after a misunderstanding with her family. At a recent birthday party, a whistleblower overheard Namuloke's relatives accusing her of having abducted the elder girl she claimed was her daughter.

After her arrest, her lover, Deo Mayengo, said when he met Namuloke she told him she was pregnant. He said when they agreed to stay together she showed up with two children, Namusoke and the baby.

Deo said that she convinced him that she could not produce sufficient milk to breast feed so he embarked on buying milk for the baby.

When Namuloke was busted a month after abducting the baby, detectives who had handled the first case led by AIP Allen Manyindo took her to a hospital on Busaabala Road where she claimed she had given birth to her elder child. However she was not anywhere documented in the hospital records as having given birth from there.

She was also subjected medical tests by a police doctor whose report showed that she had not been pregnant at least in the past three years.

Manyindo further said that neighbours got curious because the baby she had returned with did not look newly born and they had never seen her pregnant. She had also told neighbours that she could not breastfeed because she was HIV positive and did not want to infect her child.

The mother of the elder child, Mariam Kyoowa, was overwhelmed by the news: "I can not believe my child has been found because I had lost hope and I had always accused my mother in-law of having abducted her!"

Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi said they will subject Namusoke to a medical check to ascertain who her real parents are.

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