Tuesday January 24 2017

Herbalist accused of mutilating toddler

By JALIRA NAMYALO & EPHRAIM KASOZI

KAMPALA.

Prosecution witnesses have pinned a witchdoctor in Rakai District for allegedly kidnapping and subjecting a one-year-old toddler to body mutilation in 2008.

Ms Agnes Nankya, a farmer in Masaka, told the High Court that in 2009 she rescued Resty Nakirijja (now 10 years) from a bush while in a sack.

She testified that upon opening the sack, she found a baby with body parts mutilated including her tongue, teeth and the private parts.
“I was frightened and made alarm causing people to storm the place. Then we mobilised and took the child to Dr Lwanga’s Clinic in Kinoni who upon checkup referred us to Masaka hospital but we did not have money,” she testified.

Ms Nankya told court that while at Dr Lwanga’s Clinic, a man she later identified as Stephen Wasswa surfaced and questioned her where and why she picked the child from the bush and threatened her before giving her Shs1,000 for buying milk.

The witness narrated that four days later, a woman called Regina Nakato came to claim the same child and upon describing the man who had earlier questioned her about the same child; she screamed, “That is Wasswa who stole my child.

Mr Wasswa, 61, was last year committed to High Court for trial on charges of alleged kidnap with intent to murder, an offence which attracts maximum sentence of death upon conviction.

The state alleges that on July 19, 2008 at Namiyaga Village in Rakai District by force, Mr Wasswa kidnapped the girl with intent to murder or to dispose of the said child as to put her in danger of being murdered.

He was re-arrested in January 2016 from Mukono in a joint operation of the police and a local child rights organisation, Kyampisi Childcare Ministries.
He is said to have been hiding after jumping court bail pending trial in 2010.

Court heard that the suspect was charged with his twin brother only identified as Kato who was killed by the mob in Masaka in 2008 after recovery of the girl from the road side.

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