Police in Buikwe District on Wednesday recovered the body of a 2-year-old boy believed to have been dumped in River Nile by the mother on Tuesday before committing suicide later that night.
Juliet Nantambi, 22, a resident of Mbiko Village, Njeru Municipality in Buikwe District, had on Tuesday afternoon reportedly dumped Solomon Ssekite into the Nile, according to Mr David Ayasika, an eyewitness working at the Bridge.
“We saw a woman with a baby suspiciously walking along the Bridge claiming that she wanted to go to Buvuma. Fortunately, she was intercepted by people. We alerted security when the woman’s intentions, gestures and body language changed. But before we could confront her, she threw the baby into the water before plunging herself into the same River later,” Mr Ayasika narrated.
Mr Ayasika added that he and other colleagues frantically rushed with a boat but managed to rescue the woman who was immediately handed over to the police while efforts to get the child were futile.
Earlier, reports were swirling that the deceased committed suicide while in police custody, a narrative her sister, Susan Nakandi and the police have denied.
“My sister did not die while in police custody as earlier suggested but had gone to answer nature’s call and was instead found trying to commit suicide and was rushed to Jinja hospital where she passed on at 8:00pm,” Ms Nakandi said.
The Ssezibwa Regional Police Spokesperson, Ms Hellen Butoto, confirmed the incident saying: “This lady was at the police station but did not die in our police cells as reported. Even her names were not entered into our lock-up book. She attempted to kill herself by jumping into the river, but later police realized that she was not in good health and took her to the hospital from where she died.”
Ms Butoto added that the woman had a mental disorder that had been fueled by her separation from the husband immediately after giving birth to the baby boy.
Ms Angela Ssali, another sister to the deceased, said her sister developed a mental disorder following a domestic misunderstanding with her husband who abandoned her with the child and fled to Masaka.
Mr Henry Maganga, a councillor representing Njeru Division, regretted that the incident happened at time when nobody could give the lady any assistance yet she had a child and the husband was nowhere to be seen.
Both bodies were taken to Jinja Hospital mortuary for postmortem before being handed over to their relatives for burial.
“With the help of the police, we are teaming up with relatives and friends to take the bodies to the deceased’s parents’ place in Mityana District for burial since the father of the child is unreachable,” Mr Mr Maganga said.