6-year-old kills sister in hunt for edible rat

Wednesday March 30 2016



Tragedy befell Kakite village in Kamuda Sub-county, Soroti District, after a six-year-old juvenile hit dead his three-year-old sister with a hand hoe as they struggled to kill a wild edible rat that had entered an anthill.

According to some of the children who were playing with the two before the fateful incident, on seeing the rat enter the anthill, the eldest of the duo, picked a hoe to try to dig out the rat from the anthill. The children’s father is a renown hunter in the area.
Mr Juma Hassan Nyene, the mideast police spokesperson, said the incident happened on Monday evening in Kakite village, adding that police dashed to the scene to pick up the body for a postmortem report yesterday morning.

He identified the deceased child’s parents as Ms Esther Acen, 30, and Mr Charles Ecunu, 40, all residents of Kamuda Sub-County.
In Teso, the edible rat commonly known as ebebele, lives in anthills and in graveyards. It is a delicacy among the Iteso both during times of plenty and scarcity, it mainly feeds on groundnuts and root tubers.

Mr Gusberito Elaju, 89, a former hunter, said when they were growing up, the rat used to be served during market days but since the onset of modernity, the edible rat is now only a delicacy for the poor in villages.

He added that to successfully hunt down the rat, one has to close all entries of an anthill to ensure it does not slip off from the openings.