Six-year-old boy dies of suspected poisoning as toll rises to five

Monday April 12 2021
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This undated photo provided by family shows one of the victims of Rakai poisoning, Alfa Kamoga. Kamoga died on April 12, 2021 in hospital just hours after his four siblings succumbed to the same. PHOTO/ COURTESY

By Ambrose Musasizi

A six-year-old boy in Rakai District has died of suspected poisoning just hours after his four siblings succumbed to the same.

Alfa Kamoga is among the five children who were reportedly given Paraqua, a highly toxic chemical herbicide, by their grandmother who allegedly mistook it for a common herb, Vernonia amygdalina locally known as Mululuuza.

Kamoga died Monday morning at Rubaga hospital where he had been admitted following the death of his four siblings on Sunday.

The other deceased children who have been living with their grandmother in Kirangira Village, Kasankala Sub-county in Rakai District are Jovan Kivumbi, 4, Shivan Mirembe, 3, Elijah Lubyayi, 3, and Sarah Nabukenya, 2.

According to Mr Fred Bongole, a relative of the deceased, the children had been unwell for some days.

“Their grandmother had become accustomed to using herbal medicine she says heals faster.  The local herbs and the herbicide had been kept in empty bottles of mineral water and granny could not differentiate between the two,” he said.

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“She told us that she realised that she had made a mistake after tasting what she had given to the children,” Mr Bongole explained.

Ms Peace Nambatya and Daniel Wasswa, are the parents of the deceased.

Mr Edward Ssemwezi, the grandfather was disconsolate. He said the children visited them for Easter holidays and have since been under their care.

Kamoga’s father, Mr Wasswa told this reporter that he died while struggling.

“It has been a painful situation of having him on the sick bed after the death of his siblings. He struggled and it seems he had a lot to tell me but he failed”, he tearfully explained.

Mr Edward Ssemwezi the grandfather of the children who lived with them said Kamoga will be buried in Lwamaggwa village in Lwamaggwa Sub County in Rakai district.

Ms Shifa Kiribwa, the Rakai District police commander, told Daily Monitor that they have not made any arrests related to the death of the children but said investigations are ongoing.

“Of course there are no clues to the effect that someone intended to kill the innocent souls. We are in touch with the doctors and they have shared with us the post-mortem report as we do investigations,” she said in an interview.

Three of the children were buried in Kirangira Village, Kasankala Sub-county whereas the fourth one was buried in Lwamaggwa Village, Lwamaggwa Sub-county, Rakai District.

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