Police Embark on Special Child Protection Campaign as 7 Are Brutally Murdered in A Week

The soaring numbers of child murders since the start of this year have forced police to embark on special child protection campaign as seven toddlers are killed in the last seven days. The campaign, according to a senior police officers attached to homicide, child and family protection units, will be spearheaded by community liaison officers attached to each police station, division or region.

A Superintendent of Police who is declined to be quoted because is not authorised to speak to the media explained that liaison officers will be backed up by officers in charge of child and family protection units.

“We register at least five cases every week of children brutally murdered by parents, relatives or neighbours. This is what has forced us to conduct a campaign specifically targeting parents, guardians and local leaders on what they need to do to protect the helpless children,” an ASP said.

Some of the latest child murders that have been recorded by homicide include the torture to death of Mary Akello 3, in Serere district which occurred at the weekend. Akello, according to homicide, was brutalised and murdered by James Emidu 21, for yet to be established reason.

Police findings show that Akello was living with grandmother Joyce Akello, who left the young girl being attended to by Emidu as she rushed for a village savings and credit organisation meeting at Atirir township.

“Upon her return, she found when the victim had collapsed dead, with bruises all over the body.  The manfriend upon realizing that the 3-year-old, had collapsed and died, escaped from the village,” a report by made by Serere homicide detective and shared to CID headquarters in Kampala reads.

Another gruesome murder of a child happened in Kayunga district where Ajila Kadaga 4, was alleged tortured to death by three people. Like Mary Akello, Kadaga was living her grandmother a one Zaidi Naleba at Kiwangala village in Busaana sub-county.

Commissioner of Police-CP Fred Enanga, who is also the police spokesperson, confirmed that child murders have attracted special police attention. Enanga said police would ensure all culprits are apprehended but also ensure such incidents are minimized.

“We continue to register incidents of Child Homicides across the country, under circumstances of child torture. In all the incidents, the young children are taken through acts of severe pain and suffering, causing death,” Enanga said.

Enanga said a number of suspects have so far been apprehended in regard to child murders. Police have arrested Emidu for Mary Akello murder while Naleba Zaidi, Annet Sabano and Doreen Hasakya have been arrested over killed Kadaga.

“These three suspects had repeatedly harassed, tortured and intimidated Ajila Kadaga. The girl’s body was found with several burns and bruises on the legs and arms. Such acts on children are condemned,” Enanga said.

Two children were killed by poisoning by their own mother, Rebecca Nam, after a quarrel with grandmother. Trouble started when grandmother blamed Nam for buying less food. The grandmother had reportedly been subjecting Nam to emotion torture since the children had been abandoned by their father.

Detectives have established that Nam got angered due to the emotional torture and administered poison to her two children aged who included a three-year-old Barbara Apio and Among who was just months old. The toddlers were announced dead at Atapara hospital. 

“The police remain committed to pursuing every incident of aggravated torture and murder of children, and will ensure perpetrators of child torture and murder are brought to justice,” Enanga said.

The mother of Apio and Among is still receiving treatment at Atapara hospital in a critical condition as she too attempted to terminate her life using poison. Police say children are continuously becoming vulnerable because of poor oversight, neglect, anger and frustration. Locals have been reminded to prioritize child rights, revive efforts of monitoring avenues and circumstances through which children are killed.