14 August 2016

Father ruins daughter’s life with HIV infection

Wakiso- In the wee hours of January 21, 2013, Hadijah Nakimuli, a resident of Kinaawa village in Wakiso District, while doing her chores, saw a girl walking with a limp.
The girl was a daughter to her tenant. Just like anyone in the neighbourhood with curiosity, Nakimuli stopped the young girl to find out what could have happened since she had been in good shape the previous day.

The young girl tried to cover up with a little lie, which did not convince Nakimuli. The girl, whose name we can’t reveal for ethical reasons, seemed to be hiding something painful at heart.

Nakimuli insisted on knowing the truth and finally, the minor, with a lot of restraint, narrated the ordeal that befell her. She told Nakimuli how someone had forced her into sex.

The bitter truth
Nakimuli interrupted the narration and demanded to know who it was. Mumbling with fear, the girl mentioned that it was her father who had defiled her. But she requested Nakimuli to keep it a secret because her father had earlier on warned her against opening up to anyone or even mere interacting with the neighbours.

Nakimuli agreed to the terms of the little girl. Reality struck when she imagined herself in the shoes of the girl’s mother.

It was a bitter pill for her to swallow, Nakimuli rushed to the LC1 secretary and reported the issue.

The secretary took immediate action and summoned Denis Ssebugwawo, the father of the victim, for a meeting.
When interrogated about the incident, Ssebugwawo denied any wrong doing. The village council then invited the girl to the meeting to testify against her father. She confirmed the allegations against him.

Given the nature of the allegations, the local council officials decided to forward the case to police for further management.

Special Police Constable Juma Kaweke picked Ssebugwawo and took him to Nateete Police Station, where he was detained as investigations commenced.

On that same day, the girl was taken to the police surgeon for medical examination. Dr Santo Ojara found out in his examination that the girl’s private parts had been raptured.

Dr Ojara estimated penetration to have happened in the past five days.
The doctor then carried out an HIV test to find out Ssebugwawo’s HIV status. He was found HIV positive.
The officers were worried that the suspect would be dangerous to the people in his guardianship. Their biggest challenge was the victim had nowhere to stay. And could not let her go back to the ‘torture house’.
Dwelling Places, a civil organisation at Mutundwe in Kampala, offered her accommodation while investigations continued.

Having received the medical reports, the police amended the charges from defilement to aggravated defilement.
Ssebugwawo was taken back to hospital to examine if he was mentally stable. Dr Mohammed Kimwero confirmed that he was in his right state of mind.

Ssebugwawo was then remanded to prison.
During the trial, the investigations officer, Sergeant Leonard Mukwaya, together with SPC Kaweke after two days visited the crime scene in Kinaawa village in Wakiso District but they found an empty house.

“We were informed by Ssebugwawo’s landlady (Nakimuli) with whom they shared the same yard that his wife had taken all his property,” Sgt Mukwaaya said.

Ms Sarah Linda Kisakye, a social worker at Dwelling Places, during the trial in court, said they handed over the young girl to her relative, Harriet Nassejje, who resides in Kyotera District from where she has since escaped.


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