Crime

11-year-old pupil arrested for attempting to poison teacher

A primary five pupil of Ntayigilwa primary school in Ikumbya sub-county, Luuka district was on Tuesday handed over to police for allegedly attempting to poison his teacher. 

LUUKA, UGANDA: A primary five pupil of Ntayigilwa primary school in Ikumbya sub-county, Luuka district was on Tuesday handed over to police for allegedly attempting to poison his teacher. 

The 11-year-old pupil allegedly prepared three pieces of roasted maize, which he laced with a poisonous plant to poison his teacher, Mr Steven Lubaale who had previously punished him for arriving late at school.

Initially, he intended to offer the maize as “a token of appreciation to his teachers.” However, upon realizing that Lubaale was absent, he withdrew the maize ‘offer’ that he’d concealed in a black polythene bag.

When confronted by other teachers who requested the maize since they were also his educators, the teenager became evasive and sought refuge in the classroom, insisting that he would only give the maize to his favourite teacher, Lubaale.

As one of his classmates attempted to take the polythene bag and eat some of the maize due to hunger, the learner warned against consuming it, raising suspicions.

Lubaale then questioned the learner why he was neither eating the maize nor sharing it with others, prompting the suspect to confess that he had poisoned it with the intention of harming his teacher.

The pupil claimed to have been subjected to severe physical punishment and public humiliation by Lubaale.

School administrators declined to comment on the matter, stating that the pupil has been handed over to the Ikumbya police station for further investigation. 

During interrogations, the pupil revealed that his mother, who operates a shrine in the area, assisted him in mixing the poison and applying it to the maize before roasting it. 

The learner explained that he had been a victim of bullying by fellow pupils who witnessed his mistreatment without being given an opportunity to explain his reasons for arriving late. Feeling his pride had been damaged, he decided to poison Lubaale.

Luuka district police commander, John Oese, revealed that counselling sessions will be organized for the learner, his parents, and school administrators to address the underlying issues and prevent such hostilities in the future. 

In the meantime, the learner will be temporarily placed in the custody of immediate relatives until his parents return, in order to foster collective understanding and resolution of the matter. 

Wilberforce Ntumba, the Ikumbya sub-county LC III chairperson, expressed concern over the increasing criminal behavior among school-going children in their community.

He attributed this to the lack of parental guidance in shaping acceptable morals and the influence of unregulated cinema halls showcasing fictional movies. 

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