Jinja, (UG): Kiira Region Police Command (KRPC) is actively pursuing a witch doctor from Iganga District for involvement in an illegal abortion which led to the death of a 16-year-old girl in Bugembe, Jinja.
The deceased identified as Moreen Kabwire, who sat primary seven last year at Nakanyonyi Primary School has been staying with her grandmother Betty Babirye, 58, at Wanyama cell (Mutekanga zone) Bugembe – Jinja city. She is a daughter to Joel Mbalyowelo, a resident of Wanyama cell, Bugembe in Jinja city.
SP James Mubi, the Kiira regional police spokesperson confirmed the report and said the attempted abortion of a four-month pregnancy was conducted early this year using local herbs provided by the runaway witch doctor.
In a police statement issued on Saturday, Jan 6, Mubi says on Tuesday this week (January 2), Kabiwre mysteriously disappeared from home prompting her grandmother to report a case of disappearance at Bugembe police station.
The following day, she (Kabwire) returned home when she was too weak after the witch doctor had allegedly inserted roots of wandering jew in the private parts of the victim supplemented with bitter herbs in liquid form to implement the abortion.
Mubi explains that; “On January 5, 2024 she started bleeding seriously and she was rushed to Jinja regional referral hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.”
“Before the fateful day on January 5 the deceased had disclosed to police that the boyfriend identified as Junior a local watch man at his uncle’s (Stephen Obwana) parking made her pregnant and ordered her not to share the information with anybody adding that if she does so then she will be killed and her body will never be seen anywhere and this could have prompted the girl to conceal the pregnancy,” SP Mubi added.
The victim before her eventual death revealed that she was taken to a witch doctor in Iganga in the company of the boyfriend’s brother identified as Isaac Okurut and a neighbour Ms Eseza Namuyomba who have been arrested to help with investigations while the boyfriend who is on the run is also being hunted.
“The case of defilement has since been opened up against the main suspect; only identified as Junior the deceased’s girlfriend while his brother, Isaac Okurut and the neighbour Eseza Namuyomba have been arrested and charged with rash and Negligent because their reckless acts caused death of a person,” SP Mubi said adding that the suspects are being detained at Bugembe police station.
Mubi added that police also confiscated Okurut’s mobile phones and several communication audios between the deceased, boyfriend Junior, Isaac Okurut, Eseza Namuyomba and the witch doctor were retrieved which will help them in their ongoing investigations.
“We would like to strongly warn witch doctors from getting involved in illegal acts like conducting illegal abortion among other crimes, we won’t hesitate to arrest any person involved in aiding abortion before, during and after the commission of the crimes,” Mubi warned.
Official police figures indicate that at least 1401 Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases were reported in the Kiira region from 2021 to 2023 many of which have resulted in loss of lives, early pregnancies, poverty, and low self-esteem, among other challenges.
Police have pledged commitment to arresting and prosecuting all culprits of GBV cases, confirming that many have been sent to Kirinya prisons leading to a reduction in such cases, as well as partnering with their stakeholders like the office of the DPP, Busoga Kingdom, religious leaders who condemn the GBV practices in their preachings.
By press time, the body of the deceased girl was still lying at Jinja Main Hospital mortuary pending postmortem as thorough investigations continue.
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