Uganda: Three charged with murder of killing baby for ritual sacrifice

Three members of the same family including mother (L) have been charged with murder after killing of a one and a half years old child. (FILE PHOTO)

Published: November 6, 2018
By: Conrad Ahabwe – PML Daily correspondent

Three charged with murder of killing baby for ritual sacrifice

KAMPALA – Three people who allegedly ripped open the stomach of a one-year-old baby girl in a ritual sacrifice last week in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District, have been charged with murder.

According to reports, the mother of the baby, assisted by her maid, allegedly killed the toddler last week and removed her body parts in pursuit for riches.

The suspects were arrested at Mulago where they had taken the body of the toddler, claiming she had died as a result of severe diarrhoea.

Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, said the third suspect in the matter is a male neighbour who allegedly witnessed the incident but did not report to the authorities.

“We first arrested the mother and the baby’s caretaker before arresting the third suspect who reportedly got to know of whatever had happened but he chose to keep silent. The trio will be arraigned in court once their file returns from RSA,” Mr Owoyesigyire told journalists on Monday.

He said the file has been sent to the Resident State Attorney for advice, adding that all investigations point to a possible child sacrifice orchestrated by the deceased’s mother, female caretaker and their male friend, all currently detained at Kira Road police station.

The girl’s mother, accompanied by the caretaker took the girl to Mulago hospital on Monday night claiming her health had rapidly deteriorated.

However, on examination, doctors at Mulago hospital realised the girl was lifeless, had no sexual organ, no intestines, no uterus and other vital body organs.
Owoyesigyire said doctors alerted police that swung in action and arrested the mother and caretaker. Police conducted an impromptu search at the suspects’ home where blood drops were discovered on the floor.

Police have said a medical examination conducted against the suspects had revealed they are sane ruling out the possibility of them having acted outside their normal senses.

“The Doctors’ medical examinations have ruled out the suspicion that these people acted possibly mad. Results show they are sane and acted while in their normal senses,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.

Police said the mother and caretaker were being charged with murder while their male co-accused had been slapped with accessory after the fact of murder. The trio could be landed a life imprisonment or death sentence upon conviction.

Source: Three charged with murder of killing baby for ritual sacrifice

Related articles:

Maid who murdered baby is of sound mind – Police

Published: November 6, 2018 – 9:09 AM
By: Carol Kasujja – New Vision

According to Police deputy spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, Nakalema was mentally examined at Butabika Mental Referral Hospital and she was found to be mentally fine.

KAMPALA- Harriet Nakalema 32, the maid who allegedly killed her one-year-old baby early last week, is of sound mind, New Vision has learnt.

According to Police deputy spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, Nakalema was mentally examined at Butabika Mental Referral Hospital and she was found to be mentally fine.

“We took Nakalema and her other friend Annet Mwagale, who assisted her in the killing for a mental check-up and the results turned out to be normal.

The two ladies have no mental problems. The family went ahead and buried the child in Bugerere last Thursday.

We also released the father of the child because we had arrested him but it turned out he had no connection to the killing,” said Onyango.

Onyango also noted that Police is going to take the two women to court this week.

Last week on Monday, Nakalema took her child to Mulago Hospital claiming that she was sick and needed special treatment, but according to medical workers the baby was already dead.

Doctors carried out a postmortem and found out that the baby’s internal organs, especially the intestines were missing as well as her private parts, immediately the medical team alerted the Police who arrested the woman.

During Investigations, Police found out that Nakalema was a housemaid in Kiwatule, a city suburb, and her boss lives in Cananda, but she used to stay with care taker who was also arrested.

When Police visited the home in Kiwatule, they found blood stained clothes and some body parts on the floor. They submitted the samples to the Government analytical laboratory to establish the exact body parts.

In her statement Nakalema admitted that she stabbed her child and ate the intestines because she was possessed by evil spirits but the motive of her killing was not yet clear.

“Mwagale told police that Nakalema had been paid by their sister Rwensisi Angella who lives in Canada to send her fresh body parts of a young baby for ritual purposes.

Mwagale also informed Police that they had used a pair of scissors to chop off the private parts of a young baby girl,” noted Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigire.

The three female suspects are currently detained at Kira Road Police Station on charges of murder.

Source: Maid who murdered baby is of sound mind – Police

And:

Maid kills baby, taken for mental check up 
Incidents of maids torturing toddlers/ children have been on the rise, in the recent past.

Published: October 31, 2018 – 11:31 AM
By: Carol Kasujja – New Vision

Having lived and worked in Kampala for over a year, Nakalema Harriet, 32, who had left her less than one-year-old baby in the village decided to go and pick her.

The baby was now 18 months. However, the baby was not to enjoy the good life her mother was reportedly bringing her to. Her affluence came to an abrupt halt, when her own mother killed her.

On Monday, Nakalema took her child to Mulago Hospital claiming that she was sick and needed special treatment, but according to medical workers the baby was already dead.

Doctors carried out a postmortem and found out that the baby’s internal organs, especially the intestines were missing as well as her private parts, immediately the medical team alerted the Police who arrested the woman.

During Investigations, Police found out that Nakalema is a housemaid in Kiwatule a city suburb, and her boss lives in Cananda, but she stays in the house with a care taker who usually comes back home late.

When Police visited the home in Kiwatule, they found blood stained clothes and some body parts on the floor.

Source: Maid kills baby, taken for mental check up 

Uganda: mother slaughters daughter for ritual purposes, arrested

Mother slaughters daughter for ritual purposes, arrested

Published: October 30, 2018
By: Ninsiima Julian

KAMPALA- Police in Kampala has Tuesday arrested a woman by names of Harriet Nakalema for allegedly murdering her one and half-year-old daughter by removing her private parts, uterus and intestines.

Nakalema 32 is alleged that on Monday 29, with the help of a housemate Annet Mwagale (42) they slaughtered her biological daughter identified as Vivian Nalunga.

According to police, after committing the heinous act, Nakalema together with Mwagale rushed the deceased to Mulago Casuality Hospital where the doctors confirmed the baby had died due to heavy bleeding.

The deceased was however taken for postmortem which revealed death cause.

According to the postmortem report, the baby’s body was found with missing private parts, uterus and intestines to which a case was opened up at Mulago Casuality Police Post vide SD: REF. 06/29/10/2018.

The hospital management then involved the area police in which the crime was committed leading to the arrest of Harriet Nakalema.

Police detectives recovered intestines upon searching at Nakalema’s home of residence, fitted into the kitchen sink, clothes with blood-soaked in a bucket. However, the private parts and uterus were missing.

Nakalema, however, blamed the devil when asked about the latter, saying that it was the devil that had cut her daughter into pieces.

However, the suspect later apologised to her neighbors and police detectives revealing that she had been assisted by a one Annet Mwagale who was at that time on the run.

Through the intensified search of her accomplices, Police was able to track down and arrest Annet Mwagale and her mother Annet Mulindwa (68) who had gone back to erase any possible evidence at the scene of crime.

Upon questioning, Mwagale told the police that Nakalema had been paid by their sister Rwensisi Angella who now lives in Canada to send her fresh body parts of a young baby for ritual purposes.

Mwagale revealed that they had used a pair of scissors to chop off the private parts of a young baby girl.

The three female suspects are currently detained at Kira Road Police Station on charges of murder contrary to section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act.

Source: Mother slaughter daughter for ritual purposes, arrested

Related articles:

Mother arrested over daughter’s murder, police recover intestines from her house

Published: October 30, 2018
By: James Kabengwa

Detectives at Kira Road Police have arrested a 32-year-old housemaid for allegedly killing her 18-month-old daughter by removing her private parts, uterus and intestines.

It is alleged that the girl identified as Vivian Nalunga was killed on October 29, 2018 by her mother with the help of a housemate, 42.

After committing the heinous act, the two women reportedly rushed the deceased to Mulago Casuality Hospital where the doctors confirmed the baby had died due excessive bleeding.

The autopsy report raised questions regarding the cause of Nalunga’s injuries and eventual death.
The autopsy indicated that the baby’s body was found with missing private parts, uterus and intestines. The suspicious doctors then alerted police which arrested the two women.

When the house was searched, detectives recovered intestines, suspected to belong to the deceased, fitted into the kitchen sink, a bucket and clothes soaked with blood.
However, her private parts and uterus were missing.

When asked what had happened to the little girl, the mother reportedly told police that it was the devil that had cut her daughter into pieces.

However the suspect later apologised to her neighbours and police detectives revealing that she had been assisted by her housemate was at that time on the run.

Detectives were able to track down and arrest the alleged accomplice and her mother, 68.
During interrogation, the said accomplice reportedly told detectives that the girl’s mother had been paid by their sister (accomplice’s sister) who lives in Canada to send her fresh body parts of a baby for ritual purposes.

She reportedly told police that they used a pair of scissors to chop off the girl’s body parts.
The three female suspects are currently detained at Kira Road Police Station on charges of murder contrary to section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act.

Source: Mother arrested over daughter’s murder, police recover intestines from her house

Mother arrested over daughter’s murder, police recover intestines from her house

Nigeria: Lagos ‘madwoman’ caught with human parts, corpses: “I pose as prostitute to get victims”

‘Madwoman’ – who was not mad after all – Folake Folade (right) and accomplice Emmanuel Gbenga (left)

Published: August 29, 2018, 3:54 am
By: Esther Onyegbula

The ‘madwoman’ who was arrested on Monday with decomposing corpses and other human parts under Cele Nicer Bridge in Ijanikin, Ojo area of Lagos State, has said she, at times, posed as a sex worker to get victims for her human parts business, which she has been operating for nine years.

Preliminary investigation also revealed that the suspect, identified as Folake Folade, was not mad after all. Rather, she was discovered to be the ringleader of a syndicate that sells human parts.

The suspect, who was arrested alongside her accomplice, identified as Emmanuel Gbenga, disclosed that some of her victims were men who she lured from hotels where she posed as a commercial sex worker.

When Vanguard visited the scene yesterday, some youths in the area and security agents were seen combing the tunnel under the bridge for more clues.

One of the residents of the area, Mojisola Kehinde, who claimed to be at the scene when Folake sang like a canary, said: “She opened a can of worms when she was caught.
She said she had been here (Cele Nicer Bridge) for nine years and that her business was to sell human parts to ready buyers.

“She said her customers usually parked on the bridge at night with their vehicles bonnets opened, pretending that their vehicles had one fault or the other, unknown to people that they were waiting to get human parts.

“She said her boys would be beneath the vehicle pretending to be working on the car to douse any suspicion and, in the process, hand over a nylon bag which contained the needed human parts.”

Another resident, Lawrence Oke, also claimed that Folake revealed that “whenever she failed to find preys to meet up with the demands of clients, she would dress up and head straight to any hotel of her choice at night.

“Any man that picks her for the night becomes a prey as he would end up in her den, where his body parts were later harvested and sold off to waiting clients.”

Lawrence also alleged that Folake confessed that she had boys that worked for her.

According to him, “she said once her hands touched someone, the person would lose his senses and follow her sheepishly.

She said her husband came there at times to have sex with her at night.”

The tunnel’s entrance and some things found in it (top).

Bodies in the tunnel

Vanguard gathered that when she was being interrogated by the mob, she allegedly threw her phone into the bush.

While looking for the phone, the mob discovered a tunnel where some decomposing corpses were found.

The recovered bodies included those of a middle-aged man, a baby that was less than three months and a nine-year-old boy said to have been returning from holiday classes. Also recovered inside the tunnel were school uniforms, lunch boxes, schools bags and adult clothes.

Two Ghana-must-go bags of foreign currencies and wads of N1000 notes were also found.

A mechanic, Bamijoko Ayinde, who has a workshop in the area, told Vanguard: “Do you know she was always found with new N1000 note each time she went to buy anything? And she would not collect the balance. We all assumed she was mad.”

At 1p.m. yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of Operations, Mohammed Alli, was sighted at the scene in the company of other policemen.

However, Lagos State Police Command condemned the mob action on one of the suspects, who was set ablaze.

Police to probe mob action

Spokesman for the command, Chief Superintendent Chike Oti, confirmed the incidents, including the lynching of the suspects’ accomplice.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, has directed the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ijanikin to cordon off the scene and ensure that the remains found in the tunnel are not tampered with, pending the arrival of police forensic experts.

According to Oti, “the Commissioner said it is regrettable that despite the various town hall meetings he held to sensitise communities in the state to the evil of jungle justice, some people at Olorunshogo community constituted themselves into a mob and took laws into their hands by killing one of the suspects, who might have been very useful in the ongoing investigation, had they handed him over to the Police.

“He warned that anybody found to have participated in the killing of the yet-to-be-identified man, will be arrested and charged for murder to serve as a deterrent to others with penchant for taking the law into their hands.”

Source:
Lagos ‘madwoman’ caught with human parts, corpses: I pose as prostitute to get victims 

Lagos State – Nigeria

AfriKids: Ghana’s haven for ‘spirit’ children marked for murder

Further to my previous post – on Seth Kwame Boateng’s breathtaking account of a journey to an orphanage in Sirigu, in Ghana’s Upper East Region, in 2011, I find it heart-warming to read about the valuable work which is being realized by the non-governmental organization AfriKids. In Northern Ghana, AfriKids runs a centre in the village of Sirigu and another in nearby Bongo district. Though I am not sure, it looks as if Afrikid’s Sirigu center for disabled children and pregnant women is the same as the Mother of Mercy Babies Home visited by Seth Kwame Boateng in 2011. Joseph Asakibeem is AfriKids project manager in the Upper East Region. He and his team are doing a great job. Read about their work below (‘AfriKids: Ghana’s haven for ‘spirit’ children marked for murder’).

Joseph Asakibeem hails from the Kassena Nankana district (in the Upper East Region) where the superstition in the power of spirit children is most widespread. AfriKids and OrphanAidAfrica have been fighting against infanticide for many years.

In 2013 the two non-governmental organizations were joined by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist and filmmaker. Anas’ film Spirit Child ‘promised’ to become a U-turn in the fight against infanticide. In the aftermath of his investigation, local leaders in the Kassena Nankana region banned the ritual killing of ‘spirit children‘. However…., a recent follow-up to Anas’ 2013 investigative report – see my post dated June 4, 2018 – shows that the practice of infanticide still exists in the region. (webmaster FVDK)

AfriKids: Ghana’s haven for ‘spirit’ children marked for murder

Published on February 27, 2018, at 11:50 am
By MIldred Europa Taylor

Ghana, Upper East region – This Catholic Sister has dedicated her life to protecting babies and children and plays a precious role in the fight against infanticide in the region — Afrikids

The act of killing babies who were born with disabilities was until recently widely practised in some parts of northern Ghana. These children were labelled as “spirit children” with the belief that they brought bad luck. They were killed to “save the lives of their parents and family”.

These children were basically taken to medicine men who would give them a poisonous potion and lock them in a room. The belief is that if you die from the potion, it means you are indeed a spirit. The children are then buried in an isolated place far away from the village.

This traditional belief was highly practised in some parts of the Kassena-Nankana West District in the Upper East region but thanks to AfriKids, a child rights Non-governmental organization (NGO), the practice has declined even though it is believed to be still ongoing in some parts of northern Ghana. The NGO has so far been able to save a number of children perceived to be “spirit children” in some parts of the Upper East Region.

Joseph Asakibeem is the project manager at AfriKids. The 41-year-old was recently awarded the Bond Humanitarian Award 2018 for his work in saving many disabled children who would have been killed due to the traditional practice.

Growing up in the Kassena Nanakana district where the belief in spirit children was deeply entrenched, Asakibeem told Reuters that he and his team at AfriKids started talking to chiefs, parents, opinion leaders and medicine men about the need to change the perception they have about children born with disabilities.

Asakibeem explained to them that there were medical reasons for these disabilities – poor nutrition and health care during pregnancy, and the inability to get access to medical help during labour resulting in complications.

AfriKids has a centre in the village, Sirigu, and another in nearby Bongo district, where they provide help for disabled children and antenatal care for pregnant women. Mothers, through Afrikids, have also been able to acquire small loans to grow their businesses.

The main challenge for the child rights NGO has been trying to change the mindset of concoction men and other community members about “spirit children”, but interestingly, many of them have now joined the fight against the practice.

For 10 years, no child has been killed for being deformed in Kassena Nankana, but Asakibeem said the act is still being practised in other areas. Babies whose mothers die in childbirth, or who are born after the family has been hit with an unfortunate incident, have the risk of being labelled spirit children.

As AfriKids continues to expand its activities to the whole of northern Ghana, Asakibeem is hopeful that the practice would be effectively abolished in 15 years.

In 2013, Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas published “Spirit Child”, an undercover investigation film on the ritual killings of deformed children. Two concoction men were charged with attempted murder and another three men charged with conspiracy to commit murder. 

Source: Face2FaceAfrica, February 27, 2018

Ghana – Upper East Region

Shocking!…Ritual baby killing in Northern Ghana

On June 4, this year, I drew attention to Spirit Child, a film on infanticide in West Africa, made by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Seamus Mirodan, and I reproduced a related article, published by Al Jazeera. The article, on infanticide in Ghana – and Burkina Faso, Benin and Nigeria – was a follow-up to a 2013 investigative report of the same journalist and filmmaker, Anas Aremeyaw Anas. The latter and his colleague, Seamus Mirodan, are to be commended for their fight against infanticide.

Fortunately, they are not the only ones who raise there voices against these age-old practices which have no reason to exist in the 21st century. While mentioning the names of others it is not my intention to belittle the activities and achievements of others, who work with them. Recently, I read an article on AfriKids, a non-governmental organization running an orphanage in northern Ghana, in the Upper East Region, in a village called Sirigu, to be more specific. Project manager at AfriKids is Joseph Asakibeem, who was recently awarded the Bond Humanitarian Award 2018 for his work in saving many children who would have been killed due to the gruesome traditional practice of killing disabled children and so-called ‘spirit childs’. More on Afrikids and its work in my next post.

When reading about the village of Sirigu I remembered an article, written by another outstanding Ghanaian journalist, Seth Kwame Boateng. In 2011 he visited Sirigu and made a breath-taking documentary for Ghana’s Joy 99.7 FM’s Hotline. Below the transcript.
Seth Kwame Boateng was named ‘journalist of the month‘ in July 2017 and can boast of an impressive list of awards and documentaries. Read here what he wrote in 2011 on infanticide in Northern Ghana. (webmaster FVDK)

SHOCKING!…Ritual baby killing in Northern Ghana

Originally published on April 1, 2011
by Seth Kwame Boateng

Joy FM reporter Seth Kwame Boateng visits an orphanage in the Upper East Region of Ghana called “Sirigu” to uncover the chilling practice of cultural murder; the killing of babies who are born with deformities, or whose birth coincide with a tragic incident in the family, such as the loss of a parent.

Such babies are called spirit children or siri sirigu, and are thought to be bad omen for the community.

Below is a transcription of his documentary for Joy 99.7 FM’s Hotline.
I have come to the Upper East Region on an assignment, a very different assignment. The job has tight time frames. I’m rushing to meet deadlines.

I hear a stranger chatting with a friend on the streets of Bolgatanga. He mentions a Babies’ Home in the area.

The conversation reminds me of a story somebody once told me about this town and a very strange kind of orphanage.

Most children who end up in an orphanage have lost their parents. But in the Sirigu facility in Bolga, the children’s fate is much more tragic. If the child is born with deformities, the child is killed.

The first time I heard this story, I could hardly believe it. I’ve always lived in a community where great merry-making accompanies childbirth, no matter the condition of the baby or the mother.

So at first I didn’t pay too much attention to the story.

{They put the child on the hill and put plenty rocks on the child.}

Since coming to Bolgatanga I feel this story is following me. I see goose pimples all over my body and my eyes are heavy with tears when people tell me the details.

I have a very busy schedule. I tell myself I won’t have time to go to this place of horror. As I reach for my pillow one night to sleep, I can’t help myself. I make a firm resolution to travel to Sirigu the next morning no matter the consequences. It’s as if I have been possessed, I feel so uncomfortable.

I reach a friend at dawn the next day who agrees to take me on his motor bike to Sirigu. It takes about 45 minutes to drive from Bolgatanga to Sirigu and it’s not easy. The road is barely passable.
We have done only 10 minutes of the journey, and I have already regretted embarking on this trip. I don’t have a helmet. In the side mirror, I see my hair color has turned brown as if I’ve applied a dye.
I don’t have any protective cloth, so I’m shivering as if I’ve been beaten by heavy rain as I sit behind my friend on his bike.
But the story of those babies and a drive to understand the dark side of cultural practice keeps me going.

After 45 minutes of a bone-shaking journey, we finally reach Sirigu.

{Some come healthy, some come sick, some almost dying.}

At the Mother of Mercy Babies Home in Sirigu a Catholic Sister, a caretaker and a community leader are in front of the fading, brown iron gate of the home to welcome us. I look at the children and wonder what stories they would tell if they could find the words and exchange it with me. There are 16 babies in this 26-year-old home and the youngest is only two months old.

In an orphanage in Sirigu, in Ghana’s Upper East region. This Catholic Sister has dedicated her life to protecting babies and children. Now in 2018 the orphanage is being run by Afrikids.

The caretakers tell me the babies in the home are not considered ‘real’ human beings by their families. They have been cast out as evil spirits… either because they were born physically deformed or their mothers died during childbirth. And, according to an ancient cultural practice that survives in this area the babies must die to save the families from evil.

In some situations there were strange events at the time of their birth. All of the children except one, are motherless.

The caretaker, Sister Innocentia Depor tells me how some of the children are rescued and arrive on their doorstep.

{Because of the education, family members of the babies bring them themselves. The moment they get to know that the child can be termed a spirit child, they rush them here. So come very hefty, sick and weak.}

I decide to go to the nearby town to delve deeper into this story. Perhaps I will find some fathers or family members.

I meet the assemblyman for the area, Azokulgu Azotipelba, and he makes a shocking admission.

{it happened within our house, our family and within our community so I have witnessed it several times. And when that type of child dies, they don’t use a proper thing to carry him for the burial, they will take a rough mat and put the child there and hold it just like anything and go and throw it away. They normally don’t take the baby to the hill alive. They will use something like a stone, stick, or a cutlass to hit the child and kill him}

Once again, my entire body is shaking. My mouth is wide open and I’m close to tears as I visualize the events the Assemblyman is describing.

Trying to understand innocent blood being shed in the name of culture, I talk with an elder in the town, John Ayamaga. He takes time as he explains.

{when you give birth and the mother dies instantly, the myth is that it is the baby that has killed the mother so the child must also go so when there is no intervention, the baby is sent to the hill there for that rituals. If the child is born with some deformities either with some teeth or some of the hair being white, that child is termed a spirit child and that baby is not accepted in that community. We have a very big hill; they take them there and put a stone on that spirit child so that it will not get up again. The family will not fail to do that because they think if that baby has killed the mother, it can kill the rest of the family.}

I listen carefully to the stories of the people who have seen this horror first hand. I try to put myself in their shoes, to understand the fear and ignorance that leads to the slaughter of innocent children.

As I watch the kids of the Sirigu orphanage playing, I think of those who didn’t make here… Lying in shallow graves under a pile of stones on the hills in the distance.

Then a breeze blows through the window and this place of safety feels vulnerable. What if frightened family members hunted down these kids who have found refuge here. The assemblyman Azokulgu Azotipelba says this frightening possibility exists.

{At times the children will grow up to 10 or 15 years and they will still manage and go and kill that particular child. If a baby like this escape, the whole family and the entire community will come out and go and search and kill that baby. Because it is a culture for that community and the whole community believes that whatever the soothsayer says is for all so they have no reason to defy it.}

But despite these dangers the children will be discharged when they are three years old, according to the caretaker, sister Innocentia.

And, the local community has started taking advantage of the facility, bringing children who are not endangered but merely because they cannot afford to raise them.

{It was before that they don’t want the children that they always want to kill. But now with the education, they want their children but how to take care of them, very tiny, they prefer to bring the children here so that after three years when they can eat anything then they come for their child. When they bring the babies we always tell them not to come and throw the babies here like that. They should always visit them. And when they are bringing the babies, here, each child with a caretaker so that when the baby is discharged, he will have somebody he is familiar with. He will not feel like a stranger in somebody’s house.}

Poor people from the surrounding villages, outside Sirigu, have heard about the home and now bring their babies here because they are struggling to make ends meet. One child was recently brought from Bongo, a town in the Upper East Region. Little Marilyn as they’ve named her is only a month old but motherless. She is fortunate to have been spotted and saved by Hajia Mary Issaka, a midwife in-charge of the Anafubisi health center.

{Last week Friday we went to a community to run a clinic then we saw a pregnant woman holding this baby at the outreach point then we ask of the mother and she said the mother died at Bolga hospital. We ask what they were given and they told us that some people came to the funeral and donated some money and bought some lactogen and they are giving to the baby. So when we saw her, we knew that they cannot take care of the baby in the house so I sent this nurse to go the house and meet the community members and speak to the people about this orphanage. If they agree, we will arrange and bring the baby to Sirigu and they agreed.}

But little Marilyn is one of the more fortunate.

Everywhere I go in this town people have stories about baby killing that make my blood run cold.

{there are certain things they don’t even want to mention it. There was a community like that when a woman died after delivery and they gave the baby to another woman who died when there was an outbreak of CSM. And they are saying that it is the baby that has killed both the mother and the caretaker so they brought the baby out and knock the child on the tree and it died. So some of these things they are silent}.

The services of the Sirigu home is made possible by donations from foreign NGO’s like Friends of African Babies (FAB), based in the region.

Mary Kaglan is from Ireland and a member of the NGO. She tells me what motivated her organisation help the home.

{I think it was to see these sisters working so hard looking after so many babies thus the least we could do as we live in the area and that any help we could give them would be a bonus. The sisters of course take very good care of the babies so it is not that the case that the babies are looking after. But I think it is that people would be aware there is a home in Sirigu so people can visit and assist with the little they have}

But even with the assistance of the FAB NGO, sister Innocentia Apor and the staff here struggle to raise these children.

{The NHIS does not cover all the sickness so when you have a child that sickness surpasses the national insurance, it is difficult and to take a child like this, you would have to start the child with artificial food and all these are very costly. They are all the challenges. Right now we have one who has hydrocephalus and if it had not been FAB, it would have been difficult for us to take care of him. So medical wise it is a challenge}

The world is full of orphanages. And, I’ve done my fair share of stories about pain and suffering.

But the faces of the children of this place and the silent cries of the ones buried on the hill will remain with me for a long time to come.

Seth Kwame Boateng; for hotline in Sirigu.

Source: Modern Ghana, April 1, 2011

Upper East Region – Ghana

Zambia: Ritual killings… IG assures public of safety

Cases of suspected ritual killings in Lusaka are on the increase – Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja assures the public of protection but cautions against contentment.

Published on February 27, 2018
By CHILA NAMAIKO and FRANCINA PHIRI
Times of Zambia

CASES of suspected ritual killings in Lusaka seem to have resurfaced, with Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja assuring members of the public of protection but cautioned against contentment. Mr Kanganja has assured that security personnel are conducting patrols throughout the night, and has called on members of the public to report any suspicious looking persons to Police.

At the weekend, police in Lusaka picked up the body of an unidentified male person in Paradise area of Matero without private parts, ears, while the stomach was ripped in a suspected ritualistic fashion.

Three weeks ago, another unidentified man was discovered dead with ears and private parts missing and the stomach ripped open in yet another suspected case of ritual killing in Paradise area of Matero.

Meanwhile, Police in Chienge District of Luapula Province have picked up body parts of a two-year-old toddler who was allegedly murdered by a 22-year-old man while acting together with two others who are at large.

Outgoing police commissioner Hudson Namachila said police found a heart, lungs and an ear in a pit latrine on Saturday between 06:00 hours and 08:00 hours.

Incoming provincial Police chief Elias Chushi also confirmed the incident.
Mr Kanganja warned the criminals behind such barbaric acts that the law would catch up with them as Police were working round-the-clock to ensure the people of Matero were protected. He said in an interview yesterday that people in affected areas should not leave in fear because Police had divided Lusaka into zones. Through the zones, the Inspector General said the officers were conducting intensified patrols throughout the night. “I wish also to urge members of the public to constantly collaborate with the Police by reporting all suspicious looking characters in their areas,” he said.

He said the criminals behind such barbaric acts live in communities and called on members of the public to be vigilant and report suspicious persons to police.
Mr Kanganja warned that criminals would not be allowed to commit cruel acts with impunity and officers had intensified patrols to bring to book the culprits.

For the body that was picked up on Friday, police have apprehended a male aged 29 in connection with the murder after the body was discovered around 04:00 hours by members of the public. Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said the suspect, who lived in the same area, was found washing some blood off his hands and was currently detained in Police custody. Upon searching his home, police found two pairs of trousers and a pair of shoes all stained with blood and other items yet to be subjected to forensic investigations to ascertain if they were human parts or tissue.

In the Chienge incident, Mr Namachila said that after instituting investigations, the police apprehended Lucky Kafwimbi of Mukunta village who revealed where they had hidden the body. He said that physical inspection showed that the body had a lung cut and his left ear was removed. Mr Namachila named the deceased as Gift Chola of Chief Puta’s area in Chienge Village. “Police managed to apprehend one man who helped in revealing where they had hidden the body of the baby that they brutally murdered for suspected rituals,” he said.

Source: Times of Zambia, February 27, 2018