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Minor Offender Tortured to Death in Remand Home :: Uganda Radionetwork

Minor Offender Tortured to Death in Remand Home

Innocent Kirungi, a thirteen year-old boy has died of torture in Ihungu Remand home in Masindi.
He was killed yesterday by other child offenders on orders of Rose Mpairwe, the matron of Ihungu remand home.
Kirungi was arrested on Wednesday last week and detained on the orders of her grandmother Florence Rugadya for theft and refusing to study.
Hamilton Okidi, Masindi OC CID says there is strong evidence that the deceased died of torture. Okidi says Mpairwe has been arrested but refuses to divulge more details saying it may jeopardize further investigations.
Child offenders at Ihungu who Uganda Radio Network found unattended to, some of them in gardens today, gave conflicting accounts of what they know about the death of their colleague.
Some said Matron Mpairwe ordered them to beat up Kirungi after he refused to dig in Katasenywa, four miles away. They say after Kirungi died, Mpairwe instructed them to burry him in the garden.
But passersby-by threatened them before the burial plan was abandoned. They continue to allege that the body was hurriedly taken to the remand home, quickly washed off the dirt, before the incident was reported to police.
However, others say while in the garden, the deceased was rushed to the remand home after complaining of sickness and died thereafter.
What is very clear is that child offenders had been taken to Katasenywa, to dig in people's gardens.
It is common practice for minors offenders at Ihungu to be herded into people's farms for hard labor and the money worked for given to the officers in charge.
The remand home, built in 1962 has never been given any facelift and lacks almost all basic needs. The remand home caters for child offenders from the districts of Masindi, Hoima, Buliisa and Kibaale.
Ihungu remand home, run by the Masindi district probation and child welfare department currently has 34 inmates, four of them girls.