Maria Kisakye. Police photo.
Kiira region police command, in conjunction with their
counterparts from Ssezibwa policing region, on Saturday recovered seven year
old Maria Kisakye, who went missing from her parents’ home in early 2019.
Kisakye was recovered from Nyenga division, in Buikwe
district. Kisakye who was then three years old was stolen by her paternal
aunt, Kevin Namwebya from her parent’s home in Buyengo town council, in Jinja
Namwebya told journalists that, her boyfriend then only identified as engineer Emma had pressurized her for a child but died in 2018, which since attracted backlash from the deceased’s relatives, who wanted to throw her out of the house.
The deceased’s relatives continued to dispute Namwebya’s
claims and insisted on having paternity tests, which she rejected.
After a series of meetings over the years, Emma’s relatives
resolved to conduct traditional rituals as a means of ending the paternity
doubts. However, on realizing that Kisakye might be exposed to physical harm
in the due process, Namwebya revealed the child’s identity and she was handed over
to police authorities.
Namwebya adds that she stole Kisakye as a means of
hoodwinking Emma’s relatives that, they had a child together, whose life would
be ruined if they were thrown out of the house.
“Prior to Emma’s death, we
jointly owned a hardware shop and a house together, however, after his death,
his relatives wanted to throw me out of his estate, claiming that their cultural
norms do not accord any inheritance rights to childless widows or girlfriends,” she says.
Kisakye’s father, Jeremiah Mwesigwa says that he distantly relates with his sister, but never expected her to be responsible
for their child’s disappearance.
“My sister only comes to the village for
burial and we rarely communicate to each other, but I have never imagined that, she
could be responsible for her own niece’s disappearance over the years,” he
Meanwhile, the Kiira regional police spokesperson, James
Mubi says that Namwebya is being detained at Kakira central police station, awaiting prosecution, whereas the child has been reunited with her family for