Police in Bududa District are investigating an incident in Nabooti Village, Nakatsi Sub-county, Uganda where a man allegedly chopped off his girlfriend’s hand, a minor, for rejecting his marriage proposal.
It is alleged that the suspect, who was armed with a machete, allegedly waylaid his 16-year-old girlfriend on a path to her parents’ home at about 9pm last week and chopped off her right hand.
The victim, a Senior Two student, also sustained several injuries on other parts of the body.
She is admitted to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital.
“He wanted to marry me but I declined because I am still interested in my studies. This did not go well with him. He became angry with me,” the victim told Daily Monitor on Friday.
The 16-year-old said she was in the company of her friend on the fateful day.
“After chopping off my hand, he took off, leaving me in a pool of blood. It is my friend who called my people and they took me to Bududa hospital where they referred me to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital for better management,” she said.
The victim accused police of arresting the suspect and later releasing him under unclear circumstances.
“I want police to re-arrest the suspect because I need justice. He should be arrested and prosecuted,” she said.
Daily Monitor has learnt that the matter was reported to Bududa Central Police Station but the victim was given a police form 3, indicating a case of defilement instead of attempted murder.
A detective at the police station, who preferred anonymity, confirmed that the suspect was arrested and released on the same day.
Ms Juliet Khainza, the teenager’s mother, alleged that the suspect’s family compromised the police officers.
She appealed to Inspector General of Police and the head of the Anti-Corruption Unit of Sate House, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, to intervene.
“The Police Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate should also intervene and help us to get justice,” Ms Khainza said.
She said police should also be tasked to explain why they released the suspect.
“My daughter has lost her hand and she is in pain. We don’t even have money for her specialised treatment,” Ms Khainza said.
However, Mr Jaffar Magyezi, the district police commander, said the suspect whom they had arrested did not commit the crime.
“We had arrested the wrong person but the prime suspect is still at large,”Mr Magyezi said.
Mr Anthony Mutuma, the officer-in-charge of criminal investigations, said they are investigating two cases of attempted murder and defilement.
However, Ms Khainza maintained that her daughter was not defiled.
“That CID officer is deceiving. I have never reported a case of defilement. The only reported case is of attempted murder of my daughter,” she said.
Mr Mutuma said they are finding it hard to find the suspect because the victim told the detective that she could not identify the person who committed the offence.
“We arrested two suspects and we processed a file of attempted murder against the suspects and I couldn’t release them because it is a criminal case. But the Resident State Attorney in Bududa instructed us to release the suspects on police bond because the victim in her statement was not clear. The girl said it was dark and that she could not recognise the person who committed the offence,” Mr Mutuma said, a statement the victim refuted.
Ms Betty Khainza, the district education officer, said they have started investigating the matter.