CRIME | BABY THEFT
Consolate Dokower, 23 and her attendant, Grace Acan, were not alarmed when Grace Asaba, a nurse and resident of Paidha town council in Zombo district entered their admission room at Angal Hospital, in Nebbi district.
Unsuspecting Dokower, who had just undergone a C-section and was obviously still recovering, was more than happy to hand over her new born baby to Asabo after she offered to take the child for immunization.
But when after an hour, the baby boy had not been returned, they became concerned.
And as they quickly realised, their worst nightmare was unfolding right before their very eyes. The baby had not been taken by hospital staff, either to be immunized or any other reason.
“The hospital staff said they never picked any child from the ward, and they did not know anyone with the description we gave,” Acan says.
The hunt begins
Business at the Hospital was paused as a search began for the missing baby boy.
Although, the suspected child thief presented herself as a staff member of the hospital, no one seemed to know who she was or how she was able to smuggle the baby out of the hospital.
But, Acan was keen enough to observe her, she told the hospital administration that the suspected abductor was a woman around the age of 37.
She explained that the woman came to them dressed in attire similar to those worn by the hospital staff.
“The woman who came was short and putting on a pink uniform with a white colour,” she said.
After describing the appearance of the suspected child thief, one of the watchman at the hospital was quick to remember, pointing out that the woman had just left on a bodaboda.
The hunt for Asaba began, and Acan, rushed to Nyaravur Police post, where she reported the matter.
Caught at last
After three days of fruitless hunting, Asaba’s luck ran out on Saturday. She was arrested by the Police from her hideout in Paidha Town council in Zombo district.
According to Josephine Angucia, the West Nile police spokesperson, the police arrested the suspect after a tip off from locals, who had never seen her pregnant.
“The locals got concerned and approached us because they had never seen her pregnant, and yet a radio announcement was going on about a missing child from Angal Hospital,” He said.
Angucia said the Police preferred a charge of stealing a child contrary to the Penal Code Act against Asaba.
Angucia said on interrogation, Asaba confessed to having stolen the child.
Asaba in her statement, explained that she stole child to win the love of her new husband.
She admitted that she has been under pressure from her husband, who wanted a male child.
On Wednesday, Asaba was presented before Nebbi court to face the charges labeled against her.
She pleaded guilty before court. The case is before Janeva Natukunda, the Nebbi chief magistrate court.
Angucia appealed to women to stop lying to their husbands about issues of pregnancy to win love.
She also urged the hospital administration to be vigilant to avoid a repeat of such a case.