Five people arraigned for child kidnapping

WITH cases of violence against children escalating in the country, five people on Thursday appeared before the Kagera Resident Magistrate’s Court to answer two charges, including conspiracy to commit an offense and child kidnapping.

Prosecuting State Attorney Ms Evaristha Kimaro named the accused before the court as Husina Abdallah, Khalid Ramadhan, Japhet Stanslaus, Denis Prudence and Abdul Seleman, all are Bukoba residents.

She told a fully-packed courtroom that the accused jointly committed the offense on December 1, 2022.

Records indicate that at around noon on that material date, three men reported at the house of Ms Johanitha Augustine (25), who recently delivered a baby boy identified as Benita Beneth (three months old).

The three men congratulated her for the safe delivery while requesting her whether they could see the child, but the mother declined because the child was asleep in one of the rooms. She later escorted them some 200 metres away from the house, but to her surprise, when she went back the baby was nowhere to be seen.

Later, she reported the matter to the Bukoba police station and full investigation was conducted, leading to the arrest of the accused.

Bukoba Resident Magistrate Flora Kaijage, on behalf of Resident Janet Magessa, adjourned the Criminal Case No 129/2022 to March 28th, this year for further hearing.

Child abduction is the offense of wrongfully removing or wrongfully retaining, detaining or concealing a child or baby. Abduction is defined as taking away a person by persuasion, by fraud or by open force or violence.

There are two types of child abduction: parental child abduction and abduction by a stranger. The same ACT makes it a criminal offense for ‘other persons’ (e.g non-family members) to ‘take or detain’ a child under the age of 16 without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

The majority of non-parental child abductions recorded by police are perpetrated by strangers or by people exploiting young people.

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