MUSANZE — Months have passed ever since she was defiled, but the effects are still felt. She is traumatised, has lost appetite and experiences recurring infections in her private parts.
Four-year old Judea Umutoni, is one of the latest victims of child defilement in Musanze District. On the fateful day early this year, her mother Judith Umutesi left her in the hands of their neighbour, Jacqueline Nirere.
The neighbour reportedly connived with a HIV-positive man to defile the young girl. The police identified the defiler as J D Diue Nsengiyunva, who together with Nirere, are currently detained at Ruhengeri Central Prison.
The only relief for the mother is that the girl has been confirmed HIV negative after three times of testing. With tears flowing down the cheeks, Umutesi, 25, recalls how her neighbour betrayed her daughter.
“I came back from work and found when my daughter could hardly walk, she was bleeding. When I rushed her to Ruhengeri Hospital it was discovered that the lower part of the internal organs had been affected,’’ Umutesi recalls.
Then they reported the matter to police. Upon arrest of the defiler, who used to work as an electric technician, an HIV test was recommended and he tested HIV positive.
Umutesi who had just separated with her husband Peter Hakizimana, with whom they had two other children, was saddened to receive the shocking results.
However, she says: “Whereas I feel saddened, I always get a sense of relief that God saved my daughter from being innocently infected. She will live normally again with good health and stable mind.’’
She however, adds that the sounding public sympathy only adds trauma to the child, who no longer plays like other children of her age.
The mother feels guilty having left her child in the hands of another person. And says has not offered the required support to her daughter due to lack of enough financial capacity being unemployed.
As a result she handed over the child to family members in Kigali to help her meet the medical and feeding requirements.