RWAMAGANA – A 26-year old woman was arrested for throwing a newborn baby in a pit latrine shortly after giving birth. The incident took place in Nyamirama Village, Fumbwe Sector in Rwamagana District.
Jacqueline Uwambayingabire, the mother, is being detained at Rwamagana police station.
Police said they acted after local leaders discovered that a baby was in a village latrine.
“We sealed off the latrine and it took us a whole day to retrieve the body...this is such a lamentable crime which is, unfortunately, recurrent in rural communities,” a police officer said.
Article 314 of the Penal Code stipulates that a person found guilty of infanticide will be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Vivence Gahizi, the Executive Secretary of Fumbwe Sector, said Uwambayingabire had hoped to conceal the delivery.
Acts of criminality of the same nature, he stated, whether motivated by ignorance or disappointment, cannot be tolerated.
“We shall continue to sensitize women and girls but, at the same time, allow the law to take its course,” he said.
“I am grateful to neighbours who reported the case. The woman was heavy and, all of a sudden, the belly got flat, yet, no child or abortion was reported,” he added.
Uwambayingabire, a single mother of one, argued that she committed the crime unconsciously and that she was under the influence of evil spirits.
“I don’t know what happened...it was Satan who overshadowed my usual wisdom. I regret, apologise and ask for forgiveness,” she said as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Cases of infanticide are common with single mothers in rural areas.