The curiosity of two women strangers at the weekend led to a dramatic rescue of an eight-year-old girl in Uganda, who had been tied upside down to the roof bars by her mother, apparently, as a punishment for allegedly stealing an earring worth $0.2 (USh500).
It was about 2:30pm (East Africa Time) when two women who were walking past the house heard a feeble voice crying for help in a locked room. The voice was of a pupil of Kabingo Primary School in Mpigi District.
She had been tied at the legs and arms and left alone in that position for more than six hours, the police said.
Ms Rachael Nakiganda, a witness, said the women grew suspicious and called a police officer to ascertain what the matter was with the crying child in a locked room.
“The officers came and broke the padlock, only to find the child hanging on the bar in pain and could barely talk,” she said, adding that residents cut the ropes as police went after the child’s mother, who was at work.
The child was found with severe burns on her buttocks and hands, which she said were inflicted on her by her mother after accusing her of failing to do house chores.
The child also had severe injuries around the wrist and legs and could barely talk. By Sunday evening, she was still undergoing treatment and medical examinations.
Masaka Police community liaison officer Julius Musiime confirmed that they were holding the barmaid and food vendor, adding that they were waiting for a report from police surgeon before charging her with child torture, illegal confinement and causing bodily harm to a child.