Woman Sentenced to 1 Year for Mutilating 3-week-old Baby

Stella Namuwonge, the woman accused of mutilating the private parts of her then 3-week old step-daughter, has been found guilty and sentenced to serve one year in prison.

Stella Namuwonge in the dock before she was convicted
Stella Namuwonge in the dock before she was convicted

The ruling was made by Masaka Grade One Chief Magistrate Mary Ikit.

Stella Namuwonge (34) of Mukudde Zone in Nyendo-Ssenyange Division in Masaka District is said to have committed the offence September 21, 2013.

Prosecution led by James Opedun told court that on the day, Namuwonge sneaked into the house of her co-wife Lydia Namaganda in the same village.

On finding Namaganda’s baby on its own, Namuwonge proceeded to break and insert razorblade pieces inside the baby’s private parts. She also made cuts on the baby’s arms and legs.

Magistrate Ikit said she based her judgment on the medical report filed by Dr.  Francis Ssenyonjo Kalevu who testified in court that the he removed pieces of small razorblades from the minor’s private parts.

Namaganda’s neighbour Douglas Lutaya also testified that he had seen Namuwonge at Namaganda’s home on that day.

She further said that an investigating officer Francis Kakooza told court that he found blood stains in the room where the baby was lying. The minor had cuts on her fingers and toes. Kakooza is attached to Masaka Police station

The prosecutor James Opedun asked court to give the convict a deterrent custodial sentence to deter other women from committing such acts against innocent children.

Namuwonge, who was clad in animal print dress with a blue shawl, wept as she asked court  to give her a light sentence.

Namuwonge said that she had become the sole bread winner for her two children since their husband Ali Kulumba, went into hiding end of last year.

Ikit said that although causing grievous harm needs maximum punishment, she noted Namuwonge had already spent one year on remand. Ikit also considered the fact that Namuwonge is now solely responsible for the welfare of her children and is a first time offender.

The victim’s mother Lydia Namaganda expressed unhappiness at the 12 months sentence for Namuwonge.

Namaganda said she is considering an appeal against the “light sentence.”