Nine-year-old Girl Commits Suicide After Being Punished for Torching Kitchen

A 9-year-old girl has committed suicide by hanging in Kagadi after being punished by her father for allegedly torching a kitchen.

The deceased child has only been identified as Atugonza, daughter to one Boniface of Kacundwa village in Kyanaisoke sub county Kagadi district. The girl reportedly used a rope to commit suicide.

Her lifeless body was found dangling from a mango tree in the same village on Wednesday morning by residents.

It is alleged that the deceased child on Tuesday was sent by her parents to go and buy a matchbox and as she reached home, she lit the matchbox.

Fire from the lit matchbox reportedly spread rapidly, burning a grass-thatched kitchen belonging to one of her uncles.

The fire burnt the kitchen including some utensils. Her father pounced on her beating her severely. She reportedly escaped from home and went into hiding. However, on Wednesday morning, area residents were shocked to discover her body dangling on a mango tree in the same village.

Tadeo Mugisa, the Kyanaisoke LC3 Chairperson told Uganda Radio Network in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon that following the punishment given to the minor after torching the kitchen, she was angered and went into hiding.He says it is not known what could have later compelled the minor to commit suicide.

“It is unfortunate for such a young child to take such a reckless decision to end her life,” said Mugisa. “This is the first a young child like this to take her life in this area. Parents should learn to talk to their children and they should stop being harsh to them.“

According to Mugisa, they immediately alerted the police who rushed and picked up the body, from the crime scene.

Jane Kyosaba, also a resident, blamed the deceased’s father for over-punishing her despite her having made a mistake. She says the demise of the juvenile is regrettable.

“Look, now we have lost her at this tender age just because she accidentally torched a kitchen while playing with colleagues,” said Kyosaba. “I appeal to parents to always give moderate punishment to their children whenever they make a mistake. Children should be handled carefully, not like adults.“

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson said police on getting the information rushed and picked the body that was later conveyed to Kagadi General Hospital mortuary where it is currently lying pending postmortem, adding that investigations into the matter have commenced.  

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