By Henry Nsubuga
A 26-year-old woman and her husband, 33, have been arrested for allegedly stealing a one-day-old baby girl.
According to Mukono Police, the couple was arrested on Saturday from their residence at Kisoga village in Nakisunga sub-county, Mukono District.
On Friday and Saturday, Saturday Vision, Bukedde newspaper and Bukedde TV ran the story of the baby who had been stolen on Thursday.
The officer in charge of crime Mukono Police Division, Henry Mugumya, said it was from that media coverage that residents got suspicious of the couple who were having a baby they suspected to be the one stolen from Mukono.
Police identified the suspects as Diana Katushabe and Robert Mutebi.
Mugumya said Namutebi conned the attendant, Cate Namwase, 17, who was asked to take the baby for immunisation by her mother, Brenda Namugaya.
The teen, who was still under police custody by press time, identified Katushabe. She said that Katushabe lied to her that the baby’s mother had asked for some clothes from her.
Namwase said further that she had intended to go with the baby but Katushabe took her from her when she offered to continue with the immunisation.
“I was puzzled when Namugaya [baby's mother] told me that she had not sent me for the clothes. I rushed to the immunisation clinic but Katushabe was nowhere to be seen. She also disappeared with the baby’s birth certificate,” Namwase said.
Concerned residents from Kisoga then tipped Police about the couple whom they suspected to be with the missing baby after the news stories which ran.
The officer in charge of Kisoga Police post, Sarah Nankungu, said she went to Mubiru’s home where she found Katushabe with the baby crying from inside the house after an alert by area residents.
“I asked Katushabe whether she was the real mother of the baby and she said yes. I asked her to breastfeed because she was seriously crying and from that statement she started shivering. I arrested her and took her to the police post together with the baby,” Nankungu said.
Mubiru, Katushabe’s husband, followed her to the police post and insisted that the baby was theirs.
“I asked him to go home and bring Katushabe’s antenatal card but he resisted that he would not be able to see it. However he later brought two cards.
"Fortunately, one card was bearing the names of Brenda Namugaya and the other Geoffrey Nyongesa. When I cross-checked with the names of the parents of the missing baby in Bukedde newspaper, I realised the names matched. I also arrested Mubiru,” she narrated.
After officially receiving the baby from Mukono Police, the emotional Namugaya cried, saying she could not believe her baby would be recovered.
“I give thanks to God. I am now healed from the pain I have been going through. I give thanks to Vision Group for the efforts which have helped to have my baby recovered,” she said.
Katushabe and Mubiru remain detained at Mukono Police awaiting prosecution. The couple will be charged with child stealing, police says.
The baby was again taken back to Mukono Health Center IV, where it was stolen from, to receive medication.