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The maid beat my children, stole our property

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th August 2012 03:31 PM

Confronted by the increasingly changing economic hardships, it is inevitably necessary that both partners in a family enter the world to pool resources towards the family's daily bread and quality living standards.

The maid beat my children, stole our property

Confronted by the increasingly changing economic hardships, it is inevitably necessary that both partners in a family enter the world to pool resources towards the family's daily bread and quality living standards.

Confronted by the increasingly changing economic hardships, it is inevitably necessary that both partners in a family enter the world to pool resources towards the family's daily bread and quality living standards. 

Notably, getting immersed in work comes with concomitant repercussions, especially on the safety of the home and upbringing of children, irrevocably affecting them in the longrun.
 
For instance, upon returning from work at 9:00pm in August last year, Nobert Walter, whose wife is a teacher in Kiboga, sensed his home in Kawanda, Wakiso district tasted a loud silence synonymous with seminaries in times of spiritual reflection.
Visibly, a disturbing darkness hovered around since the lights were off. Upon getting nearer the house, the back door was half-open and the usual “welcome back daddy” from his little ones was rudely absent. 
 
Intuitively, his suscipicion sprouted and his adrenaline rose by chaotic bounds — their maid, Lazia Nansubuga, had ochestrated a mischief. When he entered the house, a gaping hole in the ceiling stared hard at his presumably sweaty perplexed face.
 
His two-year-old son and three-year-old daughter lay motionless, traumatised and sadly tired.
Nansubuga had beaten them before locking them up in their bedroom, probably to smoothly execute her thieving spree unperturbed by their probing curiosity. 
 
“Nansubuga has gone into the darkness. I saw her take your money. When I asked her what she was doing, she beat us and locked us up in the bedroom. She opened for us when she was leaving,” the eldest narrated.
 
Indeed, Nansubuga had set her foot in the master bedroom. Its door was beckoningly ajar, with everything in it turned upside down. She had sorted out the best for herself and left at mid-day, leaving behind her rags.
“She vanished without preparing food — the children had spent the day without a meal,” Walter says.

Breaking into the master bedroom
In a move akin to hardcore criminal plots, Nansubuga, either single-handedly or with the help of an unknown criminal racket, must have spent much of the three weeks she worked for the Walters weaving a master plan on how to best execute the move. Unknown to them, she was a wolf in sheep’s skin. She was exceptionally hardworking and exhibited deep interest in having chores done, but her focus and intention, were larger than her bosses could imagine.
 
According to Walter,  she executed her mission with the help of a bookrack on which she tied a rope. She then climbed onto the rack and cut a hole through the ceiling. Having got into the ceiling, she pulled the rack up with the help of the rope. She determinedly struggled with it through the ceiling until she lowered it in the bedroom and then climbed down.
 
“She suspected we had spare keys for our bedroom door. She looked for them and opened, making off with the loot with ease, including sh450,000. At this point, the children had already been demobilised so much that even after she had left, they did not move out of the house until 9:00pm when I got back,” recalls Walter.
 
“My children we so traumatised that even when I got them food for supper, they could not eat. Worse still, they could not sleep. Leaving home for work in subsequent days became a problem. They were gripped by a severe sense of insecurity. They kept crying saying they could not stay home alone. Since then, they fear darkness much more than before,” he says.
 
The first suspect was the man who brought Nansubuga to us. It is my wife’s friend who knew the man. So, with the help of the Police, we contacted the man the next day and got him at his home in Bombo. Our ordeal struck him hard that he volunteered to take us to Nkonkonjeru in Bombo at the home of Nansubuga’s aunt, who looked after her from childhood upon the death of her parents.

Impersonation
Looking like she was in her 50s, the woman said to be Nansubuga’s aunt shocked them when they told her that Nansubuga, a member of her household and was working as a housemaid, had robbed them.
 
“She looked into our eyes and fell short of calling us insane. She said she was the only Nansubuga there and that she had never worked as a maid. She said the person in her family, who left saying she was going to work as a maid, was Lazia Namiro,” says Walter.
 
Upon telling her what Nansubuga, now Namiro, had done, her empathy and bitterness were visible, resulting in an apology. Nansubuga, now the aunt, said Namiro had been a troublesome child.
 
Nansubuga said she had been told that while she was away the previous day, Namiro hastily came on a boda boda through the banana plantation, picked her child without bathing it and vanished — she is said to have done all that within five minutes.
 
Nansubuga said when Namiro was asked why she was acting in such haste, she said her boss had permitted her a short time to come and pick her child and then go back — that was the last time they saw her.
 
Before coming to Walter’s home, according to Nansubuga, Namiro had just left her fifth man, the father of the child she picked. Shockingly, Namiro, her aunt said, eloped when still a little younger and lived with a man in one of Kampala slums, forcing her family to write her off as probably dead. Life must have gradually roughed her up, necessitating her to suddenly return home.
 
Could it be then that for the nine years Namiro lived a slumy lifestyle, she became acquainted with criminal cartels with whom she deals to rob those in whose houses she goes masked as a maid?
 
“We have decided to stop having children. In this way, we shall do away with the tasteless drama of maids. The more children you have, the more you will have to withstand maids — so soon we shall not need them. We intend to take our last born to a daycare centre so that we do not subject our children to the pain of having a stranger living in our midst. I hope I will get her one day and we settle our differences,” Walter says.
 
Expert advice
Problems related to maids are common today. Most maids, especially those supplied by given groups or organisation, come with different intentions, especially looking for men to marry. 
 
Most of them do not stay longer in female-owned homes, where there are no men or where the chances of getting one are minute.
 
Children get emotionally attached to anybody who is available for them in the absence of parents. So, the maid becomes their immediate care-giver and they look up to her for help and comfort.
 
If such a warm and free relationship between children and the maid ends abruptly like it happened in Namiro's case, trauma sets in because of such an unexpected disconnection. Secondly, the fact that Namiro, who was their source of care subjected them to pain and confinement, is hard for the children to take in, especially staying in darkness for that long . 
 
So you and your wife should give your little ones assurances that they are safe and you will come back home early. Make sure those assurances are followed. Crucially, watch how the new maid treats them. Also, quickly respond to their needs — by spending time with them, such as taking part in participatory activities. 
 
Lastly, consider taking them to a therapist for further examination. Namiro could have done something more sinister to them than they can explain and the consequences may show up much later in life and yet too late to reverse. For example, there are adults who cannot sleep with lights off because of extreme fear of darkness.
 
They could have undergone such traumatising experiences. Surely, with such corrective measures, your children will outgrow their phobias.
 
Racheal Nuwagaba Kapasi, Counselling pyschologist, Makerere University
 

The maid beat my children, stole our property

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