By Norma Katungi
& Taddeo Bwambale
THE Police have arrested a 29-year-old woman from Gomba inMpigi district for faking pregnancy and taking a dead child to her husband. Maria Goretti Nantongo was arrested on Saturday at her husbandâ€™s home in Makindye, a Kampala suburb, where she had taken the corpse.
Henry Kalulu, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, said at the weekly press briefing that the woman failed to conceive after several years in marriage. She purported she was pregnant but left her marital home when her husband, Francis Walugembe, said he saw no sign of the pregnancy.
â€œHer husband suspected she had faked the pregnancy by wrapping clothes around her waist. She ran away from home and went to stay with relatives,â€ said Kalulu, adding that she kept calling her husband to send her money for her upkeep.
According to the Police, Nantongo went back to her husbandâ€™s home on Saturday claiming she had given birth the previous night but the baby had died. She blamed the babyâ€™s death to neglect by her husband.
However, her husband reported the matter to the Police who arrested her. The Police took the woman to Mulago hospital, where doctors found that she had neither been pregnant nor given birth.
â€œThe Police are investigating the incident and a postmortem is being carried out on the baby,â€ Kalulu said, adding that they were looking for the parents of the dead child.
Nantongo will be produced in court to face charges of murder, he told the press. The Police are also investigating the pos sibility that she could have dug up the body from a grave. In that case, she would be charged with disturbing the peace of the dead. This is the second incident involving fake pregnancies in less than a week.
Namatovu Kalala, 45, a resident of Nanziga parish in Wakiso district, on Thursday survived being lynched by a mob after she claimed to have given birth to twins but returned home with a pair of dolls. She blamed Mulago hospital staff for stealing her newly-born twins and lying to her that they had died.
Hospital authorities, however, found no records on her. The Police arrested her and she was taken for a scan which showed that she had no signs of a recent pregnancy or birth.
Nsangi magistratesâ€™ court yesterday found Namatovu guilty of giving false information to the Police. Magistrate John Robert Okapi sentenced her to a fine of sh300,000 or 12 months imprisonment.
After the ruling, the woman broke down in tears, saying she was not able to meet the fine. No relatives were around to bail her out. A prison officer whisked her away from the courtroom which was packed with angry residents who turned up to witness the doll-mother verdict.
Additional reporting by Jude Kafuuma