Police in Luweero, Uganda have arrested a female pastor and three other people for the alleged murder of a five month-old baby.
The ‘pastor’, Viola Nassanga and her aides Juliet Nakayenga, Edith Nabuule and landlord Lazaro Walakira were arrested last Friday and are currently detained at Luweero central police station.
Luweero district police commander Benson Byaruhanga Mworozi says that a week ago, Nassanga hoodwinked Asineyi Biira, the mother of the child to give her the child for prayers after complaining of sickness. He adds that the child never appeared again until reports emerged on Thursday that she died in the room they’d hired from Walakira while praying for her.
Acting on a tipoff from the Local Council One chairman of Lukyamu Village in Butuntumula Sub-county, Mr Juma Kisitu, police officers rushed to the home of Pastor Viola Nasanga, where they recovered the decomposing body.
It is reported that after learning of the death, the pastor lied to the mother that she had powers to resurrect her and she should remain calm.
Pastor Nasanga told police that they were praying and waiting for the voice of God to restore the life of the baby.
The body was taken to Luweero health centre IV were and will be transferred to Mulago referral hospital for post-mortem to establish what caused the death.
“This is a very unfortunate incident which police is now investigating. We have tentatively preferred a case of murder against the suspects as investigations continue. We have transported the body to Mulago Hospital Mortuary where a pathologist will conduct a postmortem before it’s handed over to relatives,” the Luweero District Police Commander said on Friday.
He said the baby identified as Anita Kwagala could have died more than two weeks ago.
Pastors led by Morris Kigongo and Amos Nayepe of Luweero Pastors’ Fellowship in Luweero have disassociated themselves from the suspect.
They claim that Nassanga was practising witchcraft and not Christianity.
Mr John Paul Kibalama, the Butuntumula Sub-county chairman, in a telephone interview said he got information from residents of Lukyamu village that Pastor Nasanga, a Tanzanian national has been conducting prayers in a rented room belonging to Mr Lazaro Walakira.
The mother of the dead child told police that she took her daughter to Pastor Nasanga after learning from a friend that prayers could restore the life of her child.
She alleged that on September 30, they heard a mysterious voice instructing them to move out of the house and allow God to restore the life of the baby. They reportedly stayed outside the house forthwith.
Ms Caroline Nankabirwa, a resident of Lukyamu village told the Daily Monitor that Pastor Nasanga has been attracting several people to pray with her.
“People come and join her for prayers. We know her as a Tanzanian citizen although she changed her name original name to Nasanga, Ms Nankabirwa said.