Police in Iganga District in Eastern Uganda have arrested a 40-year-old man for allegedly refusing to take care of his six-month-old twins following his wife’s failure to produce their umbilical cords.
Hassan Kigo, a water vendor in Iganga Town and resident of Buseyi Village, Nakalama Sub-county in Iganga District, is said to have abandoned his wife, Mariam Nampina two months ago after she reportedly
failed to produce the twins’ umbilical cords.
Nampina who now lives in a rented house in Maga Maga in Mayuge District, said the babies were critically sick and had stopped taking breast milk, forcing her to seek assistance from the husband to take them to hospital.
The suspect who was intercepted around Old Kaliro Road in Iganga Town while ferrying jerry cans of water for sale, refused to take the babies to hospital unless the mother produces their umbilical cords.
“If those children are mine, let her produce their umbilical cords. I gave her a house but she was always running away. I am tired of her nonsense,” Mr Kigo said in his defense.
Ms Nampina says her domestic woes started immediately after she had given birth.
“Shortly after delivering the twins, he (Kigo) said my figure had ‘faded’ and that I could no longer be his wife. He then chased me away and eloped with another woman,” she said.
Nampina added: “The babies don’t take breast milk yet I don’t have money to buy them milk and food. Whenever I ring him (Kigo), he asks me to produce their umbilical cords which I misplaced in the house and need time to find them.”
A scuffle ensued when locals confiscated Kigo’s bicycle and jerry cans of water as he tried to flee.
Alex Matovu, one of the residents, said: “The babies resemble the suspect and all we want is for him to take care of them.”
“If the two had issues in their relationship, babies are not part of them and should be cared for. These babies resemble him and if he has any doubts, he should for a DNA test,” Mr Matovu added.
The Iganga District Police Commander, Mr Nasibu Ndita, confirmed the suspect’s detention at Iganga Central Police Station from where he will be charged with child neglect.