Kampala – The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, has directed the Force to start certifying domestic workers. This comes at a time the United Nations has tasked the government of Uganda to take action on perpetrators of child abuse.
Baby Arnella Kamanzi’s brutal torture has attracted nationwide and global condemnation, but questions on how nannies are hired and why some vent their anger on children are also coming up.
Gen Kayihura yesterday announced stringent measures police are going to institute in hiring domestic house helps.
He said at police headquarters in the company of baby Arnella Kamanzi and his father that police will help parents to carry out background checks for the maids they hire through its Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU).
“Maids will be given certificates for good conduct from the police’s Child and Family Protection Unit as Interpol does (to people seeking jobs in cross-border companies) to ensure that domestic workers have no criminal record,” said the IGP.
Police operations commander Andrew Felix Kaweesi supplemented his boss by saying organisations that deal in hiring maids are also to be profiled to ensure criminals in the business are traced.
The new services come in light of the CCTV video that was circuited on social media of a maid torturing a baby in Naalya, Wakiso District.
The maid, Jolly Tumuhirwe, 22, has been charged with torture and remanded to Luzira prison.
However, the Director of Public Prosecutions is mending the charge to include attempted murder.
Gen Kayihura explained that parents will be required to take a new maid to the police where her particulars will be extracted and then run in the criminal justice system to see whether she has prior committed a crime or not.
Officers of the CFPU will also teach the maids how to observe human rights in the home.
Tough legal battle ahead
Jolly Tumuhirwe, the 22-year-old maid is likely to face a tough legal battle as more civil society organisations yesterday said they cannot offer her legal aid due to the nature of her offence.
Civil society organisations have also distanced themselves from the maid.
Federation of Uganda Women Lawyers (FIDA) chairperson Eunice Musiime said, “We condemn in the strongest terms any torture of children. Instead, we are considering supporting the parents to pursue justice. We want to clear the air. There was speculation that FIDA was involved and yet we are not.”
Asked if FIDA, an organisation reputed for extending legal aid to vulnerable women, was playing to the gallery and public sentiment by denying Tumuhirwe legal aid, Ms Musiime said, “Right now our priority is the child; we are reaching out to the family.”
However, human rights lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi (pictured right) said he would offer the maid legal aid and called on the public to respect her right to innocence till proven guilty or until she pleads so.
“I would gladly try to help her because the world has turned against her. She needs legal counsel; the constitution presumes her innocent till guilty despite all that we have seen,” Mr Rwakafuzi said, adding, “It is sad that the jury is now the whole world but she deserves justice. Everybody seems to think they have facts.” Daily Monitor