Woman arrested for forcing 5-year-old stepson clean latrine with his tongue

AIGP Ochom condemns handcuffing women during arrest

Mbarara, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | In Mbarara, authorities have arrested Shantel Mercy, a resident of Nyakeizi Cell in Kakoba Division, Mbarara City, on charges of reportedly torturing her five-year-old stepson.

Police found the child with severe burns on his back and evidence of cane marks in one of the communal residential latrines in the vicinity.

The stepmother of the five-year-old boy is accused of not only burning his back but also subjecting him to sleep in the latrine and inflicting severe beatings.

Anonymous neighbors revealed that the accused woman has allegedly compelled the boy to clean their latrine using his tongue.

“I was notified at about 9am that a woman is keeping her step son under the bed with a burnt back and also keeps him in the latrine. I was also informed she has been asking the boy to clean it with his own tongue, so I notified police who swung into action,” the LC1 chairman of Nyakeizi cell, Ahmed Timanywa told this publication.

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Area counselor Lubowa Sayid revealed that, “the little boy has been feeding from latrine on lucky days and going on an empty stomach some days and only moves out only when the latrine is being used.”

Shantel, unable to provide justification for her cruel actions toward the little boy, was arrested while accompanying her other two children to a salon for a haircut in preparation for the school resumption on Monday 5, February 2024.

Police have initiated investigations into the matter, and preliminary findings suggest that the five-year-old boy’s father neglected him, leaving him without support in the care of Shantel.