By Adam Gule
Raima Omiza, 22, a resident of Akiligba village in Lodonga sub-county, Yumbe district, has been arrested and detained at Yumbe Central Police Station over allegations of attempting to steal a baby from Yumbe Regional Referral Hospital.
It’s reported that the suspect, who has been married for over a year, admitted herself to the maternity ward of the hospital for about three days without the knowledge of the midwives claiming to be pregnant, all along occupying one of the beds in the ward.
According to hospital administrator Rukia Kassim, the suspect came to the hospital with baby delivery kits and an antenatal card, which made it difficult for the occupants of the room and midwives to know her intention.
However, Kassim said on Sunday, the suspect moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where newborn babies with some complications are kept for close monitoring and attempted to pick a baby, but fortunately, the mother of the baby came asking why she was standing next her baby instead, she allegedly pointed another baby next to the first one she had attempted to pick.
Kassim said this time around, the nurse on duty at the NICU came in and equally questioned her why she wanted to pick the baby and she tried to claim, she is the mother of the baby. Fortunately again, the nurse knew the mother of the second baby the suspect was also claiming.
This provoked the nurse to ask her for the way about of her baby again, it’s alleged that she this time pointed at some twins whose mother, the nurse on duty also knew.
Kassim said after all the incidents, the nurse immediately informed the Police who quickly rushed to the ward and arrested the suspect.
“When we asked the lady when she came to the hospital, she said, it was her fourth day and all along, she has been sleeping in the ward together with the mothers,” she said.
Kassim added that it’s the second time such an incident has happened at the hospital with the first having been in 2021 when a woman also camped at the hospital claiming to be helping a mother who was lonely, but at the end, escaped with a three-year-old daughter of the woman she was helping. However, fortunately, with the help of CCTV cameras at the hospital, she was traced and the girl was rescued.
Suspect admits her mistake
Omiza admitted to having lied that she was pregnant.
According to the antenatal card she obtained from the hospital, her estimated date of delivery was March 5, 2023.
However, when she was examined by the health workers, they told her she wasn’t pregnant.
Omiza said what she did was due to pressure from the relatives of her husband who wanted a baby because she had taken long without a baby.
“I have a baby girl with another man and my second child died also from a different man. When I married my current husband, who stays in Kampala, I failed to conceive,” she added.
She added that, when she claimed to be pregnant, her husband sent sh50,000, which she used to purchase baby delivery kits.
Leaders condemn act
Jamal Jenson Ngoma, the LC3 chairperson for Kuru town council condemned the act, saying it is unfortunate that people have resorted to such criminal acts.
Avako Melisa Naima Gule, the Woman Member of Parliament for Yumbe district, described the act as inhumane.