Police on Tuesday afternoon opened up a General Inquiry File to investigate a video that has been making rounds on social media, of a nursery school child being beaten severely by a male adult.
The video which was first published on the Uganda Radio Network social media pages, shows a child, later identified as a four-year-old pupil of Marto Nursery School in Kamwokya, being beaten on the legs, the back and the head by a male adult.
Following a social media uproar, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire sent a team of officers from Mawanda Road Police Station to Marto Nursery School to establish the circumstances under which the child was facing corporal punishment.
In a statement recorded by the school authority, they revealed that the parent of the four-year-old boy had come to the school after the child was reported missing from school and later found.
While the school could not readily avail the names of the victim’s father, they were able to give his phone number to the officers.
Mr Owoyesigyire is quoted to have said that he had called the child’s father and advised him to avail himself to Mawanda Road Police Station.
“I have talked to him and he confirmed that he was the one captured in the video and that he was punishing his son for escaping from school. I have, however, asked him to go to the station and talk to our officers, ” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
Mr Daniel Kyeyune, the Officer In-charge Old Mulago Police, was earlier quoted saying the child had lost his way while going to school and ended up at Mulago School for the Deaf from where he was taken to police. Kyeyune said he took the responsibility of taking the child back to Marto Nursery School.
Information obtained from Winfred Nakanjako, a teacher at the nursery school indicates that the child is usually delivered to Marto Nursery School by his six-year-old brother. Today, however, the brother who goes to a different school, did not drop the younger sibling at Marto Nursery. As a result, the four-year-old got lost, followed other children and ended up at Mulago School for the Deaf.
Kyeyune said he got a boda-boda cyclist and a police constable who he directed to take the child to the school.
The child was handed over to Nakanjako and it is this teacher seen in the video standing and watching as the child is being beaten. Nakanjako reportedly said there was nothing she could do to stop the parent from punishing his child.
Article 106 (a) of Children Act, as amended in 2016, prohibits corporal punishment in schools. It states that a person of authority in institutions of learning shall not subject a child to any form of corporal punishment.
It describes it as an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding one hundred currency points or both. A currency point in Uganda is twenty thousand shillings.