Ugandan police authorities have identified the woman who was filmed while brutalizing a five-year-old child as Patience Uwimana, 25. She was recently released from Kisoro Prison for attempted murder.
The incident that went viral on Wednesday as Ugandans called for her arrested took place at Bwuuma zone, Kyazanga Trading Centre, Lwengo District.
AIGP Asan Kasingye on Thursday identified the victim as Alfred Ssebandeke, 5.
“The suspect [is] on the run. She will be arrested,” Mr Kasingye said in a tweet.
Earlier, the government sought help from the members of the public to give it information that might lead to the identification and arrest of Uwimana.
The Minister of ICT Judith Nabakooba appealed to members of the public with information about the woman to tip the police to enable her arrest and charge her.
“The government of Uganda doesn’t and will never tolerate abuse of children’s rights. Any leads to this heartless woman are welcome,” Ms Nabakooba said on Thursday.
In a viral video, a woman is seen caning a child before stepping on the kid’s chest.
The suspect was speaking Luganda, a local dialect, which gives detectives an indication that the crime could have been committed in Uganda.
However, the person who captured the video wasn’t bothered about saving the child from the beating. It’s not clear whether police would charge the person who recorded the incident. Some sections of the public especially on social media have called for charging of the person who recorded the video for abetting torture and failure to rescue the child from the tormentor.
Since the video was posted by an unknown person, it has attracted anger from members of the public.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga said: “There is no confirmation of arrest yet. Both security and the locals are trying hard to follow up the social media clues, but still in vain,” Commissioner of Police Enanga said.
Viral videos of people’s children have led the government to hunt perpetrators and many of them have been successfully prosecuted.
Artiste Moses Ssali alias Bebe Cool has put a reward of Shs1m to anyone who will provide information about the whereabouts of the woman.
Many people and organisations want to rescue the child so that she or her can get psychological treatment and transfer the toddler from an abusive community.
In 2014, a maid, Jolly Tumuhiirwe, was recorded secretly while beating a toddler she was looking after. Police later arrested her. She was convicted and sentenced to four years in jail.
At least 1500 children are abused or tortured annually, according to Uganda Police Force statistics.
However, the convictions of the abusers of children in court are as low as 45 per 1500 cases.