A teenager has been arrested in Uganda after allegedly slicing off his girlfriend’s hand with a machete when she rejected his marriage proposal.
Police in the Bududa District say the 16-year-old girl’s right hand was cut off when the man, who was also a student, became angry with her.
It is alleged the suspect, armed with a machete, waylaid the teen on a path to her parents’ home at around 9pm last week.
As well as losing her hand, she sustained several injuries to other parts of her body.
She was admitted to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital following the attack, which happened while she was walking with a friend.
“He wanted to marry me but I declined because I am still interested in my studies,” she told Daily Monitor.
“This did not go well with him. He became angry with me.”
She went on: “After chopping off my hand, he took off, leaving me in a pool of blood. It is my friend who called my people and they took me to Bududa hospital where they referred me to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital for better management.”
The victim accused police of arresting the suspect and later releasing him under unclear circumstances.
“I want police to rearrest the suspect because I need justice,” she said.
“He should be arrested and prosecuted.”
Daily Monitor has learnt the matter was reported to Bududa Central Police Station, but the victim was told authorities were likely to charge her boyfriend with the lesser charge of defilement rather attempted murder.
A detective at the police station, who asked to stay anonymous, confirmed the suspect was arrested and released on the same day.
The teenager’s mother, Juliet Khainza, alleged the suspect’s family had “compromised” the police officers.
She appealed to the Inspector General of Police Lieutenant Colonel Edith Nakamela to “intervene and help us get justice”.
The mother went on: “My daughter has lost her hand and she is in pain. We don’t even have money for her specialised treatment.”
But district police commander Jaffar Magyezi claimed the suspect they arrested hadn’t committed the crime.
“We had arrested the wrong person but the prime suspect is still at large.”
Anthony Mutuma, officer-in-charge of criminal investigations, said they are investigating two cases of attempted murder and defilement.
But he claimed the victim had told the detective she couldn’t identify the person who committed the crime.
“We arrested two suspects and we processed a file of attempted murder against the suspects and I couldn’t release them because it is a criminal case.”
He added that the girl had told police she “could not recognise the person who committed the offence”.
The victim has refuted this statement.