Parents of a senior four girl who a few weeks ago was said to have hanged herself inside the dormitory at Wanyange Girls’ Secondary School in Kakira town council, Jinja District have petitioned police to carry out a fresh investigation into circumstances leading to their daughter’s death.
Josephine Namuli, 17 reportedly committed suicide by hanging on June at around 7.30am and reportedly used a rope to hang herself .
In the petition to the Criminal Investigations Director, the parents led by the deceased’ father Philip Mugerwa say that at around 9am on the fateful day, they received a call from the school administrators informing them of the death of their daughter in the dormitory as her colleagues went for morning preps.
“It is alleged that she was found dead in the dormitory at 7am as other students returned to prepare for the day’s classes. It is further alleged that she was hanging by the entrance doorway and not by the bed side as was stated in the media. Namuli was a short stout type of girl who I cant imagine could have got the courage, energy and stamina to go up and knot a rope around her neck and tie it to the roof cross poles unless assisted or abetted by another party,” Mugerwa says in his petition.
According to the deceased’s letter to the CID director, the time between the death and when he received a call from the school management indicating the death is one to cause suspicion saying it makes him ask question as to why a girl said to have committed suicide at 7am , he was called two hours later at 9am.
Mugerwa says that even when he arrived at school in time after being informed of the death, it is perplexing that he was never allowed inside the dormitory but was only told that the daughter her committed suicide inside the facility without being shown the exact place.
He adds that he was later informed the body had earlier been taken by police to the mortuary in Jinja.
“I wonder why it took all that time for the school authorities to let us know of the incident. I patiently waited to be led to the scene where I expected police to have cordoned off to witness my daughter hanging and after pull her down upon carrying out the rituals we normally perform in such circumstances but this didn’t happen ,”he says in the letter to the Criminal Investigations Directorate.
Mugerwa says he was later led to Jinja mortuary and later Kakira Police Station where he had been asked to record a statement but notes the happenings there are a matter for questioning.
“After recording my statement, I asked the policemen whether they had already picked statements from the headmistress of the school and other involved parties only to tell me there were returning to the school to pick statements, something I found strange and my question is why were they in a rush to pick and remove the body from the scene before my arrival and I wonder if it was done following the right procedure.”
The deceased’s father says that at the mortuary, he was asked to pay shs250,000 before the body could be released to him and it was after he had an argument with the school bursar that it agreed to pay these bills.
Mugerwa says that it was agreed as a family that a second opinion is made regarding the death of their daughter and this was done at Mulago .
“In the second postmortem it was mentioned that the deceased’s uterus was missing while the report from Kakira had indicated normal uterus,”Mugerwa says in his petition.
He adds that he finds this state of affairs coupled with information from Mulago hospital that the original postmortem report in Kampala had been taken by “men from Jinja” strange and worth a separate investigation.
The deceased senior four girl’s father says a number of questions including the reason for the daughter to be in the dormitory when everyone was out for preps have never been questioned by police.
“Some notes were found on her body in which she was writing to a fellow student about a lost book. The note is visibly rumpled, an indication that it was returned to the sender by someone who kept it for long. Did the deceased write the note to demand for her book and then keep on her person,” he questions.
Mugerwa also wonders why it was only her daughter who was sleepy and had remained behind in the dormitory .
The dad also questions the motive behind the hurried packing of her daughter’s property by the school management and taken to office even before the parents could collect them.
“Why was the media never allowed at the scene? Why was the school the first to post on their facebook page of her suicide act instead of protecting and leaving it to the mainstream media to unearth? Why are many pointing to ritual sacrifice in which students are recruited into the cult?”
Mugerwa says he wants the Crime Investigations Directorate to help him thoroughly investigate the matter to help get justice for the death of her daughter whom he says was always jolly and can’t imagine could ever commit suicide.
“Your intervention into the matter to expedite justice and accountability will go a long way to see me, my relatives and friends get to heal after this tragic incident and will help other parents not to be victims of the same,” he says.