Warning over child abuse as father is detained for assaulting 4-year old son

On 4 January 2018 at 11:18

Police have cautioned parents and the public in general against injustices to children in the name of punishment, warning of “criminal liability” to whoever will be caught in any form of child abuse.

The warning follows an incident on Monday in Kacyiru Village of Ntendezi Cell, Ruharambuga Sector in Nyamasheke District where a man beat and injured his four-year old son.

The ordeal started when the father identified as David Harindintwali, 35, returned home drunk and started assaulting his wife.

However, when the wife managed to flee the scene for her dear life, Harindintwali turned the feud to his son, Police said.

“At about 4pm on Monday, Harindintwali came back home drunk and started assaulting his wife in presence of his son, whom he fathered with his ex-wife. When the wife found her way out of Harindintwali arms and escaped, Harindintwali turned to his son beating him seriously and injuring him on the forehead,” Inspector of Police (IP) Eulade Gakwaya, Police spokesperson for the Western region, said.

“A neighbor, who witnessed the incident rushed to the nearby Ruharambuga Police station and reported the incident, officers were immediately dispatched, they rescued the boy and took the suspect into custody,” he added.

According to the spokesperson, there would have been the “worst scenario of infanticide had the officers not arrived in time” judging from the way the man was physically torturing the boy.

The boy had been brought by her mother to spend the festive season with his father. The victim’s mother separated with Harindintwali also due to similar violent domestic conflicts.

IP Gakwaya said that Harindintwali will be charged with ‘battery or causing bodily injuries against a child or a person unable to defend him or herself’ under article 154 of the penal code.

The article states that “Any person, who intentionally inflicts battery or bodily injuries on a child or a person who is unable to defend him/herself due to his/her physical or mental state or old age, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of between Rwf100, 000 and Rwf500, 000.”

It is the second similar case in Nyamasheke in the last two month following one in November last year when another man seriously assaulted an eleven year old boy.

IP Gakwaya called upon the general public to protect and promote the rights of children by reporting all sorts of abuses such as corporal punishment or child labour to the nearest Police stations or call the police on 116 –(child help line), 3029 (Isange One Stop Centre) and 112 for emergency.

Currently, there are 44 Isange centres across the country, which offer free medical, psycho-socio and legal services to victims of gender violence and child abuse.