Nalufenya operatives in the spotlight again for refusing a mother to breastfeed her child

Operatives at Nalufenya police facility in Jinja district are on spot for blocking a mother in their custody from breastfeeding her 7-months-old baby.

Justine Nakakeeto, the only female suspect in Nalufenya police facility was picked up together with her 7-months-old baby from Kikoni, a Kampala suburb in April this year. She is accused together with 12 others for recruiting youths into criminal gangs to terrorize people in Masaka, Kampala and Wakiso districts.

However, Amooti Katebalirwe, the Acting Chairman Uganda Human Rights Human Commission, says that Nakakeeto was blocked from breastfeeding her baby.

“We were informed that she is not allowed to breastfeed her baby. We will ask the Inspector General of Police-IGP Kale Kayihura to explain this in our next meeting,” Katebalirwe told URN at the UHRC headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday. Police spokesperson, Asan Kasingye confirmed the detention of Nakakeeto at Nalufenya.

“When I went there, I found a woman who was in custody but am not sure whether she was with her baby there,” said Kasingye. Adding that, “there is no law restricting detention of a breastfeeding mother and it’s her decision whether to go with her baby or not. I just don’t understand how she can be stopped from breastfeeding a baby she is with in the cells.”

A source that talked to URN on condition of anonymity, says Nakakeeto was stopped from breastfeeding her baby during interrogation. “We thought if she feels the need to breastfeed and the pain, she will confess to her involvement,” the source said. In her statement, Nakakeeto explains that she was picked up together with her baby from her bar in Kikoni where she was found serving her customers.

This is not the first time operatives at Nalufenya police facility are under the spotlight for human rights violation. The operatives drew angry reaction mid this month when some of the suspects held in connection to the murder of former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi appeared in court limping with fresh wounds on their body.

They accused the operatives at Nalufenya police facility for torturing them to confess their alleged involvement in the murder of Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and Driver Godfrey Mambewo.