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9-year-old commits suicide in Kagadi after father's beating

A 9-year-old girl has committed suicide in Kagadi district after she was beaten by her father for allegedly torching the family kitchen.

The deceased has only been identified as Atugonza, daughter to one Boniface of Kacundwa village in Kyanaisoke sub-county. Her lifeless body was found dangling from a mango tree in the same village on Wednesday morning by residents.

It is alleged that Atugonza was on Tuesday sent by her parents to go and buy a matchbox, and when she reached home, she playfully lit the matchbox, setting off a fire at a grass-thatched kitchen belonging to one of her uncles.

The fire burnt the kitchen including some utensils. Her father pounced on her, beating her severely. She reportedly ran away from home only to be discovered dead less than 24 hours later. Jane Kyosaba, also a resident, blamed the deceased’s father for over-punishing the girl for a genuine juvenile mistake.

“Look, now we have lost her at this tender age just because she accidentally torched a kitchen while playing with colleagues," said Kyosaba. "I appeal to parents to always give moderate punishment to their children whenever they make a mistake. Children should be handled carefully, not like adults."

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson said police on getting the information rushed and picked up the body that was later conveyed to Kagadi General Hospital mortuary where it is currently lying pending postmortem, adding that investigations into the matter have commenced.

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