Police in Matugga, Wakiso District, have arrested a man for attempting to pour acid on his former wife.
Police identified the suspect as Mubiru Hassan, a 27 year old, resident of Kizito zone, Luwero district, and his ex-wife as Babirye Sumaya, a 28 year old mobile money agent. The attack reportedly occurred on the 15.11.2022 at around 8pm.
According to police, facts gathered indicate that the victim left her work place at Matugga town around 8pm.
But upon reaching her gate, she noticed that she was being followed by boda boda rider, who was carrying her ex-husband.
When they reached her, her ex-husband grabbed her and attempted to pour suspected acid, which was in a plastic bottle on her face.
She made an alarm which attracted a neighbor called Mayambala Christopher, aged 35, who came to her rescue. During the scuffle, all three persons, the suspect, the responder and the victim suffered serious injuries.
The suspect is being guarded at Mulago Regional Referral Hospital and a serious manhunt for the boda boda rider who facilitated the attack is in place.
“Further arrangements are in place to have the suspect charged to court with Attempted Murder, after being discharged from hospital,” police said in a statement.
“We also want to use this opportunity to advise former partners, that even after separation or divorce, one can still have a healthy relationship with a former spouse, or ex-lover, without perpetrating destructive plans or ill-intentions against them. Jealousy in a relationship, past or present can be healed,” they added.
Experts say cases of acid violence/acid attack continue to rise in Uganda with less attention focused on containing the vice.
There are said to be more than 400 known or reported cases of acid attacks in the last 10 years whose effect has been severe leaving lifelong scarring, physical disfigurement, and in some cases, permanent disability including blindness and immobility and death.
“Many survivors spend years in the hospital after their attack, undergoing extensive and expensive treatment and surgeries. About 84 percent of the incidents are related to conflicts in romantic relationships, 10 percent to business conflicts, three percent to property conflicts and three percent are related to other reasons.
“Seventy percent of the victims are women while 30 percent are men. These attacks continue to skyrocket and if we do not take deliberate measures, many lives will be claimed by this iniquitous act,” Mr Michael Aboneka, a partner at Thomas & Michael Advocates and the director of Envirogreen Trust Ltd, says.
According to him, much as the government passed the Toxic Chemicals and Prohibition Act in 2016, the vice still lingers.
“The Act’s main purpose was to domesticate the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and On Their Destruction and less of tackling issues of monitoring and regulating the most common acid-sulfuric acid,” he added.