A 26-year-old woman who lives near the river in Kalagala village in central Uganda is accused of drowning the children aged six, four and three-months-old.
She had recently separated from her husband.
The suspect’s mother told the East African newspaper that her daughter disappeared with the children a week ago.
“After peeling matooke (bananas) for supper with her, she picked her three children and went with them to an unknown place. She didn’t tell me where she was going, but I thought she was going to the neighbourhood because she looked happy,” she said.
After nearly an hour, one of the villagers came running to her house and told her that her daughter had thrown the three children into the river.
“We rushed to the river where we found my daughter with her clothes drenched in water. She also confirmed to us that she had thrown the children into the river.”
The 26 year old was later arrested by villagers and handed in at the police station. Fishermen meanwhile, tried to search for the children’s bodies, but only managed to find one which was taken to a hospital for Post Mortem.
The police officer in-charge of the case, Francis Jotono, said the suspect told police that she was forced to drown the children after her husband refused to provide food, medical care and clothing. She then also jumped into the river intending to commit suicide, but said she didn’t know how she came out of the river alive.
“I was angry because my husband refused to provide all necessities to the children,” the paper quotes her as saying. “The children had no food and were crying, so I thought dying with them was the best option,” she said.
The police are still searching for the bodies of the other two children and investigations are ongoing. The woman will be taken for a medical check up to work out her mental state before being charged with murder.
Uganda in East Africa is ranked by the United Nations as one of the world’s least developed countries. About 96 per cent of the poor, most of whom are women, live in countryside areas, where 86 per cent of the country’s people live. About 40 per cent of everyone who lives in rural Uganda – some 10 million men, women and children – still live in abject poverty, according to figures from the UNs International Fund for Agricultural Development.