Kampala. Months ago, a sad, depressed and hopeless look was all that could be seen on the face of the 24-year-old girl who was gang-raped and sodomised by five Pakistanis.
But at a press conference yesterday, the young lady wore a smile, looked healthy, walked without assistance and seemed comfortable when she took her seat.This was a great contrast to the picture of a bedridden woman writhing in pain, whose sad story had been extensively covered by media. The young woman, who used to work as a waitress, was gang raped and sodomised by five Pakistanis, all employees of Yuasa Motors Limited, leaving her with horrific injuries.
When the story broke, she could not walk on her own and needed diapers to contain her bodily waste which was flowing freely.Unlike before when they were rescuing her, yesterday ActionAid officials together with other civil society organisations were bidding farewell to the girl who has been under their care for the past six months. In her remarks, the girl expressed her gratitude to her caretakers, the press and all the organisations that played a big role in ensuring that she got her life back on track.
“I would like to thank all the women who took care of me, and ensured I was clean while I was sick. Thank you for loving me, and treating me like a sister and a friend. May the good Lord reward you abundantly. I am now okay. I do not even wear pampers anymore,” she said amidst a silent audience.After six months of intensive treatment, surgery and counselling, she was ready to be reunited with her family.
Mr Henry Nickson Ogwal, the acting country director of ActionAid Uganda, explained that upon her resettlement, she would receive facilitation to begin a self-help project of her choice.
“We have been training her for a business venture that she is going to take on soon after getting back to her community. All we can ask is for all individuals and the media to respect her privacy,” Mr Ogwal said.In an emotional moment, she broke down as she was being handed her medical report, by the ActionAid officials that she even excused herself out of the room.Although she is now going to pick up her life from where she left it, her case is still in court. Three of the men she accuses of committing the despicable acts on her are her still on the run.
The next hearing of the case is scheduled for March 18, and she will be present to give her testimony. The progress of the case however, seems to be her father’s greatest concern. “There were five men that raped my daughter. Only two of those have been arrested. What will happen if the other three are not caught?” he asked. Justice for his daughter is all he hopes and prays for.
The events July 2013. The story of the then 23-year-old Ugandan being repeatedly gang-raped and sodomised by five Pakistanis at their home in Kiwatule breaks online.
October 2013. Her story goes viral, causing an outrage in the public and civil society organisations.
October 19, 2013. Two of the accused men, Zuheer Mohamed and Sadiq Muhammad appear before court and are later remanded to Luzira prison.
March 12, 2014. The girl is reunited with her family in good health, after being under the care of Action Aid Uganda, and FIDA for six months.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor