In Uganda, four children under the age of seven from the same family have been confirmed dead after they took Paraquat herbicide, allegedly given to them by the grandmother.

The children have been living with their grandmother in Kirangira village, Kasankala Sub County in Rakai district in the country.

According to Mr Fred Bongole who is a relative to the deceased children, the grandmother mistakenly gave out the herbicide instead of a local herb (omululuuza) which she had cooked for them.

“Their grandmother had been used to giving them herbs because she believes they heal faster. However this time round, the local herb and the herbicide were both in empty bottles of mineral water which confused her as she failed to differentiate the two.”

“She said that she even tested though she didn’t swallow and felt it was the real herb she had to give to them,” he explained.

The two children belonged to Ms Peace Nambatya whereas the other two belonged to Mr Daniel Wasswa.

Mr Edward Ssemwezi, the grandfather of the children, said it was “great shock” seeing his four grandchildren die mysteriously.

“There’s no way one can blame the grandmother. We received those children during the Easter holidays and decided to stay with them and celebrate Easter together,” he cried helplessly.

The fifth victim of the suspected poisoning belongs to Ms Nambatya but was still under medication at Lubaga hospital in Kampala by press time.

Relatives say they are optimistic he could heal.

Rakai District Police Commander, Ms Shifa Kiribwa told Daily Monitor that they have not made any arrests related to the death of the children but investigations are underway.

“There is no clear information showing that someone intended to kill the innocent souls. We are in touch with the doctors and they have shared with us the postmortem report as we do further investigations,” she said in an interview.

Three of the children were buried in Kirangira village on Saturday, Kasankala sub county whereas the fourth one was buried in Lwamaggwa village in Lwamaggwa Sub County, Rakai district.

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