A four-year-old pupil has dragged Kampala Parents’ School to court for allegedly neglecting its responsibilities leading to her kidnap, almost one year ago.
The minor, Faith Emmanuel Poni, filed the suit Monday morning through her next friend Brian Kasajja. A next friend is an individual who represents another who is unable to file or manage their own lawsuit.
The school is sued alongside its staff Annet Kirabo Namusoke (class teacher) and Daphne Kato, the principal administrator of the school.
The girl, a daughter of Emmanuel Daud Tombe, the South Sudan Consul in Uganda was kidnapped from Kampala Parents’ School on March 14, 2017, and held captive for four days. Her captors demanded a ransom of Shs 18 million from her parents before her rescue by the Police Flying Squad.
Poni now faults the school for failing to provide an adequate system of supervision and surveillance on her employees and failing to have a clear security system on child safety resulting into her kidnap on the fateful day.
She also faults the teacher and the administrator for willful failure to notice a non-authorized person who entered the school during official working hours.
Early last year, Phiona Namubiru, a third-year student at Makerere University and Kirabo, a teacher at Kampala Parents’ School, were charged with child kidnap. It was alleged that the suspects kept the child in custody with intent to procure a ransom or benefit for the liberation from the danger of being murdered.
Namubiru reportedly took advantage of the absence of security cameras at the Naguru based school, to kidnap the unsuspecting minor. Poni now blames her teacher and school authorities for being negligent and wants her banned from teaching for at least 10 years.
Derrick Tumusiime, a lawyer to the family faults the class teacher Namusoke and Kato of permitting Namubiru, to take the child in the absence of authorization from the child’s parents.
The plaint shows that after the kidnap, Poni suffered psychological torture, trauma and health complications as a result of her kidnap. The family adds that up to Shs 20 million was spent on her treatment in Khartoum. According to the suit, the complainant is asking for a compensation for the damages to her family, and to the embassy.
The suit indicates that Emmanuel Tombe, the girl’s father, had to cancel his planned travel to Juba because he was coordinating with security agencies to locate the plaintiff which caused international diplomatic embarrassment and discomfort.
It adds that the consul spent the first four days without sleep, confused with extreme worries, depression, panic attacks and trauma almost leading to a mental breakdown.
The plaint further indicates that the child’s father had to spend and take care of sympathizers that visited his residence in consolation after the incident and that he had to provide extra private security for the child and the entire family with a 24-hour covert escort car. The security detail is maintained to date.
She adds that her mother suffered intolerable pain with depression, anxiety, mental anguish, diplomatic embarrassment and humiliation as a result of the kidnap.