MY father used to lift me and we would sleep under the hospital bed together, reveals a 16-year-old who was defiled by her father while he nursed her at Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital. And some women nursing patients at the hospital have called for severe punishment of the accused. The 47-year-old man has since been arrested after his daughter, who was not talking for close to two months, revealed to nurses that her father used to defile her each time he took her to the bathroom. In an interview yesterday, the girl, who is still in shock, revealed that her father had inflicted a lot of pain on her. “My body is in pain. Everything is paining, especially the legs and my private parts,” she said. Asked what she could remember from the incident, the girl said: “All I can remember is that my father at times used to lift me from the bed and we would sleep under the bed together. Sometimes he used to put me on his lap and would also at times take me to the bathroom. He used to touch and squeeze my body. I don’t know what he was trying to do but he used to put his ‘thing’ here (her private part),” she said. She said the only reason her father was taking care of her was because her mother had died.
“I stay with my father. That is why he is even the one nursing me. My sisters don’t stay with us,” said the girl who also disclosed that she is in grade six. And some women in the ward said the man never allowed any other person to bath his daughter apart from himself. “When some of us noticed that it was not right for the man to be bathing the young girl especially in the night, we confronted him and told him that we were more than ready to help but he refused. He used to tell us that she was his daughter and that he could not do anything to her. He used to get upset, so we stopped talking about it. He was only bathing her when there were no nurse around because he knew that he would be questioned over it,” said Doris Namalichi. And nurses in the ward said it was unfortunate that the girl was now living in fear. “She becomes so uncomfortable when a male doctor comes to check on her. She becomes stiff…it has become so difficult for the doctors to do proper checkups on her,” said one of the nurses. Meanwhile, UTH public relations manager Mwenya Mulenga said management had no control over who should be by a patient’s bedside.
“The news about the girl is so disturbing and unfortunate. We managed to do the necessary tests on her and the results will be out any day. We have no control over who is taking care of the patients because we even have males who take care of females. And in this case, the man used to bath the girl at night; the nurses never used to see him,” he said. Mulenga, however, said there was need for management to ensure that some of the lapses at the institution were dealt with. The man had been nursing his sick daughter in UTH for two months.