A Rwandan woman has confessed to killing a five-year-old girl and feasting on her foot in a bid to cure infertility.
From her detention cell, Madeleine Mjawamariya told a local radio station yesterday that she was trying a home remedy for infertility when she enlisted a friend to help kill her neighbour's daughter, Ariette Mukamusoni, so that she could then eat the victim's remains to end her barren streak.
"I was advised by an elderly woman that the foot of a kid would cure my infertility," Mjawamariya explained.
Arrested along with her friend Judith Uwimana in Kihere, 70 kilometres east of the capital Kigali, Mjawamariya was charged with murder and cannibalism. Uwimana was also charged with murder.
After poisoning the child and dragging her to a nearby banana plantaton, "My friend held her neck and strangled her. Then I picked up a rock and smashed her jaw," Mjawamariya recounted.
The suspect said: "I cut off her foot and took it home," chopped it into pieces, "placed it in a saucepan and cooked it" before sitting down to eat.
Police officials said the genitals of the victim had also been mutilated but both suspects denied any knowledge of sexual abuse.
If convicted of murder, the two women face the death penalty.
Both have apologised, beseeching the court for forgiveness with promises "never to do that again".