174 children defiled in Luwero district – police

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At least 174 children were defiled in Luwero district alone, at the time when schools were closed as a measure to forestall the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The figures are indicated in the Annual Crime report which was released earlier today by the Uganda Police Force.

The report indicates that the cases put the district in the 10th position amongst districts with high rates of defilement across the country. The highest number was in the Katwe division which recorded 252 defilement cases, followed by Kamuli district with 236, Mbale with 230, Buyende with 207, Mukono division with 193 cases, as well as Tororo and Kapchorwa which registered 188 cases each.

Other districts with high defilement cases were Buikwe with 186 and Kiryandongo which is ranked in the ninth position with 185 cases. A total of 14,134cases of Defilement was reported to Police across the Country compared to 13,613cases reported in 2019, an increase of 3.8 per cent.

Joyce Namigadde, the Luwero District Probation Officer says that most defilement cases are reported from the sub-counties of Kikyuusa, Kamira, Butuntumula and town councils. Namigadde says that the majority of defilement cases involve relatives, bodaboda riders and community members, but also faulted parents for leaving children unattended to during the lockdown.

Among the cases reported in 2020 include a A 12-year-old girl of Kakinzi village in Butuntumula sub-county allegedly defiled by one Yusuf Nkwanga, a family friend who seduced her to escort him to a charcoal burning site. The Primary five pupil had been left home alone as the mother went to the garden to look for food.

Salim Zimula, the Kakabala Parish Councillor at Butuntumula sub-county says that several defiled pupils ended up becoming pregnant, yet many of them sought justice in vain. A number of them, he says, were not able to report back to school and blames parents for settling such cases out of court without any regard to the interest of the children.

John Ssegujja, the Executive Director of Community Development and Child Welfare Initiatives says that they have tried to help victims to seek justice but were let down by parents who ask for money from the  accused persons. Ssegujja says that there was a need to sensitize parents against settling the cases out of court and the impact of defilement on their children.

Of the cases of Defilement reported in 2020 across the country, 10,413were categorised as defilement while 3,721 were Aggravated Defilement. It is reported that some of the defilement victims now suffer urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence and trauma among other complications.

And in the wake of this, area leaders and activists say that the cases will only come to an end after parents and Police stop profiting from them. About 5,943suspects of defilement were arrested and charged to court, out of whom, 845were convicted while 4,907 were still awaiting trial in the period under review.

Isah Ssemwogerere, the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson asked for more time to get a detailed report from Luwero Central Police Station before he can comment on the matter.

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