Kampala, Uganda — The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed for arrest of politicians from the Sebei and Karamoja regions who are reportedly promoting female genital mutilation (FGM) in their areas.
Kadaga made the directive while meeting leaders from Sebei and Karamoja regions, the Minister of Gender and UN agencies on Thursday, 31 January 2019.
The meeting was aimed at finding solutions to the persistent problem of FGM. The Speaker said that she had learnt that politicians are promoting the vice under the guise of preserving their culture.
"Can you tell me who those politicians are after this meeting? We must locate them and arrest them, " Kadaga said. These allegations were confirmed by the Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development, Hon Peace Mutuuzo who said that those aspiring for political office in the 2021 elections were mobilizing and funding the FGM ceremonies.
"That political influence is largely associated with the sudden upsurge of the vice in Sebei region from 47 cases of females circumcised in December 2018 to 55 females in January 2019," Mutuuzo revealed. Mutuuzo's report irked Kadaga who hit at local leaders, UN agencies and government for laxity towards the fight against FGM. Kadaga wondered what the shs200 million allocated to the ministry for the fight against FGM had accomplished.
"I looked into the budget and found that every year there has been money that we have been sending through to the Ministry of Gender for the FGM campaign but I cannot trace the money. I have not seen any accountability; I don't even know who has the money," said Kadaga. Kadaga further emphasized the poor state of education in the said regions and called on the Committees on Equal Opportunities and Education to ensure government addresses such gaps. "There are 10 sub-counties in Sebei where there is neither a primary nor secondary school. People have nothing to do but to get married and you cannot get married before you are circumcised, " she added.