Mityana — Mityana District leaders have raised concern over rampant defilement cases in the area.
Between July and August alone, Mityana Police Station recorded 18 defilement cases, 15 of which were of aggravated defilement of female juveniles and three cases of girls who experienced pressured or forced sex.
However, of 18 recorded cases, only two cases have been taken to court.
Mr Joseph Luzige, the chairperson of Mityana District, partly blames the problem on parents who conspire with defilers to frustrate police investigations.e, the chairperson of Mityana District, partly blames the problem on parents who conspire with defilers to frustrate police investigations.
"I have been receiving reports from police of girls aged between nine and 15 years, who have been defiled. But the problem we have got is that some parents after learning that their children have been defiled, negotiate with families of the suspects and end up killing the cases," he says.
Mr Luzige cites two examples of primary teachers in Mannyi Sub-county and another in Busimbi Division Mityana Municipality, who were arrested by police after defiling two pupils but the parents failed to follow up the cases at police.
This prompted a group of district councillors led by the deputy speaker of district council, Mr Kato Kasujja, to storm Mityana Police Station last month, accusing police officers of mismanaging case files.
"Unless parents desist from concealing information about their defiled daughters, this problem will continue unabated," he says.
Mr Isha Ntumwa, the Mityana Resident District Commissioner, says the suspects are always close relatives, teachers and business people.
"We shall bring down the rate of defilement and other crimes in this area only if all stakeholders work together. Police cannot single handedly solve this problem," Mr Ntumwa says.
Defilement is defined as having sexual intercourse with a girl who is below the age of 18 years.
According to the Ugandan law, anybody below 18 years is considered to be a child. It does not matter whether they have consented or not to having sexual intercourse.
Mr Norbert Ochom, the Wamala Regional Police spokesperson, says as police, they have tried to handle defilement cases, but adds that their efforts have been frustrated by increasing cases of domestic violence and child neglect.
"Some girls are neglected by their biological parents while others are tortured and they run away from their families. Those who seek help from other people end up being defiled by the caretakers," Mr Ochom says.
He adds: "What we are trying to do now is to intensify community awareness focusing on sexual-related offences."