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547 girls defiled during lockdown in Kampala



At least 547 girls have been defiled in Kampala in the last four months according to statistics at Kampala Metropolitan Police. 

This covered the period when the country was under a total lockdown, announced by the government as one of the measures to control the spread of coronavirus disease. The lockdown also led to the closure of educational institutions affecting more than 15 million children from kindergarten, primary, secondary and higher learning institutions, who are now stuck in homes across the country.

According to the records, July had the highest number of defilement cases at 175, followed by June with 163 while May and April had 124 and 85 cases respectively. Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, said girls according to police investigations were lured by the culprits by offering them eats and drinks.

Onyango said in their interaction with the victims, a number of them admitted that they were tempted by people selling things foodstuffs such as chapatti because their parents could not afford to give them sufficient meals during the lockdown. 

Police said in some cases, children were forced into sexual intercourse by their parents or guardians. In May, Katwe police arrested, Zura Mukamana, 36, on allegations of forcing her 14-year-old daughter into prostitution.

Mukamana was as arrested alongside two men who had allegedly had sex with the minor and they were identified as Fred Bulega, 41, and John Mwesigye, 18. Mukamana is currently battling court charges.

Similarly, Yoram Betamu and his wife Josephine Twongirwe, both residents of Najjera, in Kampala were arrested on allegations of selling their 16-year-old daughter to a Portuguese national Carlos Almeida Da-Costa.

Da-Costa was also arrested after residents of Busibante in Najjera in Kira Municipality tipped off Kira division police indicating that he had been sold a female a teenager. Da-Costa shocked Kira Division police when he insisted that he owned the girl lawfully because he had even signed an agreement with her parents.

“In some cases, girls were defiled by people who are their relatives. We have so far established that three girls were defiled by relatives and we are still studying other cases,” Onyango said.

Besides defilement cases, 157 women have been raped during Covid-19 lockdown according to police statistics. Just like murder and injuries as a result of domestic violence during the lockdown, Wakiso still leads in Kampala defilement and rape cases.

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