BY JOEL KAGUTA
KASESE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 2021
In 2017 while pursuing a dream of becoming a medical doctor at Kasese High School, a cheeky boy spotted Jackline Mbambu and proposed a love affair to her.
Unaware of the implications of his advances, Mbambu, then a promising S.2 student, accepted to try out the new adventure.
Following an unprotected sexual encounter, Mbambu conceived a baby, only to be shocked that the boy who appeared to be truly in love with her simply denied responsibility for the pregnancy.
Four years on, Mbambu, 20, is a dropout stuck with the Babyboy at her parent’s home in Ibanda II cell, Ibanda-kyanya Town, in Kasese district with her life dreams lost.
Her ordeal is not an isolated incident in Kasese district where leaders have alluded that defilement and abuse against children is a rampant nightmare.
Information obtained by www.westniletodaynews.com from Zainabu Asiimwe, the District Senior Probation and Social welfare officer, has shed more light on the damning reports.
Since the outbreak of the Coronnavirus pandemic, her office has recorded 153 cases of defilement and 3,424 other child related abuses including child abandonment, neglect and torture by parents and relatives.
“We registered 127 defilement cases during the first lock-down and 26 cases in the second lock-down including eight cases of men who [without shame] impregnated their own biological daughters,” said Asiimwe.
The cases were recorded between March, 2020 and June, 2021 of which 17 have been prosecuted while the rest are pending for perusal by the Resident State Attorney, she said.
With defilement and child abuse cases seemingly getting out of hand, the leaders in Kasese district have decided to step up to the challenge to halt the vice.
Calling on the community development officers and the police to hunt down culprits and perpetrators, Asiimwe said: “We cannot see such dubious acts happening in our society and we keep quite. Let us all play our part because these children are all our sons and daughters.”
Similarly, James Muthulhanda Katalikawe, the chairman of Bugoye sub-county, which is among the most affected sub-counties in Kasese district called for strict measures like life imprisonment of people he said were behaving like beasts by having romantic affairs with their own children.
“Let those arrested act as an example to the rest of the community members. In fact those defiling our daughters should be excommunicated from the community,” Katalikawe said.
He warned family heads who sympathize with defilers and opt to settle cases at home to control their unnecessary craving for cows and goats before the long arm of the law grabs them.
The Busongora North Member of Parliament, Hon. Sowedi Kitanywa acknowledged that defilement and other forms of child abuse were ruining the future generation in Kasese at an alarming rate.
He advised that family heads must play their roles and responsibilities of providing basic necessities to their children so that the tender girls are not lured by predators into early sex for petty gifts.