By Anthony Kushaba
The Ntungamo district chairperson Sam Muchunguzi Rwakigooba has called for joint efforts to end defilement in the area.
Mucunguzi was on Thursday speaking about the closure of a district round table meeting with the stakeholders aimed at discussing the welfare of children held at Ntungamo district council hall organized by TPO Uganda –KCHS project.
Rwakigooba was concerned by the statistics indicating that a total of 2541 children were defiled and impregnated between 2020 and 2021 which he described as alarming and requires the efforts of all the stakeholders.
Mucunguzi added the welfare of children in the district has been compromised by a section of greedy parents who rush to receive incentives from the defilers instead of allowing the law to take its course.
Mucunguzu added that the common practice of polygamy in the district has put a lot of pressure on the resources in families thus leaving the children without basic needs which expose them to the risk of being defiled in return for material gains. He called on religious leaders, Technocrats, security, civil society organizations and the general public to work together and end the vice.
Ntungamo resident district commissioner George Bakunda revealed that the district leadership is worried by the cases of defilement calling on parents to desist from practices that encourage defilement.
Bakunda revealed that defilement deprives the children of their future thus leaving them stuck in poverty in addition to compromising their health.
The meeting attracted religious leaders, Police, Judicial officers, Technocrats among others.
Rev. Edward Mwesigye the in charge of household and community transformation in South Ankole diocese revealed that the church will partner with the local government and the development partners to ensure that the vice is eradicated.
Amon Asimiire the TPO district project coordinator revealed that the organization is focusing on ensuring that the orphans and vulnerable children are supported to achieve their potential through tackling gender-based violence and violence against children case management process.
Asimmire added that the organization is also stepping efforts in supporting children with HIV/AIDS by equipping them with vocations skills enable them to earn a living.
The Ntungamo acting district police commander Godfrey Oroch revealed that there is need for health workers to always help them victims in filling medical forms and preservation of evidence so that the perpetrators are dealt with accordingly.
Benon Mugume the Ntungamo Senior probation and welfare officer says that the trend of defilement worsened during the COVID-19 Lockdown with Rubaare town council and Bwonyera sub-county in the lead.
He expressed concern that some parents were conniving with police and local leaders to settle cases of defilement and at times marrying off very young girls in exchange for cattle and money.