Scholars concerned by increasing cases of rape, defilement

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Scholars from Makerere University have called upon the government to fix the capacities of institutions like police and courts to check the increasing cases of rape and defilement.

According to the police reports on defilement, in 2020 a total of 14,230 cases were reported, in 2021 14,436 cases, while in 2022 rape cases were 20,580.

The report indicates 1,519 rape cases in 2020, 1,486 cases in 2021 while in 2022 1,623 cases were registered.

Available data shows out of five hundred fifty-seven rape cases taken to court only three cases secured conviction while others are still pending either due to the corruption mostly due bribery and corruption by some judicial officers.

Besides rape and defilement, teenage pregnancy stand at 25 percent.

With such glaring statistics that puts the lives of women and girls at risk, Dr Anna Ninsiima, from the School of Women and Gender Studies, wants the government to stop lamentation and the common talk of good laws but lack implementation rather act.

"Every time you hear we have good laws but implementation, it is almost become a song," Dr Ninsiima said.

"I think that is not the problem, rather institutional breakdown is the problem, let government ensure that police, courts of law and other institutions are fixed to do their work."

While giving a key note address to stakeholder in Hoima, Associate Professor Conslanta Kabonesa, also from the School of Women and Gender Studies, wondered how police and court have made criminal cases like rape, defilement a source of income at the expense of the young girls' future.

"You see in Kyangwali, a 72-year-old man defiled a 20-year-old girl, the parents reported to police but [just] two days later, the man was out of cells," Kabonesa said.

"Did they prove he was not guilty or he paid? This is bad one you are not sure if he has not infected the girl but also it's criminal."

Prof Kabonesa further called for joint efforts, especially calling for the need to break the cultural beliefs where some cultures believe girls don’t deserve education rather than marriage at a tender age.

"To-date we still have cultures that believe girls are wealth and they should be married at early age thus not entitled to education," she said.

"This has to be condemned because girls deserve better, let the church, cultural and political notwithstanding the societal to have mindset change in that regard."

However, the Albertine police spokesperson Julius Hakiza refuted the allegations that police take bribes to set free culprits of rape and defilement.

Hakiza said they would investigate if there is any wrong element doing that will be brought to book.

"Our role is to keep law and order, then how on earth can we take money on rape and defilement cases this is not acceptable, but right we have noted this and we are going to carry out our internal investigation and whoever will be found of course we face the law, we cant tolerant that," Hakiza said

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