Lack of teachers blamed for increased sexual offences in rural Uganda

Members of the Parliamentary select committee on the Inquiry into allegations of Sexual Violence in schools and institutions have heard that the absence of enough teachers in rural areas is contributing to the high cases of sexual abuse.

During their public hearing in Nakaseke district, David Mudumizi, the internal auditor for Ngoma Town Council told the MPs that because the schools don’t have enough teachers, parents are forced to resort to private coaching classes for their daughters.

In effect, Mudumizi said, the girls get easily defiled from the private coaching facilities.

But Barnabas Muhwezi, a teacher at Mboona Secondary School disagreed and instead argued that the problem can be blamed on the “high libido” of men in Nakaseke district.

Padyere MP Joshua Anywarach interacting with Primary School children in Nakaseke

Before heading to Nakaseke, the MPs visited Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts where poor cultural practices were blamed for the high cases of sexual abuse of young girls.

“The constitution was promulgated in 1995 but over 23 years now, the cultural practices here seem to be stronger than what the constitution provides because here it’s still okay to marry a girl of 10 years,” Anthony Okello (Kioga County) told Bundibugyo district leaders.

The MPs said that they had discovered that in Bundibugyo, a girl as young as 10 is considered mature enough to get married.

“We have realized that people here live with a fact that a girl above 10 years is mature enough to be married, this must stop immediately because it’s a total bleach of the constitution,” Godfrey Katusabe(Bukonjo County) said.

The Select Committee was set-up after the National Female Youth MP Anna Adeke Ebaju moved a motion on April 12, for a resolution of Parliament urging Government to inquire into allegations of Sexual Violence in Institutions of Learning in Uganda.