Police report: Over 3,000 children held for murder, rape

A three year police report on children being in conflict with the law has revealed that numbers of children engaging in criminal activities increase every year.

The report for years 2014, 2015 and 2016 when former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, had suspended annual crime report releases, shows at least 3,580 children engaged in serious crimes among others rape, theft and murder.

Compiled by Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and Police’s Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU) and shared by Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, statistics indicate that 1,106 children were arrested in 2014 over criminality, numbers grew to 1,193 in 2015 and expounded to 1,281 in 2016.

Enanga attributes the rising cases of children engaging in criminality due to being ignored by parents and urges parents to love and listen to their children before it’s too late.

Some of the latest cases where children have been arrested for committing heinous crimes include the killing of a 19-year-old girl, Mary Ulger Nakiwuge, who was a YMCA student in Wandegeya. Nakiwuge was stabbed by her 16-year-old sister, Teddy Linda Nakyanzi, on March 8 in a quarrel over unwashed clothes. The duo was daughters of John Kaweesi and Kadijja Nassazi, residents of Kawempe-Mbogo zone.

Police spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan, Patrick Onyango, explained that Nakiwuge had been accusing Nakyanzi of putting on her clothes but failing to wash them afterwards. Police said the deceased often asked parents to intervene but they would take argument as a simple siblings’ row.

“They developed a quarrel and fought each other. In the process, the suspect stabbed her sister (Nakiwuge) to death. She stabbed her using a pair of scissors in the neck. The cause of their quarrel was that the deceased had worn the suspect’s dress and kept it unwashed,” Onyango said.

Similarly, Brian Lwegaba, a Senior Three student of Lubaga Mixed secondary school was on November 4, 2018 stabbed by his colleague over a Shs2000 debt.

Dithan Kitatta, the school headmaster, told the media and murders that it all started when Lwegaba bought a pair of shoes from his colleague but remained with a Shs2000 balance. The deceased was aged 17 while the suspects who was arrested by police was a year senior than him.

In 2016, police in Tororo district arrested a 15-year- old boy over allegations of rape and attempted murder. Police investigations revealed that the pupil of Pasindi primary school in the company of others, waylaid an 11-year- old girl, tortured and raped her.

The 2018 report by Flying Squad Unit (FSU) on taxi drivers’ murders revealed that several street teenagers had been used in murders and aggravated robberies in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono.

Statistics showed cases of armed robberies and murders, especially targeting special hire taxi drivers, mobile money operators, hardware, financial institutions and wholesale shops, had been executed by street teenagers who do surveillance for criminals and they are paid a fee of Shs50,000 for ever undertaking.

Enanga adds that cases being committed by children are also a result of immoral activities exposed to children in homes and communities they live in.

He says children are being exposed to sexual related content and activities something that often make them engage in criminal activities such as raping their siblings or their young colleagues.