Friday November 13 2015

5 girls defiled in one primary school

Some of the people who turned up for the public

Some of the people who turned up for the public dialogue to end child marriage at Kachonga Subcounty yesterday. Photo by Joseph Kato 

By Joseph Kato

KAMPALA. At least five girls have been defiled in the last one month at Nampologoma Primary School in Kachonga Subcounty in Butaleja District.
Mr Dembex Kalyebi the deputy head teacher said two of the victims were defiled last week under the influence of their parents.

He narrated that the latest incident involved a 14 year old Primary Six’s best pupil who was married off by her parents at a cost of Shs2million.
“When I heard the rumors, I went to inquire from the parents but they warned me to back off issues concerning their daughter. I have also decided to keep quiet because if fear being hurt,” Mr Kalyebi said.
He was speaking to Daily Monitor on the sidelines of the public dialogue to end child marriage that was organised by Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) at Kachonga Subcounty yesterday.
Mr Kalyebi said another girl was also forcefully married off to a man in Mbale district at the age of 13 on Tuesday, in addition to the other three girls who were married off a fortnight ago.

“There are about 10 girls who have been married off by their parents since this year began. Some parents have told us that we cannot decide on their own daughters. They have advised us to produce our own girls whom we can have control on,” he said.
Mr Samuel Wanyama also a teacher gave a similar testimony that involved a 12 year old Primary Five girl who was also married off by her father at a fee of Shs200, 000 in July this year.
“The girl went back home and fond when her father had already brought a man to take her. We were told that the girl tried to resist but the father threatened to hurt her. We hear she was married in Mbale District,” Mr Wanyama.
A 16-year-old now breastfeeding a one year old baby boy confessed that she was forced to get married to Abdul Kigenyi 23, by her step mother.

“My step mother told my father that I was useless and deserved no education. She often stopped my daddy from buying me books and uniform. The two looked for a man who married me though I did not love him,” she said while shading tears.
The UNFPA report for this year shows teenage pregnancy is high Eastern Uganda at 30.3 per cent and second at 57 per cent in child marriage after Northern Uganda.

Ms Koire Felistars a nursing officer at Butaleja Health Centre III agrees that teenage pregnancy and child marriage are on rise in the district. She adds that more than 80 of the 300 women who went for antenatal services in October were girls aged between 13 to 16 years.
Mr Isaac Owana the officer in charge of Nabiganda police post and Ms Damalie Nerima the community development officer also put the blame parents who they accused of being property oriented.