Wednesday July 16 2014

‘Trafficked’ children handed back to parents

Some of the  children suspected to have been

Some of the children suspected to have been trafficked before they were reunited with their parents and guardians in Luweero District on Monday. Photo By Dan Wandera 

By Dan Wandera

Police in collaboration with the Luweero District probation office have handed back to parents more than 70 children intercepted near Jinja Town in a suspected child trafficking case.

The police spokesperson for Savana region, Mr Lameck Kigozi, told the Daily Monitor that all the 74 children intercepted at Nalufenya village near Jinja Town have been handed to their respective parents or guardians as investigations continue.
Police at the weekend intercepted a Fuso truck transporting 74 male children in the company of four male adults who claimed they had permission from the Luweero District authorities to transport the children to Jinja where they are supposed to attend Madarasa Islamic classes.

The children were, however, allegedly smuggled out of the district without the knowledge of the police and the district probation office.

According to the Luweero District Police commander, Mr Justus Asiimwe, they could not have allowed the transportation of such a large number of children on a truck for such a long distance without getting details regarding the entire arrangement.

Sheikh Ahamed Haruna Lubwama, a Muslim leader based at Kikyusa Islamic parish in Kikyusa Sub-county, had earlier claimed that the children were mobilised from Kikyusa and Kamira sub-counties with the blessing of their parents to undertake Quran studies under the Madarasa Islamic Classes in Jinja District.

Sheikh Lubwama said some of the children were new converts to Islam after their respective parents gave them a go-ahead to take them for Islamic religious studies.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Centre for Justice and Law, which intervened in the matter, has offered to help the Muslim leaders process the paper work for parents who wish to enrol their children for Islamic studies in approved Madarasa schools.