Kampala- A wedding fell apart yesterday and a stampede ensued after police raided a church in Kisoro District and arrested the bridegroom and relatives for marrying off a minor.
Police arrested John Asiimwe, 19, who was about to exchange matrimonial vows with a 16-year-old girl in a church in Nyundo Sub-county.
In the ensuing melee, the girl’s father and the presiding priest fled.
The District Police Commander, Mr Hassan Ssekalema, said Asiimwe, and the bride’s mother, Ms Scola Kemigisha, the matron and best man were arrested.
“We are holding Asiimwe on charges of defilement since he has been having sexual intercourse with the girl for six months. The mother is detained on charges of procuring defilement,” said Mr Ssekalema, who headed the operation.
Under the law, it is illegal to have sexual intercourse with or marry a girl below 18 and the offender is liable to face a death sentence on conviction.
Police have also summoned the girl’s father, Mr Vincent Byaruhanga, and the Rev Fr Joseph Sebatwale of Mutorere Diocese, who was presiding over the failed wedding, to answer charges of procuring a defilement.