School official held for sodomising 60 pupils
Posted Saturday, November 2 2013 at 02:00
Mbale- A school librarian has been arrested on charges of sodomising more than 60 pupils, sources at the institution and police have said.
The accused (names withheld), is the librarian of North Road Primary School in Mbale District.
He is accused of using story books from “Libraries of Love” to lure the pupils into sodomy. Libraries of Love is an international Non-Governmental Organisation based in the US which supports schools in Africa to create own libraries and instil passion for reading among children.
Although Libraries of Love seeks to serve “as bridges to a better future for the children of Uganda”, many parents at North Road Primary School accuse the NGO of promoting homosexuality by employing someone whom they say is a homosexual despite their complaints.
The Mt Elgon Regional Police spokesperson, Ms Diana Nandawula, confirmed the arrest of the librarian. “We are still gathering information about sodomy at the school from various parents who reported the matter to us. We shall later get statements from the head teacher, teachers and other pupils at the school,” she said.
A parent at the school, who preferred anonymity, said one day his child came home bleeding from his behind. When he asked what had happened, the boy narrated to him the whole ordeal allegedly orchestrated by the suspect.
“The boy said he had been given books to read about homosexuality and had been enticed into homosexuality by the librarian and that he told him to bend over. I felt like going to kill this man, but thank God the police have picked him,” said the angry parent.
Many parents said for fear of public shame, when their children tell them that the suspect gives them book about homosexuality, they just quietly take their children away from the school.
The school head teacher, Ms Grace Nabujere, said although she had been having reports about homosexuality in the library, she was still waiting for parents to officially report to her.
“I am happy that police have arrested him. It is very shameful and I have not gone there to see him although he has been my librarian. Police should hold him until they establish facts to allow the law take its course because it is an embarrassment to the school,” she said.
Mbale Resident District Commissioner Paul Nangoli said police should carry out thorough investigations and prosecute the accused.
“I have not been aware but now I am going to ring police to instruct them to hold the man until he is produced in court. We should not take this lightly because I know many parents can’t report this, they are ashamed and they don’t want their children to suffer stigma,” he said.
Mr Nangoli warned other primary and secondary schools countrywide where Libraries of Love have taken books, refurbished or built libraries, to scrutinise the books they are given. He said they should also probe the people they employ to find out what they are promoting and report to police immediately.
Mr Julius Makwetta, a human rights activist in Mbale, said most of the parents whose children have been sodomised have suffered trauma and said they need counselling and guidance.
While at Mbale Secondary School in June this year, the executive director Libraries of Love, Ms Trudy Marshall, said the NGO targets to serve “as bridges to better future for the children in Uganda”.
“This library will be filled with such books and messages that will comfort your heart; words that will hopefully offer guidance and direction to anyone that may be feeling lost and alone and needs a friend; stories that will touch your heart and offer you hope and courage to live the life you were meant to have; books that not only keep you company, but can help make a difference in your life,” said Ms Trudy.
Meanwhile, lawmakers have asked Prisons authorities to install surveillance cameras in prison wards after Daily Monitor ran what Public Accounts Committee members called “a sad story” of a married man who was sodomised by fellow in-mates and infected with HIV.
This particular story titled: “What it means to be raped in prison and be infected with HIV” published on Wednesday became a subject of discussion in the Committee after the MPs tasked Mr Simon Kimono, the accounting officer of Uganda Prisons Service, to explain why he had failed to stop sodomy and the spread of HIV/Aids in the country’s prisons.