Police officers rape sex workers - report

Friday September 9 2011

A new report launched by youths accuses police officers of raping commercial sex workers. The report launched on Tuesday by Kawempe Youth Development Association, a civil society group empowering commercial sex workers to fight for their rights, also says police officers often beat sex workers and take their belongings such as money.

However, the police have dismissed the report, accusing the association of condoning crime.
Kampala Metropolitan police spokesman Ibn Ssenkumbi said the association is seeking cheap popularity. “People are fond of falsely accusing the police. These are wrongdoers who want to find safe havens in tainting the image of the police,” he said.

The association chairman, Mr Bernard Ssewava, said they have conducted consultative meetings with police and local leaders and shared the sex workers’ plight. “We are not promoting them because their trade is illegal. We are only empowering them to know their rights and guide them on getting alternative work to earn a living,” he said, adding that Kawempe has the highest number of sex workers, mostly stationed in Bwaise 1 and 2 and Kimombasa.

Kawempe deputy mayor Ibrahim Mirembe said they have allocated funds to assist desperate young women to stay off the streets.