Mother arrested over marrying off underage daughter for Shs1m

Police confirmed that two suspects are under detention. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The mother and her supposed son in-law are being held at Butaleja Central police station pending further investigations

Police in Butaleja District have arrested a mother for allegedly marrying off her 15-year-old daughter.

Police reports show that the mother conspired with the husband currently on the run-  to surrender their daughter to a 38-year-old man for marriage in exchange for Shs1 million.

The Bukedi regional South Police Spokesperson, Mr Moses Mugwe, confirmed the incident on Wednesday adding that “they are investigating a case of aggravated defilement and procuring defilement.”

He identified the suspect as Ali Guloba, 38, a resident of Mwanswa Village, Busabi Town Council in Butaleja District.

He said the mother and her supposed son in-law are being held at Butaleja Central police station pending further investigations. 

“Both parents of the victim and the alleged defiler negotiated dowry of Shs1million and he (Guloba) paid a deposit of Shs500.000 hence taking the victim for marriage as wife,” Mr Mugwe explained. 
Police responded to rescue the victim after they received the information through the Butaleja Criminal Investigations Department.  

“Our team arrested the mother of the victim whereas the father fled. Efforts are on to have him arrested and also aarraigned in court,” Mr Mugwe added. 

The victim whose name was withheld for being a minor is a Primary Four pupil at Highland Primary school in Naweyo Sub County. 

“I was forced by my parents to marry this man but I don’t want,” she told this publication. 
Under Ugandan law, any person who has sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years is guilty of defilement, a capital offence for which death is the maximum sentence.

Section 133 of the penal code also sets a five-year prison sentence as a penalty for persons involved in aiding defilement.

“Parents who have been marrying off their young daughters are warned and I will not tolerate such acts,” said Ms Betty Nesihwe, the Butaleja District Senior Probation Officer.  

Available district data indicates that about 5,264 girls aged 10-19 were impregnated in 2019 and 2020 in Butaleja.