Two West Ankole diocese reverends accused of defilement

Police in greater Bushenyi are investigating two cases in which two reverends of the Church of Uganda attached to the West Ankole diocese are accused of defilement.

A reverend attached to Nyarutuntu Church of Uganda in Rutokye Town Council Ruhinda North was arrested on Friday after he allegedly sanctioned an abortion of a 16-year-old student of St Benedict Secondary School Nyakasiru whom he is accused of defiling.

He was arrested together with some family members of the girl who were reportedly trying to negotiate for bride price at Kamuri II Village on Friday evening.

The Mitooma District OC Criminal investigations, Mr Christopher Yashaba, confirmed the arrest of the Nyarutuntu Church priest. He, however, declined to divulge the more details stating that the matter was already under investigation.

“We arrested the reverend, we are investigating the case and we shall take him to court if we find the charges against him causing so. After he was arrested I was called to Kampala (police headquarters), I can’t tell where the investigations have reached so far,” Mr Yashaba said on Sunday.

After finding out that he had impregnated the girl, the reverend reportedly took her from her parents and took her to his relatives home Kamuri, where they were considering an abortion. 

The information was leaked to the Mitooma Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Ms Nasiima Addah and the district chairman Mr Benon Karyeija who quickly took action. The reverend was arrested alongside five relatives of the victim.

“We condemn defilement especially when we are faced with a great challenge of girls being impregnated during Covid-19 lockdown. We must fight it and whoever does it must find it expensive to do it again. We ask the media to help us in this. This reverend should serve as an example,” Mr Karyeija said.

Meanwhile, police are hunting for another priest attached to Ryamarembo Church of Uganda located in Kyamuhunga tea estate for allegedly defiling a 14-year-old girl.

The greater Bushenyi region police spokesman Mr Martial Tumusiime confirmed the two incidents on Monday afternoon. He said they are preparing to take the Mitooma reverend to court while the one of Kyamuhunga is still missing.

“As police it’s our role to investigate any case whoever is involved and we promise we shall give it a good conclusion,” Mr Tumusiime said.

West Ankole diocesan secretary, Rev Canon Didas Natweta, said they have not got any report on the two incidences. He, however, told this reporter that they have only heard about the two cases through rumours.

“It is very unfortunate if it really happened. As church we have not been informed officially on what happened but we still shall wait for the police report and investigations on the incident, then we shall take action,” Rev Natweta told Daily Monitor on Monday.

Incidences of defilement have recently increased in the region and elasewhere following closure of schools following COVID-19 lockdown. Over 5000 girls have allegedly been defiled and impregnated in South western region alone.