Political leaders and the civil society in Busoga region have called for the naming and shaming of all persons accused of defiling minors.
The call comes amidst reports of a rise in cases of defilement involving mainly school children in several districts of Busoga.
Officiating at celebrations to mark the Day of the African Child in Bulopa Sub-county Kamuli District last week, the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga blamed community leaders and some parents for conniving with suspects and preventing the prosecution of offenders.
“We need to profile and publicize all paedophiles. We must name and shame those who defile our children. Those who commit bestiality should be ashamed in public,” the Speaker said.
Rt.Hon. Kadaga also expressed concerns over the breakdown of the traditional clan system that helped in the past to settle community problems and instil socially acceptable values.
“We need the help of Plan International to re-energize the Busoga clan system, refocus on the responsibilities of parents and rebuild the family structures. Parents have to take blame for some of the vices committed on their children,” she noted.
The Speaker also called for the Local Council Leaders to re-establish special desks for children to enable them have timely reporting of child abuses.
Kamuli district Chairperson Hon. Salaamu Musumba blamed parents for their failure to provide good living examples for their children.
She said many parents had been accused of defiling their own children while some had forced their underage girls into marriage.
“Our children are being abused right from home. Parents are sharing single rooms with their children. We need to reconstruct the ancient Busoga family structure,” Musumba lamented
She also lashed out at teachers for abetting and participating in the defilement of minors under their care.
“I want to warn all teachers in this district to end the defilement of our children in schools. One teacher with a trail of defilement cases is being probed following his transfer from the school where he committed the offence. We shall help the Police to bring him to book”, she said.
Police CID Director Grace Akullo in her address re-affirmed the need for community participation in the fight against defilement and other crimes.
“Fighting and investigating crime should be a collective responsibility. Efforts by the Police to investigate cases of defilement is many times frustrated by parents who pick money from suspects to settle matters out of court. Some parents use their children as bait to get money,” she warned.
The Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions announced new measures to take on cases in the courts of law even when the complainants claim to have lost interest after being compromised.