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The Sexual Offences Bill 2015: Prison warders to be jailed for having sex with inmates

As per ‘The Sexual Offences Bill 2015’, all the prison warders who sleep with inmates will face it rough. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The Sexual Offences Bill 2015 that is undergoing harmonization ahead of its re-tabling on the floor of Parliament calls for jailing of officials in charge of inmates if found guilty of the sexual acts.

Tabled by Kumi Woman MP, Monicah Amoding, the Sexual Offences Bill that seeks to consolidate laws related to sexual violence as well as combat sexual violence in Uganda was sent back for harmonization by the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah after Parliament discovered that a number of changes had come on board that risked altering the bill in its original tabling in 2015.

The Bill that was sent to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee seeks to criminalise sex with inmates in Section 11 that an official or an employee of a correctional facility who; engages in sexual contact or sexual intercourse, sexual harassment or sexual assault or performs a sexual act, or perform sexual intercourse with an individual in custody or even employs, authorize or induces another person to; have sexual contact, perform sexual intercourse, or engage in sexual harassment or sexual assault or performs a sexual act with an individual in custody.

The Sexual Offences Bill proposes that any individual found to have taken part in any of the above actions commits an offense and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a period not below seven years.

As much as prostitution is criminal in Uganda, with particular interest put on the trader, the Sexual Offences Bill seeks to make changes with Section 12 stipulating that a person who practices or engages in prostitution commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment not exceeding seven years.

Section 13 goes further highlighting that a person who solicits another, on a street or public place for the purpose of obtaining their sexual services as a prostitute commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period to a term not below two years or a fine of 48 currency points.

Clause 2 argues that any person who forcefully performs a sexual act on another person, without consent or with consent is obtained by force or by means or threats or intimidation of any kind or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act, or in the case of a married person by personating his or her spouse commits the felony termed rape and shall on conviction be liable to life imprisonment.

Kumi Woman MP, Monicah Amoding who tabled the Sexual Offences Bill that seeks to consolidate laws related to sexual violence. (FILE PHOTO)

However, the Bill touches a contentious subject of marital rape with clause 2(1) stating that for the purpose of an offence under subsection where the spouses are living together a spouse may refuse consent to a sexual act on any ground which may include; Poor health or medical condition of the spouse refusing to perform a sexual act, evidence or reasonable fear that engaging in a sexual act is likely to cause injury or harm to the spouse refusing to perform a sexual act.

Even under such circumstances, a person who performs a sexual act with his or her spouse without the consent of that spouse, whether the spouses are living together or in separation, commits and offence known as marital sexual assault and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment to a period not less than one year or fine of not less than twenty four currency points equivalent to Shs480,000.

Yet still, Section 4 stipulates that a person who attempts to commit rape commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment not less than five years.

On the other hand, Section 27 proposes to have a person who intentionally commits rape or defilement with another within the view of a child to be guilty of an offence and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years.

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